Empowering women to succeed in business

IMPOVERISHED and previously disadvantaged women have been presented with a lifetime opportunity to become better entrepreneurs through the 2009 KwaZulu-Natal Succeed Programme.

The programme is a joint venture between Deloitte's Women's Leadership Initiative (WLI) and the eThekwini municipality's business support and market unit.

It was launched recently amid great expectations for the entrepreneurs involved.

The municipality has committed more than R1,5million to the programme to empower women.

WLI representative Kimmy Singh said the idea was to assist women entrepreneurs to build and maintain sustainable businesses.

"Many interventions for young companies focus on how to raise finance rather than providing the skills and advice to ensure that the business succeeds - which is the very essence of this programme," Singh said.

Addressing women who attended the launch, eThekwini deputy mayor Logie Naidoo said the initiative came hot on the heels of a very successful Women in Business conference hosted by the municipality.

Naidoo urged all corporate companies to emulate this effort and follow suit.

The women, mainly from eThekwini, represent a variety of business sectors that include retail, manufacturing, construction, interior decorating and event coordinating and organising.

They went through a selection process before being admitted to the programme.