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WEConnect International in South Africa Annual Conference Agenda & Gallery


Thank you for attending the WEConnect International in South Africa Conference 

On behalf of WEConnect International in South Africa, our host and Platinum sponsor EY, 2016 programme sponsor ExxonMobil, and our other conference sponsors, Accenture, Intel and Merck, we would like to THANK YOU for attending the WEConnect International in South Africa Conference on 8 April 2016. 

From your feedback on the day and continued messages that we have received,  we know  that you found the conference informative and worthwhile.  

The primary goal of this conference was to celebrate and encourage women in business through connections with global corporates, and through panel discussions, presentations and networking. 

All our speakers were amazing and shared a lot of content throughout the day, and all attendees had unique opportunities to network and connect with the corporates  from EY, ExxonMobil, Accenture, Intel, Merck, Cummins, Absa/Barclays, Protea/Marriott and P&G.

We were lucky to have so many global corporate supplier diversity leads from the USA,  notably Theresa Harrison, EY; Michael K. Robinson, IBM; and Tara Spann, MSD. We believe that our diverse and vibrant group of panelists and speakers gave practical as well as in-depth insight and advice on business. Elizabeth A. Vazquez, the CEO and Co-founder of WEConnect International also gave us updates on WEConnect International Global and confirmed her support to growing WEConnect International in South Africa. 

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(March 8, 2016) Corporate Member Accenture in South Africa, in collaboration with WEConnect International, hosted a breakfast for women business owners on International Women’s Day 2016. All the talks given by our exceptional speakers reflected this year’s theme, #GreaterThan. Our guest speaker Ntombi Manganic, Director for Integrated Marketing and Communications for Accenture spoke about YOU and your BUSINESS as a BRAND; “Branding’ she said, “is about creating an expectation, memories, stories, and relationships.”

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On the 12th of February 2016, WEConnect International in South Africa in partnership with corporate member Accenture had a connect session hosted by Accenture at their office in Cape Town. Enterprise and Supplier Development lead for Accenture Zandile Njamela led the session with 22 eager women business owners from Cape Town.

Zandile emphasized the importance of working together as women business owners and explained that WEConnect International is not just about connecting women with Corporate Members, but it’s also about connecting women business owners and creating an environment where women buy from one another. She also emphasized that women with small businesses should form collaborations and approach the bigger corporate members for contracts. In closing her address Zandile stressed the importance of certification, especially since Accenture is keen on working with women-owned businesses, namely certified women’s business enterprises.

Source: WEConnect

WEConnect International in South Africa at Mining Indaba 2016

8-11 February 2016 WEConnect International in South Africa attended Mining Indaba, which has been dubbed the “world's largest mining investment event”. The annual event was held in Cape Town, South Africa.

The four-day event was attended by African and non-African Government delegations, mining executives, investors, analysts, and financiers from all over the world, as well as business leaders and regulators from more than 110 countries, service providers, consultants, insurance brokers, stakeholders, and representatives from over 2,300 international companies.

Prior to the event, Mining Indaba Managing Director Jonathan Moore stated that the core goal of the annual conference was to convene global and influential deal-makers and to provide a platform to channel billions of dollars in capitalising the African mining value chain. For WEConnect International in South Africa the conference provided an opportunity to grow awareness of the organisation and its work, meet potential new corporate members, and actualise its vision of helping women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains, in this case, in mining markets specifically.

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(December 15, 2015) This half day course offered its participants the opportunity to  gain essential knowledge and develop the practical skills required to lead the process of implementing a strategic plan. Attendees were also instructed on the techniques of analyzing a macro environment, initiating development of an integrated strategy and identifying the base of any successful approach.  

The training included presentations and interactive group sessions, where the Women Business Owners present shared and built on each other’s business strategies. The training was enjoyed by all who attended and also offered networking opportunities.  This session was attended by 34 business women and was facilitated by Koffi Kouakou, a senior lecturer at the Wits School of Governance, where he teaches Strategic Government Communications and Scenario Planning.

Source: WEConnect


(December 17, 2015) As part of our commitment to promoting Women Business Owners, WEConnect International in South Africa held a business writing training course, the primary purpose of which was to equip those present with the skills required to write clear, concise, effective business prose in an efficient and professional manner. It was also intended as a refresher for those with an extant strong background in professional writing.

This short course focused on professional documentation such as emails, letters, reports, tenders, proposals and social media. The training was attended by 24 business women and was facilitated by Koffi Kouakou, a senior lecturer at the Wits School of Governance, where he teaches Strategic Government Communications and Scenario Planning.

Source: WEConnect


(5 November 2015) WEConnect International in South Africa was hosted by Intel for a Women Business Owners Networking and Connect Session in Johannesburg this October. Nearly 50 women business owners attended to get an update on WEConnect International in South Africa following the appointment of Jean Chawapiwa as Executive Director in August 2015. The session included presentations from WEConnect International corporate members Cummins, Accenture and Intel as key corporate supporters of WEConnect International in South Africa and members of the Advisory Council. Inputs was also received from supporting women empowerment organisations Utho Business Accelerator, Women’s Presidents Organisation (WPO) and USA based Vita Global.

The connect session included all women present being given the opportunity to introduce themselves and talk about their business in order to encourage linkages, business and partnerships amongst the business owners. The benefits of Certification were discussed in detail with corporates adding their voice to their eagerness to work with women business owners. Namely, WEConnect International certification is important them as they don’t have time to identify, register and certify businesses.

A similar event was held in Cape Town on the 23 October, where Jean shared the information from the Johannesburg session and encouraged the established women-owned businesses in attendance to begin the certification process.

Source: WEConnect


(Feb. 25, 2015) CCTV recently interviewed Dr. Nathalie Chinje to discuss the often overlooked key to economic development - women. Through WEConnect International, Dr. Chinje helps women-owned businesses in South Africa succeed in global value chains and connects them with multinational corporate buyers.

"I work with a lot of women-owned enterprises in South Africa and across the African continent, and my vision for those women is to ensure that they are successful and that they have access to business opportunities within the corporate sector," said Dr. Chinje.

One example of how Weconnect International has helped women entrepreneurs is Dorothy Botsi, founder and director of Botho Ubuntu Cleaning, a 100 percent black woman-owned enterprise. Today Botsi employs over 500 women across South Africa, and ensures they have a better future. For her, having a business that employs mainly women is extremely important, and she feels that WeConnect International helps emphasize that importance.

Source: WEConnect

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