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Top 10 Finalists In FAIRLADY Women Of The Future Awards 2017, In Partnership With Santam

The calibre of the entrepreneurs who entered the 2017 FAIRLADY Woman of the Future and Rising Star Competition is truly awe-inspiring. The search called for entries from female entrepreneurs who have created successful businesses

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The calibre of the entrepreneurs who entered the 2017 FAIRLADY Woman of the Future and Rising Star Competition is truly awe-inspiring. The search called for entries from female entrepreneurs who have created successful businesses.

‘The striking thing about women in business is that they don’t only uplift themselves through their work, they uplift the community around them too, and that’s why they are such a crucial part of our economy,’ says FAIRLADY editor Suzy Brokensha. ‘Every year, the quality of the entries to the FAIRLADY Women of the Future Awards blows me away. It’s so hard to choose the finalists! To me there’s no better sign of an economy getting back on its feet.’

Related: Funding And Financial Assistance For SA Women Entrepreneurs

The 10 women and their businesses are featured in the August issue of FAIRLADY, on sale today. 

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Woman of the Future 2017:

The women in line for this award are over 30, and have been in business for longer than 1000 days. The finalists are:

  • Claire Reed (Reel Gardening) – owner of an innovative gardening solutions company
  • Lourita Stofberg (AdminAssist) – her company provides professionals with virtual assistants to help them manage their administrative tasks
  • Nisha Maharaj (Niche Integrated Solutions) – owner of a company which helps companies digitise, rationalise and reduce IT spend whilst improving operational efficiencies
  • Ntsoaki Phali (Beyond ability talent solutions) – owner of a company that finds suitable jobs for people with disabilities and ensures that the environments allow them to flourish
  • Princess Mncube (Shando’s Construction) – the company specialises in general building, painting, plastering, brickwork, paving, plumbing and electrical services
  • Sarah-Jane Boden (SoulProviders Collective) – owner of a company specialising in digital content and marketing
  • Tiffini Wissing (OldSchoolCool) – provides safety-conscious parents with transport vehicles for their children that are fitted with the latest safety technology, onboard cameras and live tracking .

Rising Star 2017:

These young go-getters are aged 30 and under, and have been in business between six months and 1000 days. The finalists are:

  • Anele Mkuzo-Magape (African Entrepreneurship Initiative) – a consulting and entrepreneurship education training company with a focus on the youth of the African continent.
  • Kirsten Townsend (Fabrica) – a creative consultancy specialising in branding, graphic design, and communication
  • Lusanda Worsley (Empire Innovations) – the company is innovative and part agency, part consultancy and part business developers

‘Each of these women are deserving of recognition and represent the true entrepreneurial spirit of our country. Their commitment and drive towards making a real difference in our society serves as an inspiration to all and is a tribute to the power of the many women, changing the lives and shaping the future of South Africa each and every day.’ – Jeanett Modise, Executive head of People and Transformation at Santam.

Related: How Women Entrepreneurs Can Change the SA Business Landscape

The panel of judges for the FAIRLADY Women of The Future 2017 Competition, in Partnership with Santam include former Public Protector and Chief Patron of the Thuli Madonsela Foundation, Adv Thuli Madonsela; Santam Executive head of People and Transformation Jeanett Modise; FAIRLADY editor Suzy Brokensha; media entrepreneur and international speaker Jo-Ann Strauss and jewellery designer Kirsten Goss. The winner of the FAIRLADY Woman of The Future and FAIRLADY Rising Star Awards 2017, in partnership with Santam will be honoured at a prestigious awards ceremony in Johannesburg in August 2017. 

The FAIRLADY Woman of the Future will be awarded R50 000 cash, an invaluable mentorship session with one of the judges, a Sisley beauty hamper worth R8 797, a Miladys fashion voucher worth R5 000, a GetSmarter local online course worth R15 000, a Michel Herbelin watch worth R10 500, business luggage from Delsey worth R5 000 and a LENOVA Laptop from Makro worth R3 999. 

The FAIRLADY Rising Star will be awarded R20 000 cash, an invaluable mentorship session with one of the judges, a Sisley beauty hamper worth R5 465, a Miladys fashion voucher worth R5 000, a GetSmarter local online course worth R15 000, a Michel Herbelin watch worth R10 500, business luggage from Delsey worth R5 000 and a LENOVA Laptop from Makro worth R3 999. 


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For full details of all our finalists, get the latest issue of FAIRLADY magazine, on sale now!

Follow FAIRLADY on Facebook, @FairladyMag on Twitter, and @Fairlady_Magazine on Instagram.

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

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Fintech Hackathon To Support South Africa’s Entrepreneurs

Xero hosts South African developer technology challenge – and appoints a new General Country Manager.

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 Xero, the global leader in online accounting software has today launched a national competition, to put South Africa’s growing fintech industry firmly on the map. To mark the start of the developer technology challenge, Xero has also announced the appointment of Colin Timmis as Country Manager for South Africa, to take Xero forward.

Launched with Amazon Web Services, the virtual hackathon will enable the region’s technology entrepreneurs to compete with other forward thinking developers on a global scale. To take part, they need to develop an app that can sit within the Xero’s global ecosystem of over 600 apps.

As announced last night at an exclusive event in Johannesburg, the winner will receive R62,720 and the opportunity to attend and exhibit their app at Xerocon the world’s largest conference for over 3,000 accountants and bookkeepers, taking place in London in November.

Related: How The SA Government Can Help Small Businesses Thrive

Xero, which first launched in South Africa in May 2016, is now one of the fastest growing software companies globally, with 1.4 million subscribers around the world. In South Africa, the company is currently supporting tens of thousands of local small businesses, and a substantial support network of accountants. The competition marks the first in a series of Xero-led initiatives created for the South African tech community, as it continues to help more businesses and their advisors thrive.

“Since Xero first set foot in South Africa, I’ve been really impressed by the strong entrepreneurial spirit amongst the small business community. It’s really important that they are supported in the right way; and given space to pursue their best ideas and to grow. That’s why it’s time to open up our global developer competition to a South African audience. Those that have won it elsewhere have instantly been able to propel their business, and compete at a global scale,” said Gary Turner, Managing Director, Xero EMEA.

To support its continued growth in South Africa, Xero has promoted Colin Timmis, to Country Manager. Previously Head of Accounting at Xero SA, he brings a wealth of experience and skill to his new role. Before arriving at Xero, Colin founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice, Real Time Accounting, in 2011 – becoming Xero’s first Global Gold Partner in 2013, and its third fastest growing partner in the global territory by 2014.

“With over 12 years of experience in the accounting profession, promoting Colin to Country Manager will accelerate adoption of Xero in South Africa.” said Gary Turner: “His experience in cloud accounting, software implementation, development, integration and best practice is peerless. He’s already done great work for us during our market entry phase and I can’t wait to see how together we can help more and more South African small businesses realise the benefits of cloud-based accounting.”

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Breaking Down Borders – Top Considerations For SMEs Expanding Into Africa

In light of Africa Day on the 25th of May, more South African small and medium enterprise (SME) owners should be encouraged to look at how they could expand their operations into the rest of the continent.

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In light of Africa Day on the 25th of May, more South African small and medium enterprise (SME) owners should be encouraged to look at how they could expand their operations into the rest of the continent.

This is according to Mark Paper, Chief Operating Officer at Business Partners International (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who says that Africa has for long been regarded as a region with untapped economic opportunity. “The African Development Bank1 reports that the economic growth in Africa is set to accelerate to 4.1% over the course of 2018 and 2019, which can potentially yield benefits for SMEs.”

Paper points out that entrepreneurs should however firstly consider that each of Africa’s 54 countries represents a unique market with differing challenges and intricacies for doing business.

“The various economies, laws, languages and cultures need to be thoroughly assessed as part of the entrepreneur’s expansion plan, which should be structured around the target region’s strengths, weaknesses, potential opportunities and threats.”

Related: Expansion Funding Options For Your Growing Business

He says that once the enterprise is ready to start operations in a specific region, the entrepreneur needs to ensure that the regulatory requirements of the region are adhered to.  “It is crucial to conduct due diligence and understand all relevant regulations. Most of the companies that make mistakes during this phase find themselves facing massive fines or potentially devastating legal action further down the line.”

According to Paper, the information that should be at the entrepreneur’s fingertips include the required permits, business and property registration processes, credit requirements, tax legislation, labour market regulations, and local content requirements.

He adds that the entrepreneur should also know which laws are in place to protect foreign investors. “Developing robust contracts and using local attorneys to ensure that contracts can be enforced under local laws is therefore imperative.”

Next, Paper says that it is essential to have a strong local presence, knowledge of the local market, and an understanding of customer expectations. “Employing workers from the region can potentially be one of the best ways to support the company’s operations. It will not only benefit the business and its reputation, but the local economy too.”

He notes that finding the right employees, creating cohesive teams and implementing skills training within the organisation relies heavily on understanding the culture of the region, and being able to effectively work around the potential language barriers. “It could help to consult local human resources firms and hiring agencies with strong track records in the region.”

Another point for entrepreneurs to consider, is whether the country has reliable electricity supply, says Paper.

“Electricity supply continues to be a challenge in various countries, and there are many regions that only receive electricity from their national power grids for a few hours per day. Where necessary, the entrepreneur will need to budget for the installation of generators, or even consider signing contracts with mobile fast-track power suppliers who can operate and maintain their own generators on the business’s property.”

Related: Thinking Of Cross-Border Expansion? Consider This First

While entrepreneurs need to consider a number of aspects when expanding across borders, he adds that the rewards for getting it correct are significant, and that the perceived challenges should not deter entrepreneurs from taking the leap, rather serving as a reminder of the amount of research that should be conducted beforehand.”

“Africa is open for business. All it takes is enough drive, passion and perseverance to tap into its growing markets,” Paper concludes.

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President Ramaphosa To Address SA’s Biggest Board Meeting, The Directors Event

President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering a keynote address at The Directors event on 8 June 2018, at the Sandton Convention Centre.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering the keynote address at South Africa’s biggest board meeting, The Directors Event, which will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 8 June 2018.  Dr Jabu Mabuza, Chairman of Business Leadership South Africa will deliver this year’s Chairman’s Report.

Now in its fourth year, The Directors Event invites industry leaders to unpack three issues of national importance and discuss solutions in a public forum, moderated by highly-respected media personalities.

Youth employment & entrepreneurship, the use of technology to promote inclusive growth, and our political economy will be hot topics in this year’s highly focussed discussion programme which attracts participation from the country’s most prominent business and government leaders, and an audience of 300 ‘board member’ delegates.

“We are honoured to have President Ramaphosa address this important gathering of some of the top minds in South Africa. We invited him as a response to the call he made during his maiden State of the Nation Address earlier this year, calling on all South Africans, in their small corners, to help develop this country. We believe, strongly, that corporate South Africa has a massive role to play and we are very excited that everyone seems to have accepted the President Ramaphosa’s “Thuma Mina” call,” says Bongani Siqoko, editor of the Sunday Times.

Nontokozo Madonsela, Chief Marketing Officer of MMI, the JSE listed holding company for Momentum, Metropolitan and other financial services providers says, “We are incredibly honoured and excited that President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering the keynote address at this year’s Biggest Board Meeting. Over the past few months, we have experienced a wave of change in the country that has brought with it much needed confidence in what we can achieve. As a company with deep roots in South Africa serving a broad spectrum of citizens and businesses, we are heeding the President’s call to lend a hand in addressing our challenges. We are saying #CountUsIn, we want to be there. We believe this platform creates a space where we can have constructive dialogue and come up with concrete solutions that can positively contribute to improving the state our country”.

Related: President Ramaphosa’s Support Of Entrepreneurs And SMEs In SONA Had Us Cheering

President Ramaphosa will be the highest ranking government official to address The Directors Event with his keynote message.  Previous keynote speakers at The Directors Event have included Caroline Galvan (Lead Economist & Editor: Africa Competitiveness Report for the World Economic Forum), and Mcebisi Jonas (Former Deputy Minister of Finance).

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Science & Technology, and Enoch Godongwana, Chairperson of the ANC sub-committee on Economic Transformation will also be representing the perspectives of Government and the governing party during the round-table discussions at this year’s event.


The Directors Event programme is tailored for corporates, SMEs, educators, and non-profit organisations who are serious about turning South Africa’s socio-economic crisis around.

The Directors Event will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 8 June 2018.  To view the 2018 agenda, speaker profiles, or to book tickets: www.thedirectorsevent.co.za 

The Directors Event brought to you by the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies and MMI Holdings Limited, is supported by partners Mancosa (GSB), the Institute of Directors (IoD SA), and Greymatter & Finch.

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