WomHub and Partners are Igniting the Ecosystem by accelerating growth through intensive entrepreneurial support, leadership development and access to funding for women entrepreneurs in science, technology, engineering and manufacturing (STEM) businesses. In partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering, WomEng (a non-profit subsidiary of WomHub) has powered the Africa Innovation Fellowship (AIF) programme, with more than 100 female founders in STEM businesses having participated between 2019 and 2022.
AIF is a premier pan-African programme for female innovators who are developing early stage engineering start-ups. Alice Radley, Programme Manager for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation at the Royal Academy of Engineering shares that the AIF programme “has been an incredibly successful and popular programme,” and that, “One of the goals of the Africa Innovation Fellowship is to encourage and support female entrepreneurs to apply to the Africa Prize programme. Many of the women who’ve been recently shortlisted for the award are AIF alumnae, which really speaks to the quality of innovators who have come through the programme.”
Since the inception of the programme in 2019, a number of founders from the AIF programme have featured as finalists in the annual Africa Prize, which aims to stimulate, celebrate and reward innovation and engineering entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2020, AIF alumna Charlette N’Guessan, CEO and co-founder of Ghana-based software company BACE Group, was the first woman to win the award, with Aisha Raheem being a finalist. In 2021, AIF alumnae, Elohor Thomas (AIF 2019), Armelle Sidje (AIF 2020) and Faith Adesemowo (AIF 2020) were all finalists for the Africa Prize.
The much anticipated finals took place in June this year and all members of the shortlist had the opportunity to pitch, including AIF alumna Juveline Ngum from Cameroon. She is the co-founder of Bleaglee, which is a smart cooking system made entirely of recycled materials. It includes a smokeless cook stove made of metal scraps, a clean cooking fuel made in solar-powered bio-digesters from plastic and agricultural waste, and a digital platform that allows cooks to track and offset their carbon footprint. Formerly working in metals and materials engineering, Juveline shifted her focus to sustainability and studying climate change, recycling and renewables in the process of starting the company.
As well as selling the system, Bleaglee empowers women by teaching them to source scrap metal and make the stoves, which are 80% less expensive than using firewood, and cook food 5 times faster than traditional ovens used in Cameroon. With the global economy under strain and countries that have high unemployment rates, such as those across the African continent, suffering further set backs on unemployment and growth projections, we look to entrepreneurs like these to create jobs and opportunities to promote economic growth, and we celebrate that sectors like the circular economy are generating ways to create more jobs, as well as environmental sustainability.
WomHub shares the Royal Academy of Engineering’s commitment to building a sustainable society for all and an inclusive economy that works for everyone, which is reflected in the equal gender split for the Africa Prize for the first time this year. To learn more about the founders and programmes powered by WomHub and its valued partners, visit www.womhub.com, and contact the team if you’d like to participate in igniting and building the ecosystem to support economic growth and prosperity by investing in women entrepreneurs in STEM businesses across Africa and around the world.
About the Royal Academy of Engineering
The Royal Academy of Engineering is a charity that harnesses the power of engineering to build a sustainable society for all and an inclusive economy that works for everyone. In collaboration with their fellows and partners, they are growing talent and developing skills for the future, driving innovation and building global partnerships, influencing policy and engaging the public. Together, they are working to tackle the greatest challenges of our age.
WomHub is a boutique Pan-African ecosystem builder with a focus on the entire women in STEM value chain from attraction to ownership. In unlocking the potential across the STEM value chain, they have created verticals to support women by focusing on unblocking bottlenecks. Their strategy is to ensure a comprehensive, holistic approach and create systemic change. WomHub is the only ecosystem builder in the world providing end to end support that focusses on:
To find out more, go to www.womhub.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you know what’s happening on the front lines of developing talent and sustainability for women and girls globally in STEM fields? Watch the recording below of our latest livestream where WomHub Project Manager Atupele Phiri interviews Shahila Perumalpillai, Head of Equity and Inclusion at De Beers Group, to discover special insight and an exciting opportunity!
Shahila’s background spans social anthropology and development, social impact management, community development, skills development, livelihood development, and the inclusion and diversity space. She shares that De Beers Group wants to deliver equal opportunity for everyone and as part of that achieve gender parity across their workforce and in leadership. For that to happen requires investing in pipeline and in talent, not just for the organization, but more widely to support economic development and the green transition in a way that benefits many.
Through our non-profit subsidiary WomEng, WomHub is honoured to have partnered with De Beers Group for the past 3 years, and to have recently extended this partnership for a further 3 years. We’re excited that this extension will see our programmes expanded beyond Southern Africa to reach students in Canada and the UK, as well as beyond university courses to include vocational and skilled trades. In the meantime, as Atupele and Shahila share, we’re delighted to have opened applications to our WomEng Southern Africa Fellowship 2022 programme.
Powered by De Beers Group, this develops leadership, innovation, well-being and employability skills required by young graduates to succeed in the engineering industry and beyond. Take a look below to learn all about the programme and visit www.womeng.org to find out more and apply:
Shahila also shares the forward thinking, wholistic approach of De Beers Group’s “Building Forever” framework, which includes four pillars, namely leading equitable practices across the industry, partnering for thriving communities, protecting the natural world, and accelerating equal opportunity. She highlights the incredible experimentation and learning that has been achieved through the Southern Africa Fellowship programme, pivoting from in person to virtual content, in a way that retains such a high level of engagement, while emphasizing how important wellness and connections are to people, and having the community aspect of the Fellowship.
Community is a big part of growth for us all, and a strong focus for us at WomHub, which is what inspired our livestream series. Please join us for our next session from 19h00 - 19h30 (GMT + 2) on Tuesday 2 August 2022, when we’ll be talking about “Owning Your Voice”, on our WomHub Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, and YouTube channel. We’d love for you to engage with us!
HB Antwerp, in partnership with WomHub, will host a fast-paced, sustainability-focused 1-day hackathon on August 6. This innovative event will provide 50 Botswana college students with an opportunity to hone their problem solving and innovation skills and gain exposure to HB Antwerp, which is positioning itself as a leading employer of young talent in Botswana.
Participants will be selected from a variety of fields including communications, finance, human resources, legal, and sustainability. They will be guided through the process by subject matter experts and asked to design an innovative solution to a business challenge related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“We want to provide a platform for Botswana students to share their vision and ideas for shaping Botswana’s sustainable future. Together with WomHub, our mission is to create real experiences, communities, and learning environments for local talent in Botswana. We enable meaningful participation in economic decision-making at all levels of our business so that opportunity and prosperity are shared,” says Margaux Donckier, Director of Public Affairs, HB Antwerp.
Anjani Harjeven, COO at WomHub shares that “We’re at a time where increasingly complex community and business challenges require innovative and creative thinking from those who understand the environment and who are invested in a sustainable and prosperous future. In partnership with HB Antwerp, we are developing young Motswana leaders of the future and bringing their incredible talents to the forefront so that they can play an active role in solving the problems facing their communities. This hackathon model has proven particularly successful in harnessing energy and creativity for sustainable outcomes.”
Following the hackathon, there will be an opportunity for 30 successful participants to win placement in the highly-anticipated second class of the HB Innovation Lab, set to begin in September. Launched in 2021, the HB Innovation Lab is a comprehensive training program intended to cultivate sector-specific skills and offer meaningful, in-country training and job opportunities for young people in Botswana.
The next iteration of this intensive program will take place virtually over five months and will include
In line with HB Antwerp’s fundamental commitment to invest in and strengthen the communities where they operate, the program aims to support the Botswana economy, foster long-term talent development, and create economic fairness and brand exposure for young and emerging graduates, while furthering sustainability and diversity and inclusion in the diamond industry.
HACKATHON PRACTICAL DETAILS
The hackathon takes place on August 6 at Avani Gaborone Resort & Casino. The press is welcome to join this event.
Attendance can be confirmed via email@example.com
About HB Antwerp
HB Antwerp turns the diamond supply chain upside down starting with the customer. Using technology, HB Antwerp brings simplicity and transparency to a typically complex supply chain. Everything happens in a closed loop, backed with the latest technologies, and tracked with blockchain making it 100% transparent from diamond mine to market. By aligning the different partners along the value chain from rough to polished and sharing complete data and information throughout the process from mine to consumer, for the first time, local governments get paid royalties on the actual polished prices of their diamonds instead of on the estimated rough value.
WomHub is a boutique Pan-African ecosystem builder with a focus on the entire women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Manufacturing) value chain from attraction to ownership. The strategy is to ensure a comprehensive, holistic approach and create systemic change. WomHub is the only ecosystem builder in the world providing end to end support that focuses on:
To find out more, go to www.womhub.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you inspired to make a difference in the world, and to learn about founders who are doing this too? Watch the replay below of our latest livestream session to discover how Zoezie Maphalala and Chantelle Goliath are positively impacting communities! Both of these dynamic ladies are members of our WomHub family and discussed their journeys thus far to start and grow their companies.
Zoezie Maphalala is the founder of Zoezie Business Consulting, which offers tailored business solutions designed for SMMEs and entrepreneurs in townships, contributing to running a successful township economy. She is a participant in WomHub’s Economic Growth Accelerator programme, and expresses the importance of finding your tribe or group of people to support you during your journey. Finding her tribe has made navigating throughout the business world so much easier and rewarding.
Chantelle is the Co-founder of Milli Distributions, the sole importers of the first-of-its-kind sanitary pad called the Glory Pad that’s sold in major retailers across South Africa, in the eco-space as well as the online space. Chantelle is a part of WomHub’s Circular Economy Incubator, and she believes that women should be able to menstruate with dignity. She shares that growing up she was uneducated when it came to sexual reproductive health and because of that experience she wanted to make sure that her 3 daughters, as well as other women, would have all the knowledge that they needed.
Watch the replay of this livestream below to learn from these inspiring founders:
This session features WomHub COO, Anjani Harjeven, interviewing Zoezie and Chantelle, who offer meaningful and real insight about the challenges they’ve faced, the greater ‘Why’ behind their businesses, and how fulfilling it is to be impacting their communities. They also share highlights from their involvement in WomHub programmes and some of their takeaways from the experience.
Join us for our next livestream from 19h00 - 19h30 (GMT +2) on Tuesday 02 August 2022, on crafting a powerful brand story and tapping into the essence of your unique voice. It will be broadcasted simultaneously to our WomHub Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, and YouTube channel. As always, your comments and questions are welcomed.
We grow when we come together! At WomHub, we love to witness the power of collaboration and partnership in our founder community, as our COO Anjani Harjeven discussed in our latest livestream with Thandeka Jali, founder of Lactease. Thandeka has been a participant in our WomHub Economic Growth Accelerator programme for the past year, and her company produces a breastfeeding tonic that helps to promote milk production in breastfeeding mothers.
We listened as Thandeka told the amazing story of how a problem she faced turned into a business that helps and supports women who face the same, not-uncommon dilemma. She shared how thinking critically about her business and being able to take constructive criticism has helped her business, as well as how helpful it is to have a tribe of women to support her on her entrepreneurial journey.
As a new mother, Thandeka experienced the woes of breastfeeding for the first time because she had trouble producing milk. She said, “I honestly thought that breastfeeding is natural . . . I didn’t think it would be such a challenge”. When she explored this further, Thandeka was surprised to discover that about 30% of women globally have this problem, which may be surprising to other women as well.
Out of Thandeka’s struggle came her business Lactease, the name being a play on the words lactate and ease. Along with producing the tonic, Lactease also provides advice to assist women on breastfeeding. This is often an afterthought due to the idea that breastfeeding is easy since it’s a natural thing that women have always done. Watch the replay of this livestream below to learn about Thandeka’s journey:
Thandeka explains how WomHub and the Economic Growth Accelerator programme have helped take her business to the next level and encourages other women wanting to pursue entrepreneurship to apply and become part of the WomHub family, because progress happens at its own pace but being proactive can help to move the process along. She adds that challenges will arise but pushing on is key and encourages fellow founders to “Always remember that the problem remains the problem until there's a solution.”
Congrats to Thandeka for the progress she’s making in her business and for how significantly she’s helping other mothers. At WomHub, we believe that when women come together, that’s when the magic happens. Join us for our next livestream from 19h00 - 19h30 (GMT + 2) on Tuesday 5 July 2022, when we’ll be talking about Community Impact. It will be broadcast simultaneously to our WomHub Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, and YouTube channel. Please feel free to participate!
Our recent WomHub Founder Showcase was a unique opportunity to showcase top female founders from our boutique incubator programmes on the Circular Economy, powered by the Finnish Embassy, and the Economic Growth Accelerator, powered by the South African Future Trust. The event was a culmination of 10 months of hybrid support, access to engineering experts, mentors and funding, and it ended with a pitch off for these female founders to showcase their businesses and the added skills they have learnt on the programmes.
Rheineth Modiselle, founder of Bokamoso Recycling, won the pitch off and walked away with R25 000 in unrestricted funding for her business. We interviewed Rheineth to share more about her work, and what has inspired and contributed to her success. Here’s what she had to say, to help inspire other business founders on their entrepreneurial journeys:
Q: Congratulations Rheineth! How did you prepare and present your pitch so successfully?
‘It is important to have your notes and prepare mentally. When you are pitching, there are a lot of emotions going through you and if you’re not mentally prepared those emotions will automatically express themselves and be visible to your audience. It’s also important to ask the organization hosting the pitch off for guidelines. Prior to the pitch, WomHub sent us guidelines on what our pitches would be scored on. I followed that guideline and included all the score points.’
Q: Please can you share a bit about what inspired you to start your business?
‘I had just quit my job; I was unemployed and actively looking for opportunities. I came across a man crushing glass bottles and asked him what he was doing. We had a long conversation wherein he explained the difficulties he was facing. I had a solution for him and the glass recycler’s problems and that is how Bokamoso Recycling was born. The opportunity found me because I was also searching and ready for it.’
Q: Your mission to “repurpose glass to develop communities” is inspiring. What is your role in, and contribution to, the circular economy?
‘We purchase crushed glass from our recyclers and sell it to our partner buy back centres (although soon we will be selling our glass directly to CONSOL, which is the largest manufacturer of glass in Southern Africa). In doing this we divert glass from ending up in the landfill. Glass repurposed provides sustainable incomes in the community and is good for the environment. To date we have diverted over 6000 tons of glass from being landfilled.’
Q: The entrepreneurial journey can be challenging, as well as fulfilling. What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced, and how have you overcome these?
‘The impact of Covid 19 was the biggest challenge mentally, financially and emotionally. Having to let go of staff and closing our doors for some months was hard. Learning to be resilient and agile were tools that allowed me to go back to the drawing board, re-evaluate my business strategy and find partners who would help me achieve this strategy.’
Q: In addition to winning the pitch off, how have you most benefitted from participating in WomHub’s Circular Economy Incubator programme?
‘Having a community of likeminded businesswomen was helpful as we learnt, inspired and leaned on each other. We had master classes which helped by equipping us with essential business tools, and mentors who were there to advise and guide us.’
Q: What is your vision for growing your business and how can people support you in achieving this?
‘I would love an 8ton crane truck (laughs). We are waiting for our vendor application with Consol to be approved, then we’ll be renting an 8ton crane truck for a few months until the bank can assist us with asset finance. This will allow us to reach and service even more glass recyclers, in addition to the over 200 glass recyclers we service. If there is an investment fund that we appeal to, please reach out, or anyone who knows anyone with an 8ton crane truck they are not making use of. Please reach out to me at email@example.com.’
Q: Do you have any final thoughts to share to help encourage other business founders?
‘There are plenty of local and international organizations which are actively looking to help people start and grow businesses, in almost every sector, especially for young women. I encourage you to keep looking out for opportunities and don’t be afraid of knocking on those doors.’
Thank you to Rheineth for sharing this insight and inspiration, and all the best to her and Bokamoso Recycling! Contact us today if you’d like to find out more about our WomHub programmes, and how they can potentially help you on your entrepreneurial journey.
Be the change that you want to see!
In the latest installment of our livestream series, we chatted with two entrepreneurs who are part of the WomHub Economic Growth Accelerator programme and gained an insight into how they came to be where they are today in their respective fields, including contributing to the economy and a number of lives, through job creation.
Sindisiwe Chuma is the founder of eTechnologist, a start-up that offers expert problem identification, analysis, design, quality assurance, engineering solutions and the implementation and maintenance of data center systems solutions. She recently shared that participating in WomHub’s programme has impacted her business growth with the employment of their first permanent hire. Vulnerability is a difficult hurdle to overcome in entrepreneurship but being willing to ask for help when needed has helped Sindisiwe immensely in building and taking her business to greater heights.
Rizik Link, a shipping and maintenance company that does specialized engineering, was founded in 1997 by Shanaaz Effendi’s parents. Shanaaz is the finance manager and has a background in sales which has helped her build and expand her family business. Passionate about providing employment, they have 15 permanent staff and have hired many contractors, including 120 people on their last project. Being flexible to reinvention and change with the times has been vital to the success of Rizik Link and being willing to self-reflect and improve is key to the longevity that Shanaaz has seen within the business.
Watch the replay of this livestream below to learn from these inspiring ladies:
This session features WomHub Project Manager, Batha Mthombeni, interviewing these two amazing entrepreneurs. Both women share that their businesses came to be due to gaps that were noticeable within their respective industries. They share some of the steps taken to grow their businesses as well as what it takes to gain, retain and develop employees, especially during the current unemployment crisis in South Africa. "Entrepreneurship is a difficult journey full of challenges but very rewarding in the end."
Join us for our next livestream from 19h00 - 19h30 (GMT + 2) on Tuesday 21 June 2022, when we explore the power of collaboration and ‘going further together’. It will be broadcasted simultaneously to our WomHub Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, and YouTube channel.
Feel free to participate and ask questions!
Keen to discover enlightening behind-the-scenes perspectives from our recent pitch off at the WomHub Founder Showcase? This livestream recording is for you! Watch the video below where our project manager Bathandile Mthombeni interviewed pitch off winner Rheineth Modiselle and People’s Choice Award Winner Yolanda Mbanguzi. These amazing ladies vulnerably shared sincere advice for their fellow founders, encouraging them not to fear failure and to have the resilience to fail forward, while being open to welcoming collaboration and support from others, starting with our wonderful WomHub community.
The WomHub Founder Showcase, held on 12 May 2022 at our Hub in Rivonia, Johannesburg, profiled founders who have been working on transforming their businesses over the last 10 months through our Economic Growth Accelerator, funded by the South African Future Trust, and our Circular Economy Incubator, funded by the Embassy of Finland in South Africa. Leading up to this event, 50 of these founders had the opportunity to submit pitch videos, which were pre-judged to select the top 25 entrants, who participated in a virtual Refiner’s Fire pitch off event. The top 10 founders from there, plus a Wild Card entry and the People’s Choice Award Winner then pitched live at the WomHub Founder Showcase.
Take a look to discover what Rheineth and Yolanda had to say about their experiences:
You're welcome to read our previous blog post to find out more about this inaugural event, which was attended by a phenomenal group of people, including WomHub co-founders, partners, judges, female founders, investors, international dignitaries and members from the private sector to support women entrepreneurs with access and entry into global and local supply chains. At WomHub, we believe in the power of bringing women together to help them seed, incubate and scale their businesses, working together to unlock a global billion-dollar market opportunity. Because when women come together, magic happens.
You’ll get a taste of this when you watch the replay above and witness the fabulous interaction in the comments from Rheineth and Yolanda’s fellow female founders and online followers, who participated in real time as the livestream was broadcast simultaneously to our WomHub Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and YouTube channel.
Feel free to join us every other Tuesday from 19h00 – 19h30 (GMT +2) for more livestream magic!
The WomHub Founder Showcase is an opportunity to profile women entrepreneurs from WomHub’s Economic Growth Accelerator, funded by the South African Future Trust, and WomHub’s Circular Economy Incubator, funded by the Embassy of Finland in South Africa, who are running STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Manufacturing) businesses in South Africa
As the global economy slows down, and countries like South Africa with high unemployment rates are seeing further set backs on employment and growth projections, we look to entrepreneurs to bring back jobs and opportunities to support economic growth. Sectors like the circular economy especially have showcased unique ways in which we are not only able to create more jobs, but environmental sustainability as well. This is why WomHub and its Partners the South African Future Trust (“SA Future Trust”) and the Finnish Embassy in South Africa are Igniting the Ecosystem by accelerating growth through leadership development and intensive entrepreneurial support for women entrepreneurs in STEM businesses.
The inaugural WomHub Founder Showcase was hosted on Thursday 12 May 2022 at WomHub’s fit-for-purpose Hub in Rivonia, Johannesburg. This is the first female founder space in Africa, providing business support, eventing and co-working space for female led innovators in STEM fields, which WomHub defines as science, technology, engineering and manufacturing. The event, a culmination of 10 months of business development support, access to funding and leadership development for the entrepreneurs, ended in a pitch off for additional prize money for the founders.
The WomHub Founder Showcase pitch off brought together an esteemed panel of judges, including Abu Cassim, Founder and CEO of Jozi Angels, Maya Burney, Associate Partner at Caleo Capital, and Syson Kunda, Founder and Managing Director of technology companies PingLady and PingAcademy. In attendance at the showcase were women entrepreneurs, a number of investors including Five35 Ventures, a pan-African Venture Capital Fund for women in tech businesses, as well as a number of international dignitaries and members from the private sector to support women entrepreneurs with access and entry into global and local supply chains.
The event was opened by WomHub co-founders Naadiya Moosajee and Hema Vallabh, as well as the Ambassador of Finland to South Africa Anne Lammila, and Bridget Fury, Head, Oppenheimer Generations Philanthropies and Interim Head, SA Future Trust.
WomHub’s Incubators and accelerators offer female founders holistic support in the form of masterclasses and on-going venture skills, aiming to accelerate the growth of the founders’ companies, unlock their potential and empower them to develop and create job opportunities. “We are ecosystem builders and understand that there are systemic pipeline challenges to get more women and girls into engineering and tech,” said Naadiya Moosajee, Co-Founder of WomHub. “So we work with thousands of girls from the age of 12 years old, all the way to seasoned entrepreneurs who are growing businesses and growing economies.”
Addressing the founders at the event, Hema Vallabh, Co-founder of WomHub, said “This is a safe space where you get to test, experiment and get feedback. We’re here to help each other, to see these businesses through various different lenses, and that for me is where the magic happens.”
“There are extraordinary organisations like WomHub who understand particular sectors and segments of the market, and who are providing really valuable financial and non-financial support to small businesses.” said Bridget Fury, Interim Head, SA Future Trust. “We’re about partnership, backing ideas, backing people and pushing our trusted partners like WomHub to take on risk and to try new things.”
“I feel at home here today because when I studied, a long time ago, in the Finnish Foreign Ministry, we had two female ambassadors, and now half of the ambassadors are women,” said Anne Lammila, Ambassador of Finland to South Africa. ”It’s so lovely to be here in South Africa and see this change happen. I believe that events like this help bring forward innovative new business models and circular economy solutions, where you engage women and create wellbeing not only for that woman but for her community and family.”
Tension ran high and inspiration abounded as the founders pitched their businesses for possible investment and access to market opportunities, while showcasing their tenacity in building incredible technology and engineering companies in South Africa. All 50 founders from WomHub’s Economic Growth Accelerator and Circular Economy Incubator were given the opportunity to engage with WomHub’s Partners, investors and network, with a number of financial commitments made in the room. The exciting, closely contested pitch off was won by Rheineth Modiselle, founder of Bokamoso Recycling. Yolanda Mbanguzi, founder of Zoe’ Projects and Consulting, walked away with the People’s Choice Award, thanks to vibrant online engagement on her pitch video. You can find the founders’ pitches at the WomHub Founder Showcase Playlist on WomHub’s YouTube channel, and learn more about the founders and programmes at www.womhub.com.
WomHub will run another Founder Showcase in October as it aims to ignite and build the entire ecosystem and support economic growth and prosperity by investing in women entrepreneurs in STEM businesses across South Africa and around the world.
About the South African Future Trust
The South African Future Trust was established in March 2020, with a R1 billion donation from Oppenheimer Generations Foundation, to support SMMEs through the Covid-19 crisis. The SA Future Trust partnered with six major banks – Absa, FNB, Investec, Mercantile Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank – to extend interest-free loans to qualifying small businesses and disburse the funds directly to their employees. In total, the SA Future Trust extended loans worth R1.04 billion to 9656 SMMEs. This in turn facilitated direct financial support to over 90 000 employees. The SA Future Trust continues to focus on accelerating growth and job creation in the SMME sector in South Africa.
About the Embassy of Finland
Development policy is an integral part of Finland’s foreign and security policy. It aims to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality and achieve sustainable development. Through this, Finland strengthens the position of developing countries on a long-term basis, helps in resolving global problems and takes an active part in international cooperation. Development cooperation is one means to implement the policy and provides millions of people with a chance for a better life, with priority on rights and status of women and girls.
WomHub is a boutique Pan-African ecosystem builder with a focus on the entire women in STEM value chain from attraction to ownership. In unlocking the potential across the STEM value chain, we have created verticals to support women by focusing on unblocking bottlenecks. Our strategy is to ensure a comprehensive, holistic approach and create systemic change. We are the only ecosystem builders in the world providing end to end support that focusses on:
Be informed and inspired by two powerhouse women in our latest livestream session! WomHub Co-Founder Naadiya Moosajee interviews Bridget Fury, Head of Oppenheimer Generations Philanthropies and Interim Head of the South African Future Trust. They share profound insight about the power of partnership and how our organisations are collectively contributing to empowering entrepreneurs in particular.
Oppenheimer Generations Philanthropies is a diverse community of commercial ventures and not-for-profit organisations that represent the global interests of the Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer family. In March 2020, the Oppenheimer Generations Foundation donated R1 billion Rand to establish the SA Future Trust to support small businesses through the Covid-19 crisis by working with various partners in South Africa, including a number of leading banks and selected incubators for entrepreneurs.
We at WomHub are honoured and grateful for the partnership we share with the SA Future Trust, and for their funding of our Economic Growth Accelerator programme. As Bridget and Naadiya discuss, it’s deeply inspiring to see the positive impact that this programme and others like it have been making for many of our amazing female founders, their businesses, communities and the broader economy as a whole. In case you missed it, take a look below to catch up on this important conversation.
The South African Future Trust and WomHub share a belief in the power of the spirit of entrepreneurs and their ability to make a difference, and that by investing in small business, we are investing in people and the growth of this country and continent. We understand the challenges entrepreneurs face and the resilience required to establish and grow their businesses. Hence our commitment to supporting and empowering them, with special focus on underfunded sectors, including female founders.
The power of partnership is fundamental to the success of this work and the impact it makes. Bridget refers to the ruthless pragmatism that underpins the achievement of real results and emphasises the importance of brutal honesty in true partnership. She also offers special insight into key factors to consider when applying for funding. Watch this session and be inspired to develop powerful partnerships of your own. Then stay tuned for more value every other Tuesday at 19h00 (GMT+ 2) in our livestream series! Simply hop on and join us on our WomHub Facebook page, LinkedIn profile or YouTube channel.