Women in Business empowers entrepreneurs

Participants sing praises for initiative

Raneah Carr and Nokukhanya Mncwabe are two of the businesswomen to benefit from the 2020 Women in Business Programme.
Raneah Carr and Nokukhanya Mncwabe are two of the businesswomen to benefit from the 2020 Women in Business Programme.
Image: Vukuzenzele

Raneah Carr and Nokukhanya Mncwabe are two of the businesswomen to benefit from the 2020 Women in Business Programme.

The 10-week programme is funded by the City of Cape Town and facilitated by its strategic business partner, the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTi).

The programme, which has helped more than 1,000 businesswomen since it started five years ago, exposes participants to the latest technological resources to improve and grow their business.

Participants also have the opportunity to learn from highly skilled and experienced facilitators and mentors.

Marietjie Engelbrecht, the head of marketing at CiTi, says: “The fact that the business owners have access to these services completely free of charge is one of the reasons this programme is so popular. Their only investment is time and effort.”

Carr, the owner of project and development company Carran Consulting, participated in the 2020 programme. “Being in the field for many years, there are times one becomes so involved in your business that you tend to forget to do research and development… This programme allowed me to do that and reassess what the business needs."

She says the programme will benefit any entrepreneur. “It will allow a business to go back to the drawing board to assess how it is currently executing tasks and how processes can be improved and streamlined.”

Another 2020 participant, Nokukhanya Mncwabe of Matawi Mead Collection, a pan-African beverage brand, says she formed meaningful connections with many of the women on the 2020 course, despite it being held virtually.

“A safe space was created almost from the onset. No one was made to feel as if they were asking ‘stupid’ questions. I’ve also been encouraged by the group’s plans to convene networking opportunities and possibly even business collaborations."

She says by the end of the programme, she felt better equipped to strategically and systematically tackle Matawi’s growth.

“There was a good balance between business fundamentals, tech tools and softer business skills. The programme is a holistic toolkit designed to meet as many of a businesswoman’s needs as possible,” she says.

• This story was first published by GCIS's Vukuzenzele

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