The Cape Chamber's women in business project open for global application. FILE IMAGE/ANA

CAPE TOWN -The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday said its newly launched project to help women in business, NextGen, has been accepted by the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) Foundation for world-wide application.

Former President of the Chamber and member of the IWEC international board, Janine Myburgh, said the purpose of the project is to develop the next generation of women entrepreneurs and elevate them to find global connections to grow their businesses.

“The “NextGen” development programme has evolved from the IWEC mentorship scheme in which successful women who have won IWEC awards are teamed up with rising stars in the business world to provide mentorship and help them grow their companies,” she said.

The new project is aimed at women between the ages of 21 and 29 who meet specific criteria. Each country in the IWEC network will be allowed to accept two “NextGenees” a year. They will be exposed to the best practice development opportunities and former award winners will help them grow their entrepreneurial skills, build national and international networks, and encourage and enhance their personal growth.

According to Myburgh, half of the really smart people in the world are women and this previously neglected source of talent, knowledge and insight could make a huge contribution to the world economy.

She said that an awardee with specific skills and knowledge will be allocated to a NextGen candidate in a formalised relationship to deliver and transfer crucial advice based on actual experience. 

“Goals will be set by mutual agreement and progress will be monitored each month. At the end of the year they will attend the annual IWEC conference,” Myburgh said.

IWEC was started by the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce in 2007 and the movement has spread throughout Europe, the Americas and the East. IWEC’s goal is to develop a global business network for successful women business owners, helping them gain and expand access to international markets.

African News Agency (ANA)