The SACBW (“the Council”) formed an integral part of Elise T Coetser’s life for more than 15 years. Within a year or so after she joined as a member, she was appointed as Chairperson of the Pretoria Branch. During this period, the branch received the Branch of the Year award for three years consecutively, predominantly due to its performance in the recruitment of new members, providing mentorship, and initiating creative new ways to network with other women in business.
She was then elected as Vice-President of the national structure, where she served with Diana Bekker as President at the time. In collaboration, they initiated the Business Woman of the Year competition, which received significant media exposure nationwide and exists to this day. At the same time, Elise served on the EXCO of the then Afrikaanse Handelinstituut (AHI). This led to her eliciting funds from the AHI to sponsor a Youth Entrepreneur Competition for disadvantaged children from primary schools that was hosted by the Council. Short on its heels, she initiated a Business Plan Competition for Female and Male Youth Entrepreneurs, which was co-hosted by the Council and the Job Club, an NPO that was founded by Elise.
Soon after, she was elected as President, and under her directive, the Council was expanded to 17 branches across the country. At the end of her reign, she remained actively involved in events as an Honorary Member. Several years later, the Council was re-engineered and Elise was requested to lead the organisation into this new era as National Leader. During her reign, the brand of the Council evolved, which led to new key messages as well as a revamped website. Elise also built on previous networking efforts and initiated new events such as “Let’s do Coffee” and the “Sisterhood”.
She furthermore spearheaded the development of a technology platform, which set the Council on a new digital path and readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). To celebrate “the new way forward”, she hosted a nationwide roadshow, during which she launched the professionally-produced Sisterhood Song.
When reflecting on her 15-year-plus journey with the Council, Elise is especially grateful for how it helped her to break out of her mould, boosted her self-confidence, and shaped her as both a person and a professional. In the process, she gained new business associates and formed friendships that will remain a lifelong network of support.
- A visit to Elise is synonymous with coffee and discussions about the Council, ways to grow our membership, and visions of a bright future for all business owners.