Considered the most entrepreneurial continent in the world, Africa is also home to the highest proportion of women entrepreneurs globally, with 58% of the continent’s self-employed population being women, who contribute some 13% of Africa’s total GDP.
According to the 2022 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, South Africa is one of only 12 economies across the globe where women’s entrepreneurial activity rates increased during the previous year, despite the impact of Covid-19. “The growth of this sector and its potential has not gone unnoticed by Access Bank, and we are committed to advancing entrepreneurship – especially ‘Womenpreneurs’ – to continue encouraging what Access Bank South Africa sees as the country’s economic backbone,” says Sugendhree Reddy, CEO of Access Bank South Africa.
It was with this in mind that two large and well-loved local brands – Jacaranda FM and Access Bank South Africa, came together to provide a broad platform to businesswomen in South Africa in the form of a competition called ‘Womenpreneur – Her Perfect Pitch’, offering prizes to the value of approximately R2 million (approximately $107,000) in business assistance during Women’s Month, August 2023.
Deirdre King, Managing Director at Jacaranda FM emphasizes the importance of women supporting and learning from one another. Deirdre encourages businesswomen to uplift and inspire their peers while confidently claiming their rightful space in the entrepreneurial space. “This campaign drives tangible business and marketing assistance, layered with access to mentorship for the finalists. Last year, our finalists shared that the transfer of knowledge and experience from women leaders within Jacaranda FM and Access Bank was the most coveted part of this magnificent prize,” says King.
This high-profile event shows both brands’ commitment to women in the entrepreneurial space in South Africa, with ‘Womenpreneur – Her Perfect Pitch’ offering priceless and life-changing business experience for the winners.
The entrants’ experience will encourage other women to reach for the stars, while enabling Access Bank to tap into a diverse pool of talented and driven female entrepreneurs, potentially identifying promising investment opportunities or forging long-term business relationships.
Crossing the great divide
The bank’s commitment to nurturing the growth of local businesses and contributing to economic development in South Africa is seated in the knowledge that the country is “talent-rich but fiscally needful”, according to Sugendhree.
The World Economic Forum (WEF’s) 2022 Gender Gap Report noted that it would take a shocking 151 years to close global economic gender gaps without a massive and speedy change.
“Solutions must come from the corporate and private sectors who have the wherewithal to advance female employment, and we believe that creating opportunities like ‘Womenpreneur – Her Perfect Pitch’ are important stepping stones to generating enthusiasm among entrepreneurs and providing a platform for finance and business knowledge,” says Reddy.
HOW TO ENTER
- Head on over to JacarandaFM.com to enter electronically from 1 to 31 August 2023.
- Complete the form and upload your documents.
- If you are successful, you will be notified that you are in the Top 30 Womenpreneurs and invited to a breakfast networking event with a special guest speaker.
- The Top 10 successful women will be invited to the judging event that will take place on 19 October in the pitching den.
Winners will be announced at a gala event to be held in November. Jacaranda FM and Access Bank South Africa are looking forward to seeing the pitches of the special and vital part of the South African economy, Womenpreneurs.
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