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Durban’s women business owners were introduced to WEConnect International in South Africa for the first time on 16 August 2017. EY Durban hosted a connect session for local women business owners in the EY offices in Umhlanga, Kwa-Zulu Natal. The event was part of a roadshow which included Cape Town on the 14th August and a match-making session for certified women business owners in Johannesburg on the 15th August.

Both events were hosted by EY South Africa in collaboration with WEConnect International in South Africa to renew connections with women business owners and introduce them to the exciting world of doing business with corporates. The WEConnect International in South Africa team was joined by the Chairperson of the Advisory Council, Jacoba Schutte, EY Products and Services Procurement Lead, Africa; Anusha Govender, Operations Manager Coastal, representing Sodexo Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd, also a global member of WEConnect International; and  Chantal Boulle from the US Consulate in Durban.

Jacoba said, “We enjoyed the session with the women business owners who joined us in Durban whom we were thrilled to meet. We were able to have lengthy discussions on their businesses challenges and possible solutions.  We hope to see our Durban self-registration numbers climbing even higher after this introduction. The next step will be to confirm the date of our second connect session with these networked women in Durban to ensure we attract a much wider representation here in Durban.

“Durban is the third largest city in South Africa and we all know the dynamic entrepreneurial growth happening here. We want to be able to identify and work with the women business owners.”

The women business owners had an opportunity to discuss new market opportunities in the country, especially those involving energy, oil and gas, agriculture and tourism. Jacoba and Jean Chawapiwa, WEConnect International in South Africa country director, gave the women insights directly from their experiences of engaging corporate members.