There are many distinct challenges that are prevalent in emerging markets that call on innovative, creative and pragmatic entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs create new jobs in the market and thus are especially important in South Africa, where unemployment has been very high in recent years.
In the Budget Speech earlier this year, the critical role that entrepreneurs play in the South African economy was once again highlighted and the government subsequently pledged over R470-million to assist and develop small and medium sized businesses.
Women have often faced unique sets of challenges when entering the market as entrepreneurs, including the lack of access to traditional networks such as education, financing and experience; it is thus important to award and celebrate women who have emerged as business leaders in South Africa.
“Entrepreneurs are vital to a healthy economy. They look for unmet needs in society and then try to fill them with new products or services. They try things that others might consider impossible and occasionally, these result in unimaginable successes,” Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu.
This year, Topco Media and the Standard Bank Top Women Awards are proud to host some of the highest esteemed figures and companies in South African society from both the private and public sectors, to celebrate and recognise female leaders in business that will form a part of the 13-year legacy that is the Top Women Awards. Some of the attendees include
Past winners of the Top Female Entrepreneur Award include Marthie Jansen van Rensburg from the Ekurhuleni Artisans & Skills Training Centre, who stated “this award means that I can be an ambassador for young girls to follow in my footsteps, to uplift and shine for them, and make sure that they know that they can also make it. It is important for me to give back to the ones that will follow”.
“This is truly one opportunity you should grab with both hands if you truly want to be known out there, it is the quickest way of getting known. The most important thing for me, is do you have passion? And do you want to get to the next step?” Nene Molefi, Managing Director of Madate Molefi Investment Holdings and a judge for the 2015 Standard Bank Top Women Awards.