As always, three winners were selected from a shortlist of finalists by a panel of South African judges: Fairlady editor Suzy Brokensha; Professor Thuli Madonsela; head HR business partners at Santam, Annette La Grange; media entrepreneur and international speaker Jo-Ann Strauss; and businesswoman Dawn Nathan-Jones.
Through an independent survey, Santam found that the first 1,000 days of a business are the hardest. If you’re still in business by day 1001, they’ve found, you’re likely to succeed long term. These high-fliers have either already surpassed that critical point or are well on the way to doing so!
“Through this competition, we have seen remarkable women that have achieved amazing results. Our aim is to ensure that these businesses have a greater impact in the South African economy. We’re honoured to have been part of their entrepreneurial journey,” said Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe, CMO at Santam.
Patricia Schröder of Reclite SA was named Woman of the Future. Reclite SA collects, transports and recycles lighting, batteries and electronics.
Winning the Woman of the Future Award is recognition for all the hard work that my team and I have done and a reminder that hard work does pay off in the end! It will also serve as inspiration for other women to chase their dreams and passions.Vere Shaba of Shaba & Ramplin Green Building Solutions is the winner of the Rising Star Award. Her engineering consulting firm specialises in green building certifications, engineering solutions, energy solutions and strategic partnerships across the African continent.
Winning this award will enable me to create opportunities in the green building sector for South Africans in the future, as well as expand the business into key economic hubs in Africa and Europe.Lindiwe Matlali of Africa Teen Geeks won the Social Entrepreneur Award (awarded to a female entrepreneur who is making a real difference in her community). Africa Teen Geeks offers children between the ages of six and 18 free lessons on how to code. The NPO has partnered with UNISA to facilitate Saturday classes in their computer labs countrywide.
Knowing that we give kids hope and raise their aspirations is my biggest achievement and driver.”I always find the winners of the Fairlady Santam Women of the Future Awards absolutely admirable,” says Brokensha. “But what has really struck me about this year’s winners is how they are future-proofing the world through their businesses: Patricia and Vere through huge green initiatives that have gone out of the domestic and into the commercial world, and Lindiwe through giving marginalised kids a real shot at competing in this economy on an equal footing.”
Guests in attendance at the lunch included businesswoman Wendy Luhabe, philanthropist and author Sonia Booth, businesswoman Judi Nwokedi, Miss World SA Thulisa Keyi, international activist Catherine Constantinides, media personalities Ashley Hayden and Penny Lebyane.
Read more about the winners and their businesses in the latest issue of the magazine on sale from Monday, 20 August. Follow Fairlady on Facebook, @FairladyMag on Twitter and @Fairlady_Magazine on Instagram.