Global Alliance Africa host More than a Woman Showcase to celebrate International Women’s Day in Gauteng, South Africa
On 8 March 2023, over 100 people attended the More than a Woman Showcase to highlight their amazing achievements, incredible talent and network with a diverse audience that comprised of like-minded innovators and entrepreneurs as well as enabler and investors in order to share stories and create new collaborations. Global Alliance Africa are delighted to be in partnership with mLab, Women-in-Tech, SEED South Capital and MentHer. The #MoreThanAWoman initiative is a programme that aims to upskill and support the scalability of grassroots women innovators in South Africa.
Global Alliance Africa at Innovate UK KTN recently held a More than a Woman social media campaign to find woman innovators who contribute to their township’s socio-economic growth. The team put out a call for woman innovators offering novel and competitive solutions, services, and/or products in the South African market and the submissions were inspiring. Once the stories were selected, event planning could begin, and The Galleria, Sandton was chosen as the venue for this engaging event.
The Showcase began with a fantastic opening ceremony from the inspirational Ntsiki Mkhize, Founder and Chief Social Entrepreneur, MentHer. Ntsiki energised the room and got everyone up on their feet so that the guests of the event could meet each other and kick start what turned out to be a very fruitful networking day!
Following the welcome to the Showcase, Ntsiki then introduced Catherine Wijnberg, Founder and CEO, Fetola who gave an insight into how she turns new ideas into actions and growth. Then came a choice of three breakaway sessions which delegates could choose from and this included:
- Degrees of Separation for Women Entrepreneurs in Township to access support – with Bushra Razack, CEO, Philippi Village.
- The Role of Accelerators/Incubators in bridging the gap and supporting women differently – with Siphokazi Simandla, Business Advisor, Growth Wheel.
- How do we make impact investing inclusive? – with Sakhile Xulu, Managing Partner, Seed South Capital
Discussions in the breakout sessions involved recommendations on how to support women in townships thereby enabling a thriving innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem, best practice, examples of challenges overcome, learnings, outcomes and impact, and a lot of business card swapping and potential collaborations.
One particular highlight of the day was to sit back and enjoy the four women innovators pitch videos from: Katlego Malatji, specialising in Industry 4.0 solutions for manufacturing and production at ProjectOne Engineering Pty. Ltd; Thuso Motau, “Queen of Soap”, manufacturing of green bar soap from used cooking oil at Tlotlokgolo Business Investments; Lungile Maile, engaging and revolutionary educational games at Nubian Smarts; and Mahlodi Letsie, de-stigmatising mental health in African communities through Bare Mind. The innovators really demonstrated why they were chosen from the many submissions in the More than a Woman campaign. They each had to overcome a significant challenge, not only in business but personally, as well as prove their innovation in an already saturated market in order to stand out and deliver something unique for their potential customer.
And the winners are…
After the Judges’ questions and selection, and a closing speaker’s address, Marisa Naidoo of the Global Alliance Africa project then announced the overall category winner for “Best Pitch and Best Township Innovation Award”, and so Thuso Motau and Lungile Maile were presented with funding of £4000 to support with the next stage of their business.
Presenting the ‘More than a Woman’ Showcase Award Winners
On behalf of the Global Alliance Africa project, we would like to thank each and every person who attended the event, the woman innovators, the fantastic Urban Motion event organisers, The Galleria venue staff, the Panellists, our partners, the wonderful Keynote Speaker Catherine Wijnberg, Ntsiki Mkhize, and everyone else who made this Showcase exactly what it was – inspiring. And with that we will leave you with a note from Catherine:
“Creating an impact at an ecosystem or country level can only be achieved through collaboration. By bringing our best ideas and proven methods for accelerating innovative female-owned businesses together we can catalyse massive positive change.”
Catherine Wijnberg, Founder and CEO, Fetola
About Global Alliance Africa
The Global Alliance Africa project is a six-year project funded by UK Aid through Innovate UK (GCRF) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
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