Each year, the Business Womens Association (BWA) hosts regional awards recognising excellence in the business, corporate, professional and social arena. This year, the award nominees and winners exhibited the value of the entrepreneurial spirit, with the exceptional women winning each of the three categories following their passions.
These awards, which have been running for the past 12 years, celebrate the phenomenal businesswomen who are making a difference to our communities and helping to grow South Africa's economy. The 2014 gala award evening, held on the 25th of July, recognised and applauded these women, acknowledging the contribution they make to society by promoting the spirit of success and entrepreneurship.
Finalists in each category Emerging Entrepreneur, Entrepreneur, and Social Entrepreneur, were narrowed down to two extraordinary individuals, making it extremely difficult to narrow the field and choose an outright winner. All of our finalists were outstanding businesswomen, and the achievements of each woman are exceptional, says Suheima Mohamed, Chairperson of the BWA Gauteng Branch. Choosing a winner in each category was a daunting task.
The Emerging Entrepreneur category award was won by Lindiwe Shibambo, with Tuming Lee Magongoa coming a close second.
Lindiwe Shibambo is a founder and CEO of Maid4U. Maid4u is a professional domestic service recruitment and training agency, offering placement solutions that provide structure to a highly personalised and often informal service, where the workplace is the employers home. Lindiwe is currently finalising the opening of the First Domestic Worker Academy in Pretoria, Tshwane. This centre is aimed at up skilling domestic workers and ensuring that the domestic workers sector is professionalised.
Tuming Lee Magongoa is a seasoned entrepreneur who has been running her own business, Tuming Lee Studios, a childrens book publishing and translation service business since September 2009. April 2013 saw Tuming Lee Studios successfully add an entrepreneurial magazine, KICKSTART to its already impressive portfolio. Tuming Lees vision of taking KICKSTART to the rest of Africa has been realised through a business talk show of the same name, KICKSTART Africa on Planet Radio TV DSTV Channel 335 and on Go TV 73 exclusively televised in North, East and West African countries.
The winner of the Entrepreneur category, was Carol Drepaniotis. She narrowly beat Donna Reid to take the award.
Carol Drepaniotis CEO of John Dore Flooring a franchise group which grew from 7 branches to the current status of Head Office and 10 branches on a national scale Carol Drepaniotis is also a proud mother of three boys, and is a driven individual with no boundaries.
Donna Reid is the founder and a Director of Donna Reid Designs a company which boasts 100% woman ownership. Donna has over 15 years experience in graphic design for governmental, non-governmental and private sector organisations. Donnas resilience was perfectly displayed when she successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and reached the summit at 5895m.
The Social Entrepreneur category was won by Sazini Mojapelo, followed closely by runner-up Mirriam Nuska Zwane.
Sazini Mojapelo CEO of Hand in Hand Southern Africa an organisation which is a part of an international network that focuses on implementing poverty alleviation programmes in poor communities Sazini Mojapelo strongly believes poor people can work their way out of poverty. With this belief, she started Hand in Hand in Southern Africa in partnership with a philanthropist in 2008. Since 2008, she has pioneered the growth of Hand in Hand from only two employees to over 200 employees and into three other countries.
Mirriam Nuska Zwane heads up the Rivers Foundation, an organisation which provides a well-managed avenue for businesses and individuals to donate finances, services and time to programs and projects that alleviate the plight and suffering of the less fortunate.
The Gauteng Branch of the Businesswomen's Association implemented a Special Recognition Award in 2014. Designed to celebrate and recognise women who have been supportive and committed to the upliftment and empowerment of women in the Gauteng region, Edna Freinkel was the first recipient of this award.
The evening was a huge success, and the Gauteng branch was thrilled to be able to recognise the impressive accomplishments of these amazing women. We are looking forward to celebrating even more excellence next year, Suheima Mohamed concludes.
As the voice of women in business, the Businesswomen's Association of South Africa (BWASA) is the largest and most prominent association of business and professional women in the country. It plays a key role in highlighting the current status of women in leadership and acts as a lobby group that advocates on women's business issues in an effort to transform the economy.