The 2023 Standard Bank Top Women EmpowerHER skills development has taken off across South Africa.
The conference launched on May 25 in Cape Town and it touched down in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday before moving on to Sun City, North West on August 17.
The EmpowHER Development Series is aimed at providing entrepreneurs with an opportunity to upgrade their skills and link up with new networks.
A renowned presentation specialist and coach Verity Price will host a virtual training session to those who will be pitching.
The pitching dens have gained increased popularity through television shows such as Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank, which appeal to viewers with a keen interest in business.
Standard Bank Top Women is now creating the space for 10 pre-selected entrepreneurs to pitch their business to a panel of experts and thought leaders, and has created a platform for women in business to receive valuable feedback on how to transform their business into a potential market leader.
The winners from each region will be entered into the 20th annual Standard Bank Top Women Awards taking place in Johannesburg in November, where one winner will walk away with R50 000 cash prize and a grand trophy along with multiple other prizes, brand exposure and access to the Topco community.
Adri Williams from Khayelitsha Cookies was announced as the 2022 winner. She strongly encourages all female entrepreneurs to enter despite initially feeling inadequate to do so herself.
Williams shared: “The journey you will go through will help you see your worth and the value of your business [and] it is so worth it.
“Even if you do not end up being selected as the winner at the end, it is the journey you go through before stepping onto the stage that develops you into a winner.”
After a great win, Williams said the prize money helped contribute to Khayelitsha Cookies successfully launching in Shoprite stores this year.
The winner of the Standard Bank Top Women EmpowHER pitching den in Cape Town was Denise Stubbs from Thokozani Winelands Investments.
She was chosen by an esteemed panel of judges with diverse experiences including last year’s winner Williams, Naledzani Mosomane, head: enterprise development at Standard Bank, Fikile Kgobe, lead global markets SA (BCB/PPB) at Standard Bank, Topco Media’s group editor Fiona Wakelin, Cara Saven, founder of Cara Saven Wall Design and Comms Chair for Entrepreneurs Organisation in Cape Town, and Zinzi Nxopo Magoda, a researcher, author and lecturer at Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
Finalists for EmpowHER Durban are:
- Ntokozo “Melo” Ntleko | Takkie Wash SA
- Daniela d’Hotman de Villiers | Savvy Social
- Denise Sonny | Denise Sonny (Pty) Ltd
- Seshme Holloway | JRS Solutions
- Labashini Mahomed | Dynamic Shipping Services Pty Ltd
- Gaynor Britton | Westlink Business Solutions
- Catherine Bosse | Bosse Events
- Lebogang Ramonetha | Chemyx
- Olwethu Nzuza | AmaShazi Animal Feed Suppliers
- Leisha Naidoo | Injabulo Home Grown Learning and Development Solutions
- Gail Galvin | The Truffle Lady
The Sun City finalists are yet to be announced.