4 Organizations That Help Women Entrepreneurs In South Africa
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants –Isaac Newton
One of the key reasons entrepreneurship is encouraged in South Africa is due to the fact that the government wants to alleviate poverty and decrease the rate of unemployment. This vision can be achieved by supporting SME start-ups.
In encouraging entrepreneurship among ladies, there are organizations which make it a requirement that women must be members of start-ups, if they are to be funded and supported. This information is vital for ladies out there who aim to be entrepreneurs and have a vision of making positive changes in Mzansi.
Below are organizations wannabe women entrepreneurs could approach to help them get started in their entrepreneurial journey:
1. South African Women in Construction (SAWiC)
SAWiC was founded in 1997. The aim is to assist women in construction to gain contracts, finance and training and also to help women entrepreneurs to network in the construction industry.
This organization assists women to negotiate their way in the male-dominated construction industry. SAWiC provides motivation for women who want to take part in the construction industry. As Dr Martin Luther King said, “Take the first step in faith, you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
It is highly recommended that if you, as a woman, have a passion for construction, that you join SAWiC as a member to help you open the doors of opportunity. SAWiC can be reached at www.sawic.org
2. South African Women Entrepreneurs Network (SAWEN)
SAWEN is a non-profit organization which has the powerful vision of representing and articulating all the aspirations and dreams of all women entrepreneurs in South Africa, existing and potential.
As a member, SAWEN, offers women entrepreneurs the chance to gain valuable networking exposure and teaches you how to market your business. Services offered are Networking platforms, training, access to business information and lobbying government policy. Annual membership costs only R300.
There is a lot of power in networking and working with like-minded dreamers, and SAWEN is a great avenue for women entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams. Check www.sawen.org.za for more.
3. African Women Chartered Accountants (AWCA)
For women entrepreneurs who are chartered accountants and have dreams of staring their own accounting or consulting firms, the African Women Chartered Accountants is highly recommended.
The organization was founded in 2002 – which means they have 10 years of solid experience. The purpose for formation is to empower African chartered accountants. AWCA also does empowering projects such as career workshops through school visits to empower and inspire learners who are still in schools .
It is a great bridge for entrepreneurs who are accountants. For more details check their site at www.awca.co.za.
4. Business Women’s Association (BWA)
BWA is a non-profit organization which assists and trains women members in business matters. As a woman entrepreneur, you will get exposure to women who are leaders in various business fields.
There are also mentors who will assist you to achieve your dreams. As a member you have to pay an annual fee of only R500 in order to qualify for their great suite of services. BWA was formed in 2000.
It is a great organization for an entrepreneur who is still taking baby steps in business. Browse their website for more information at www.bwasa.co.za.
There are a few other organizations that support women in entrepreneurship, but the above are all well recommended. I believe even if an organization is not for women, but being a women entrepreneur can be an advantage, due to the history of South African women being financially and culturally oppressed.
In life you don’t wake up a success, like the Olympians in London, it takes years of hard work to get the Gold. In business, ladies, your success can start by approaching the above organizations and other successful entrepreneurs to help you make your dream not merely a dream, but a reality. The doors for you to succeed, roses of the nation, are there, but for them to be opened you have to knock!
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