Since its launch in 2008, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative has provided 10,000 women from across 43 countries with business and management education, mentoring and networking. The initiative is founded on research conducted by Goldman Sachs and others which suggests that investing in women is one of the most effective ways to reduce inequality and facilitate inclusive economic growth.
Left to right: Prof Lulama Makhubela (African Research House), Candice Goodman (Mobitainment), Zanele Veto (Ntinga Professionals) at Goldman-Sachs 10 000 Women Entrepreneurs Programme Cohort 4 Graduation at GIBS (Gordon Institute of Business Science) – 6 March 2014
In South Africa, the programme is managed by the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). As of the end of 2013, GIBS provided 330 female entrepreneurs with business and management training. Moreover, the programme was supported by mentorship, networking events, and community dialogues, the objective of which was to assist each women to grow her business and employ more people.
Candice Goodman, CEO of mobile marketing consultancy, Mobitainment, was awarded first prize in a business plan competition sponsored by the Goldman Sachs-GIBS 10,000 Women Certificate Programme. Candice received her award at a recent graduation ceremony held at GIBS for the programme's latest cohort of 45 female business owners. Mobitainment specialises in reaching the lower income consumer in Africa on entry level phones, thereby building a community to talk to for mass-market brands, resulting in influencing the path to purchase and showing measurable ROI.
Goodman's prize includes a number of elements designed to assist her in the growth of her business, including a half-page editorial in the business pages of City Press, management consulting from Motheo Chartered Accountants, entry to EY's Exceptional Enterprises workshop and 24-hour online and telephonic business support from Bolster.
"When I joined the programme, I was looking for a plan - some guidance on how to move my business to the next level. I certainly found it, both in the lecturers and my inspiring fellow classmates and also in the leaders guiding and administrating the programme," Goodman enthuses.
"The programme has provided me with the skills to face and conquer the inevitable challenges that will come my way. It's about building the confidence, as a business woman, to define my goals and having the tools to break these goals down into actions and initiatives for my team." She adds that the other skills she learnt will also prove invaluable to the growth of her business, including negotiation skills and a holistic approach to self development. "Winning first prize in the business plan competition is recognition and acknowledgement that I am on the right track," she continues.
Gayle Edmunds, Managing Editor at City Press, comments that for the last year City Press has been featuring the many and varied entrepreneurial women of South Africa. "It has been a revelation to see how South Africa's sisters are doing it for themselves - some against incredible odds - to be part of our country's economic engine. Our readers love it and the best part is we could keep going for ever as there is an ever increasing number of impressive businesswomen out there," she adds.
City Press journalist, Sue Grant Marshall, had this to say about the awards: "I have been stunned by the energy and dynamism of the entrepreneurs I've interviewed over the past year. They range from office furniture and toilet tissue manufacturers to healthcare practitioners, electrical suppliers and a blasting products transport company owner. They're gutsy, determined and are so switched on they could run the country."
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