In a first for female empowerment and for South African business, the Duke Group has launched Duchess - a 100% Black female-owned, Level 1 BBBEE-compliant, full-service production facilitator...
Back (L to R): Suhana Gordhan, Tracy Jones and Meagan Fester; Front (L to R): Aileen Sauerman and Nino Naidoo
Spearheaded by industry stalwart, Nino Naidoo, Duchess will comprise a network of highly skilled and experienced, majority Black female companies and individuals. It is committed to connecting industry needs and ideas with a network of production specialists, giving first option to female experts.
In addition to Naidoo, Duchess enjoys the leadership of Suhana Gordhan, Aileen Sauerman, Tracy Jones and Meagan Fester. The business will also be guided by a non-executive, independent Brains Trust of other powerhouse women, who are passionate about empowering other women and will provide a mentorship and advisory role to the Duchess members.
Our intention with Duchess is to legitimately empower women in our industry with no fronting or ‘special structures’ – just a production business owned by women, managed by women and employing women. This is the first phase of a process of finding and growing female talent that can provide the industry with excellent service, while giving women the opportunities they deserve.
In addition to its BEE and female-empowerment credentials, a percentage of all Duchess profits will be invested in a unique Trust for the development of women, or individuals who identify as women, within the advertising and communications industry.
Explains Duke Group CEO Wayne Naidoo, “An entity like Duchess is long overdue in South African business - a powerful, female-owned-and-managed business that exists to meet the production, media, social, economic and cultural landscape. We are extremely proud to have such a groundbreaking entity within the Duke Group.”
Nino Naidoo concludes, “We’re not here to take away from other Black female-owned businesses or creatives, but rather to channel business in their direction, to prioritise female creatives, as well as to grow and nurture a pool of young and emerging talent.”
Duchess manages all production: digital, electronic and print, as well as art buying and packaging. Current clients include, amongst others, Pepsi, Jive, Citadel, Webafrica and RisCura. For more information, visit EnterDuchess.com, also on Instagram and/or Twitter.