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WEConnect International in SA

Excutive Director of Weconnect International In South Africa Participates In UNCTAD 14 In Kenya

Jean Chawapiwa, Executive Director of WEConnect International in South Africa, was invited to the 14th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) event in Nairobi, Kenya, as a judge in its 5th Empretec Women in Business Awards (E-WBA) competition. Selected from 50 nominations from 23 countries, the winners in this competition were announced at the E-WBA awards ceremony on 21 July 2016 at the World Investment Forum which took place during the 14th UNCTAD event.

Chawapiwa was nominated as a judge in this competition by WEConnect International, an organisation that helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains. She has headed up WEConnect International in South Africa since 2015. WEConnect International identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women's business enterprises based outside of the U.S. that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and then connects them with multinational corporate buyers.

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Melanie Medell Selected for EY’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2016

Melanie Medell, owner of Melaire Linens, has been chosen to participate in corporate member EY's Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2016 programme. Melanie has been a WEConnect International in South Africa certified Women Business Enterprise since March 2015.

Melanie credits her selection to the EY programme to WEConnect International in South Africa’s support. She says, "This opportunity is a direct outcome of my attendance of the WEConnect International in South Africa Annual Conference held in April this year. In particular, Jean Chawapiwa, Executive Director of WEConnect International in South Africa is a powerful catalyst."

Through the EY programme, Melanie will attain the status of an Entrepreneurial Winning Women and join an elite business network of the country’s best high-growth companies. She will participate in a customised executive leadership programme to be held in EY’s Johannesburg offices, with year-round activities comprising four workshops and a closing ceremony event.

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(July 13, 2016) Tania Reid is the Founder and CEO of ithemba, the 2016 EY Pitch Competition winner, and a member of the WEConnect International in South Africa network. This week, Daudi Mugabi interviewed her for a Business Mic podcast episode and asked her to share her experiences as an entrepreneur, as well as some business tips.

In the second half of the podcast, Tania provided concrete steps on how to step out of comfort zones, make the most our of business networks like WEConnect International, and craft a good pitch. Namely, she suggested business owners first consider what solution their enterprise provides potential customers and make that solution heard in the first sentence. Tania also stressed that every good pitch includes contact information. She always makes sure to mention her website: www.go2ithemba.co.za.

Throughout the course of the 25 minute discussion, Tania offered additional advice for current and upcoming business owners. Here are some highlights:

  • On thinking about starting a business: "Don't wait for everything to be in place. It's never going to be perfect."
  • On starting a business: "If you have a business idea, verify your assumptions first."
  • On competition: "Know what your competitors are doing; don't be mesmerized by them."

Listen to the podcast.

Intel South Africa hosts Women Business Owners at Eduweek, Johannesburg

(1 July 2016 - Johannesburg) On 30th June 2016, Intel Corporation in Johannesburg hosted Women Business Owners registered with WEConnect International in South Africa during EduWeek 2016. The event took place at the Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, South Africa; where Intel returned for the third consecutive year as Headline Sponsor of the EduWeek conference.

The event was organised by WEConnect International in South Africa following an invitation from Intel. EduWeek took place during 29-30 June 2016 and convened global education suppliers, private sector, local and international expert speakers, government and non-profit organisations.

The WEConnect International and Intel Corporation Connect Session was comprised of an introduction to and update on membership, events, corporate opportunities and networking. Intel discussed current and future opportunities for women-owned businesses and provided Financial Management Basic Principles Training as well as advice on how Intel procurement works.

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