With no South African businesswomen qualifying for the entrepreneurial category in the 2010 Businesswoman of the Year awards, three candidates in this year’s competition bodes well for the growth of women in this sector.
Leading up to women’s month in August, the seven finalists of this premier event have been announced and are:
- Philisiwe Buthelezi – CEO of the National Empowerment Fund
- Colleen Louw – Station Manager at Primedia Broadcasting
- Matifadza Nyazema – Executive Director of the Sandton Convention Centre
- Zyda Rylands – Managing Director of Woolworths
- Xoliswa Kakana – Chairperson of ICT-Works
- Nondumiso Mzizana – CEO of Sikelela Medical, Dental and Pharmaceuticals
- Sotse Segoneco – CEO and Founding member of Sonke Pharmaceuticals
Qualifying criteria include working for their current company for a minimum of three years, but not necessarily in the same position, as well as managing a budget of R75 million or more for the Corporate Category and a budget of R35 million or more for the Entrepreneurial Category. However, the real differentiators evaluated by the award’s judges are leadership qualities, contributions to the well-being of the economy, having specialists knowledge in their fields, are role models and mentors and are recognised as making a significant and positive contribution to their organisation and communities. Finalists are also expected to empower other women in their industries.
Kynyalala Maphisa, BWA president says that the strength of this year’s entries shows that women are playing an increasingly meaningful leadership role in all sectors of the economy, particularly the entrepreneurial space, a trend that she believes will undoubtedly benefit the country as a whole. The event’s sponsors include Nedbank and Telkom, and the winners will be announced at a gala event at Vodaworld on 18 August 2011