CAPE TOWN - The advancement of women's skills is fast making strides in the economic landscape. This is evident by the Ithala Development Finance Corporation’s Business Awards which celebrated spectacular businesswomen.
The Ithala Development Finance Corporation hosted the annual Imbokodo Iyazenzela Women in Business Awards. The awards was hosted at a gala dinner in Durban on October 25.
Ithala's flagship programme, Imbokodo Iyazenzela or “Women doing it for themselves”, hosted the top three women. These three women were among 145 entries received for the programme.
Notably, 20 of these entries attended a series of Imbokodo workshops held across KZN and were subject to final adjudication by an independent panel.
“The need for women to be at the forefront of transformation and participate in the mainstream economy cannot be emphasised,” said Sitandiwe Dimba, Ithala’s Corporate Social Investment Co-ordinator. There is a growing class of women entrepreneurs doing phenomenal work in key economic sectors. We need only tap into their potential and provide the necessary resources and support to set them on the path of success.The programme was designed with a vision to empower women from all walks of life with the necessary skills, knowledge and opportunities to enable their progress", said Dimba.
Whilst attributing to their mandate as a development promotion agency, Ithala provides an enabling environment for female entrepreneurs in KZN who require access to funding.
Ithala says that they fully support the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government’s agenda to accelerate radical economic transformation, promote financial inclusivity and the broader National Development Plan to advance youth and women.
-The overall winner, Londiwe Ngcobo of Andimahle Building and Events walked away with R35 000 while the first runner up R20 000 and the second runner up scooped R15 000.
In addition to their cash prize, the winners will be receiving mentoring and coaching on a regular basis.
The top 20 finalists in the 2017 programme are currently undergoing mentorship and coaching with Cutting Edge Business Solutions.
Winners and their companies
1st - Londiwe Ngcobo of Andimahle Building and Events
2nd - Ncane Moshwane of Mgijimu Chemicals
3rd - Busi Molefe of BBS Farm
Ithala expressed their commitment to driving SME growth and development over the next five years.
Within a three year span, Ithala has already disbursed R878 600 000 to nearly 700 businesses, resulting in over 8 000 jobs being created. Of these, 28% are women-owned businesses and young people comprise nearly 40% of those on Ithala’s loan book.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE