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.
Let’s get real with founder insights from the entrepreneurial front lines. In case you missed our last captivating livestream, catch the replay below and be inspired by two phenomenal women and their business experiences!
Charlette N’Guessan, co-founder of Bace API, is an Ivorian tech entrepreneur based in Ghana. In 2020, at the age of 26, she became the first woman to win the Royal Academy of Engineering’s £25,000 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Bace API provides a digital verification system that uses Artificial Intelligence and facial recognition to verify identities remotely and in real time; a solution that could revolutionize cyber security and help to curb identity fraud across Africa.
23-year-old Tsepang Khoboko hails from Welkom in the Free State, South Africa. She’s passionate about creating and improving access particularly towards Africa’s development and women realising their dreams. Her business, TAQA (Pty) Ltd, aims to build a digital platform for illustrative children’s audio books in all 11 official South African spoken languages that will help African children develop a skill and love for reading, through stories written in their mother tongue.
,Watch the video above, featuring our WomHub project manager, Batha Mthombeni, interviewing these two dynamic founders. They share challenges they’ve faced, how they’ve overcome them, as well as key tips and encouragement to help fellow female founders on their entrepreneurial journeys. From dealing with rejection to the demands of pitching for funding, promoting yourself and wearing many different business hats.
Stay tuned for our next livestream from 19h00 - 19h30 (GMT + 2) on Tuesday 10 May 2022, when our WomHub co-founder Naadiya Moosajee, will interview Bridget Fury, Interim Head of the South African Future Trust. It will be broadcast simultaneously to our WomHub Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and YouTube channel. Don’t miss this session with these powerhouse women, who’ll be sharing valuable insight about the power of partnership!
Our livestream series has officially launched! In case you missed the first vibrant session, you can click below to watch and catch up on the insights and inspiration that our WomHub COO and Programme Director Anjani Harjeven shared. This includes valuable tips about pitching for funding and what to bear in mind to position yourself and your business for success.
As Anjani explained, there are far reaching benefits to be gained from learning how to package your product or service in an authentic and compelling way that’s tailored to the particular person you plan to approach, while providing clear, concise information and a specific ask that will motivate them to respond favorably to your call to action.
It’s important to apply strategic thinking and research to verify the need that you address, solution you provide, market you are targeting and competitive advantage you have. Of course, there are a number of other key factors to consider, such as your revenue model and growth strategy, which Anjani also discusses in this livestream conversation:
Various WomHub programmes dive deeply into the practicalities of how to achieve all of this, within our wonderfully supportive community of founders and mentors. If you have any questions about how to pitch effectively, then be sure to watch the replay above and visit www.womhub.com to find out more about our programmes and how you can get involved.
The purpose of this livestream series is to share insights, inspiration and resources to support you, our WomHub community, on your personal and professional journey, and to give you the opportunity to connect and interact with us in real time! Keep a lookout for sessions that will be broadcasted simultaneously every other Tuesday from 19h00 – 19h30 (GMT +2) on WomHub’s Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and YouTube channel.
In the meantime, we’d love your help in making these sessions as relevant and valuable for you as possible. So please click here and answer a few quick questions to let us know what topics will be most helpful for us to address in these sessions and what you’d most like to take away from them.
Thank you for being part of igniting the ecosystem with us!
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a lot of devastation to the South African economy, more especially SMME’s and entrepreneurs. It further exposed how poorly managed some of these businesses were. My name is Zuziwe Maphalala and I am an entrepreneur from Katlehong, a township in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Being selected to be part of the WomHub Economic Growth Accelerator was a dream come true. Before being selected by WomHub, I ran my businesses as a hustler. The programme has now taught me how to corporatise. This has led me to grow and scale successfully. I started only as an online store for black businesses to showcase their products and services on a global platform. Although I had many customers, I could never get the business to launch successfully. The biggest challenge was that many of my client’s products or services were not ready for market. They faced many of the challenges I too faced as a township entrepreneur.
During the first in-person session while Anjani Harjeven, COO of WomHub was giving a lesson, I had a light bulb moment. I realised I was the solution to my township and many others. This meant I had to start over. I had to restructure my whole business. This would have been something too overwhelming for me, especially with all the challenges I already had on my plate but all the content we went through in those three (3) days assisted me to redesign my whole business.
When I got back to my business, I used all my newly gained knowledge and in November 2021, I relaunched as Zoezie Business Consulting, a township economic development consultancy. I offer tailored business solutions designed for township-based enterprises to establish a successful Black Township Economy. And just like that I had created a new Black Township Ecosystem that provides a safe and trusted environment for Black Township-based Enterprises to thrive. The Zoezie Business Consultancy signed up strategic partners who offer professional services such as legal, accounting, business services, sales and marketing, digital marketing, project management, training and more. This means our services are now customised to suit and work for the Black Township Business Ecosystem.
We offer a one (1) hour free business diagnosis session, giving our customers a chance to determine if our value proposition suits their business goals. Our two (2) core packages that they can choose from depending on the stage of their business is Business Development and Business Management. These packages are offered as three (3) months, six (6) months as well as one (1) year contracts. We also offer established businesses a management agency contract which allows us to penetrate burdensome barriers faced by Township-Based Enterprises on their behalf. This has now made my website and app business platform a reality that has clients that are ready and suitable to be introduced to the global market.
Our clients currently include SMMEs and entrepreneurs in these industries, including optometrists, construction, spaza shops, restaurants and many more. This new business venture has been a continuous learning journey which has also increased my network and stakeholders. The next phase is working with my stakeholders to bring more opportunities and resources to the township through our workshops and training programs. The future has never looked so bright and promising for Black Townships. This has given many of us the hope that the future township economy will be run by capable entrepreneurs. The knowledge and experience obtained will develop them into smart Townships ready to take on the global economy.
WomHub and Sasol are proud to be partnering to develop South African, women-led engineering businesses in creating a better economy for all.
Research continues to show that more diverse and equitable businesses create a future economy and environment that brings increased productivity, creativity and reputational value. More than individuals, STEM businesses can create a better economy for all. WomHub understands the pivotal role female entrepreneurs play in unlocking the global STEM economy, the impact of job creation and inclusion into broader supply chains to drive economic recovery and growth for our communities, country, and continent. With the frame of reference of actively supporting the development of women entrepreneurs in engineering and technology industries, the Sasol Women in Engineering Incubator Programme has been designed to actively develop and grow South African women-owned small, medium, and micro-enterprise (SMME) businesses and their founders.
The Sasol Women In Engineering Incubator Programme is an opportunity to support the growth of the company, unlock its potential and enable hiring more people within its growth trajectory. The programme has been designed building on WomHub’s 17 years of experience working with the engineering sector and entrepreneurs, especially those with impact businesses to develop skills and foster leadership, entrepreneurship and facilitate mentorship and networking.
The first year-long hybrid (in-person and virtual) offering of the programme will run from March 2022 – March 2023 for fifteen (15) qualifying South African women entrepreneurs running business in Engineering and Tech. The programme includes access to WomHub’s unique innovation and co-working space in Johannesburg, live masterclasses, one-on-one venture clinics and in-person working sessions.
Anjani Harjeven, WomHub COO shares, “We’re delighted to partner with Sasol to further our ambition to develop women entrepreneurs on the continent and further enhance equitable economic development. Through our partnership with Sasol, we will amplify this impact and drive the creation of future fit women-led businesses in Engineering and Tech.”
In sharing the importance of the WomHub – Sasol partnership, Jabulile Ratsibe, Sasol's Head of Enterprise and Supplier Development shares, “Investing in female entrepreneurs, is about building not only a more inclusive economy, but benefiting society. Through our partnership with WomHub, we are excited for the opportunity to effectively contribute to the development of a pool of credible, future-fit, female-owned and led businesses. Enabling the success of women in engineering and technology, truly brings Sasol’s purpose of Innovating for a better world to life.”
The program will be accepting applications from entrepreneurs until 10 March 2022. To learn more about the Sasol Women in Engineering Incubator Programme, click the link below.
Alumni Feature: Rokiatou Traore Creating an Inclusive Value Chain of Moringa Involving Rural Women and Young Farmers in Mali
After discovering Moringa tea in Istanbul and its health and environmental benefits, Rokiatou decided to create an inclusive value chain for the production of Moringa in Mali. Herou Alliance now distributes Moringa products across Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and the Caribbean and North and Latin America regions. Meet the founder behind the innovation, Rokiatou Troare. Rokiatou is one of our Africa Innovation Fellowship 2019 Alumni.
Learn more about and from Rokiatou...
Tell us more about yourself?
My name is Rokiatou Traore. I’m the CEO and Co-Founder of Herou Alliance, established in 2019. I hold a Master in Planning and Management of Organisation degree obtained at Ecole Supérieure d’Economie Rurale in Senegal, an MBA in Management of Organisations at Istanbul University in Turkey and over 4 years of professionnal experience in international sales between Turkey and over 20 African countries. After discovering Moringa tea in Istanbul and its benefits to human health and the environment, I decided to create an inclusive value chain of Moringa involving rural women and young farmers to create economic, social and environmental impacts in Africa. This project led me to be a laureate of many programmes such as Africa Innovation Fellowship (2019), One Planet Fellowship (2019), YALI Dakar Business & Entrepreneurship (2020), West African Climatic Leadership for Women (WAFRICLP-2020), Young Innovation Lab (2020), West Act Women in Africa (2020) and Access Agriculture (2021). We benefited from a sponsorship of the Malian Ministry of Job and professional training to organise Moringa day in November 2020 whereby our women cooperative proceeded to the planting of 300 Moringa trees.
What is your business about ?
Our initiative aims to make a climate-friendly economy a reality in Africa by promoting and commercialising Moringa products via an inclusive value chain involving women and young farmers in Mali. By bringing to the markets a “superfood” full of 92 nutrients and 46 antioxidants and by including women and youth in the value chain, we create economic, social and environmental impacts. The immediate effect of this project is to stop the expansion of the malnutrition killing millions of people and foster good health and well-being in the world. Moringa with its high tenor in iron, calcium, protein, zinc, vitamins A and antioxidants help the immune system to combat irreversible brain damage, chronic, venereal, cardiovascular, tropical and infectious diseases, immune deficiency caused by HIV, anemia, diabetes etc. Moringa offers abundant health benefits to pregnant women and increase their milk production after delivery, insuring quality breast milk for newborn babies.The second effect is to create economic growth and jobs for vulnerable groups in rural areas. The demand created by our moringa processing will be a catalyst for farmers to plant moringa and gain financial benefits. They will be organized into 20 registered farmer cooperatives to constitute the Moringa Actors Association in Mali (MAAM) and becomes effective Moringa suppliers capable to supply Moringa worldwide. The third effect is to stop the rapid advancement of desertification due to climate change. By planting Moringa in 12 000 ha by 2025 we will create a great carbon store, promote rapid shade cover in arid and semi-arid areas and provide poor and dried soils with natural good fertilizer.
What lessons have you learnt about being an entrepreneur?
What is something you know now that you wish you knew when you began your business?
I wish I knew that entrepreneurship can be a lonely road where you can’t always count on loved ones.
Where do you see your business in the next year?
Within one year my business will :
During your time on the Africa Innovation Fellowship (AIF), what experience would you say had the biggest impact on your business?
The Business Model Canvas has the biggest impact on my business. When I was applying to AIF, my business was at the ideation stage. This material helped me to effectively work on my unique value proposition, the supply model and determine my potential customers.
Being part of the Africa Innovation Fellowship (AIF), what opportunities were you exposed to and how has this impacted your business?
As being the first programme I applied to, AIF proved that my business idea is on the right track to create impacts and be profitable. This gave me all the basics to work on my strategies and apply to other programmes such as One planet Fellowship, etc.
Regarding innovation in Africa, since your participation in AIF, are you more in tune with current developments and opportunities?
My project definitely proposes an innovation in line with Africa’s challenges today. Our green innovation deals with malnutrition, poverty of women and youth in rural areas, immigration and climate change all hindering Africa’s development.
In your opinion, what can be done in Africa to foster and promote innovation?
Young Africans should be given more opportunities to implement their innovative ideas. Africa is facing so many challenges that can be solved if young people are given technical and financial support to develop their innovations especially in French speaking African countries. Programmes like AIF should receive more Africans and fund their projects.