On 16 October The SA Council for Business Women (SACBW) announced the Business Woman of the Year for 2013 at their annual gala dinner in Potchefstroom where they also celebrated their 25th Anniversary. The winners were announced in three categories together with the Informal Business Woman of the Year, the Business Plan competition winners as well as the Young Entrepreneur Award winners.
The categories included Entrepreneur, Professional and Corporate. There are various criteria for the different categories but the minimum factor is that they need to have been in business or in their leadership position for at least 3 years. They need to have a business plan, be compliant with all government and legal requirements, know what is happening in their business on a financial level, be able to show how they are helping their staff to develop and grow as well as be making an impact in their communities – both on a personal and business level.
“We find that even among the top achievers all the above elements are not always in place and the competition for most women is also a learning exercise. Through the whole process some realize that there are areas that they have been neglecting and as soon as they correct this, their businesses thrive even more for which they are grateful. Others can look back and realize what type of impact they have had and that they have actually achieved their goals – women generally are slow to admit that they have succeeded as we don’t have such big egos as our male counterparts,” says Melinda Stark, President of the SABCW.
Tabea Magodielo, Partner of recruitment agency, Technopark Personnel Group from Pretoria won the Entrepreneur category which was sponsored by Sanlam. TPG was founded in 2003 and provides permanent and temporary employee services. Tabea describes the success of the business largely to customer orientation and dependability. Her goal is to grow the footprint of the business nationally. Her passion in life is to assist the youth from impoverished homes by teaching them to read and presentation skills while they do Bible study.
Diana Jansen, owner of Diana Jansen Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation is a vibrant and dynamic physiotherapist from Witbank and is the winner of the Professional category, which was also sponsored by Sanlam. Her business gives innovative therapy and rehabilitation, promoting physical wellness and enhancing quality of life. She was a runner up in 2012 and not winning motivated her to grow her business, implement what she learned from the competition the previous year and then come back with an improved business. Diana grew her business to such an extent and developed so much personally in a year that she came shining through as the winner!
The winner of the Corporate category, Alda Roux, from Securiforce is a professional dynamic CEO of all the different departments in the company which includes guards, armed reaction with offsite camera operating, 24/7 technical team, human resources, finance, training and a dedicated operational team. She ensures that the business walks the extra mile for its clients. An exceptional successful woman in a male dominated industry.
On the night of the award ceremony Jacky Jackson won the Informal Business Women Competition and Judy Mvinjelva took second place. The Dream Out Loud Business Plan Competition for youth, aged between 18 and 35 years, had two sub-categories, which was ‘Daring to Innovate’ and ‘Most Promising’. Katherine Graham won the ‘Daring to Innovate’ section with Jeanine Lombard being the runner up and Fannie Mazibuko walked away with the ‘Most Promising” accolade.
This year, the SABCW made the youngsters part of this amazing evening where they were awarded with the “Jy kan ook ‘n entrepreneur wees” Award. These are grade 6 to 8 scholars which started their journey last year in September. The SACBW was involved with the Job Club and funded via a sponsor from the AHI in taking a large group of approximately 60 young budding entrepreneurs on a training camp. They were taught entrepreneurial skills and encouraged to use their creativity to create items that could be sold for a profit. These scholars had stands at Irene market after which the winners were elected and Anja Smuts, Janéne Vermeulen, Karlien Meiring, Klarize van Graan, Maroné du Plessis walked away with the award for their business “Blink Idees”. Madeli de Bruin and Realien van Eyk took second place with their innovative business skills for “Popcorn Paleis”.
The special Judges Award went to Rachel Jacobs, a principal of Panorama Secondary School in Graskop for her success in the development of the school and 100% matric pass rate from 2008 – 2011 results. This school developed with 13 learners, one educator using a garage as premises into the successful school it is today. Her goal before she retires in 2 years time is to build the biggest science centre in Graskop. Mpho Makhene, owner of Tswelopele Nursing School in Johannesburg received the Presidential Award for Entrepreneurship. This 78 year old professional nurse is an inspiration and testament that one is never too old to start a successful business. Her nursing school is accredited and situated in Krugersdorp and could only accommodate and register 55 of the 500 applicants for 2014.