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The Connect Session held on 14 August 2017 hosted by EY in its new Waterfront premises targeted women business owners (WBOs) in Cape Town. The event highlighted opportunities and benefits of registration and certification with WEConnect International in South Africa. The team was accompanied by the Chairperson of the Advisory Council, Jacoba Schutte, EY Products and Services Procurement Lead Africa; Miranda Anthony, Public & Government Affairs Manager, ExxonMobil; and Zandile Njamela, Supplier Inclusion and Diversity Program Lead, Accenture SA.

Also in attendance at the event were Absa’s Bernie Berkowitz, Provincial Manager Western Cape: Enterprise Development; and Jessemy Francis, Group Procurement Officer, Marriott International. The US Embassy was represented by Debbie Matthee and Elizabeth Snowson.

Thirty-seven women business owners attended the event; this included two certified women business owners based in Johannesburg and four Cape Town-based women's business enterprises (WBEs) who came to support and participate.  

The agenda for the half-day session included an introduction and update on WEConnect International, and a Perfecting your Pitch presentation, followed by attendees working in small groups on their business pitches. Following the corporate introductions, each attendee gave a one-minute business pitch. This aided the networking and talks of collaboration. 

Jacoba said, “It was great to see our Cape Town WBEs and so many enthusiastic new women business owners here today. It’s our hope that these new women business owners whom we met today, will self-register and apply for certification, so their information is available to all our 13 corporate members in South Africa. 

“EY is hosting WEConnect International in South Africa events in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban this week. We want to make sure the programme attracts more women across the country.” 

The WBOs and WBEs were excited to meet and very keen on talking to one another to build a network within the ecosystem of entrepreneurs.