Events & Conferencing News South Africa

Winners of 2021 Santam Women of the Future Awards announced

The winners of the seventh annual Santam Women of the Future Awards in association with Fairlady and Truelove were announced on 15 October 2021 at an exclusive event held at Atlantic Studios and broadcast via livestream to the public.
2021 winners and judges of the Santam Women of the Future Awards. Image supplied.
2021 winners and judges of the Santam Women of the Future Awards. Image supplied.

The three winners were selected from a shortlist of nine finalists by a distinguished panel of judges.

Santam understands that the first 1,000 days of running a business are the hardest – if you’re still in business by day 1,001, they believe you’re in it for the long haul. These incredibly dynamic women have either surpassed that critical point or are well on their way to doing so.

“As a sponsor of this event, we are amazed by the excellent quality of participants that come through the Santam Women of the Future Awards every year,’ says Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe, chief marketing officer at Santam. “We would like to thank Fairlady and Truelove for helping to unearth such great talent, and extend our appreciation to the esteemed panel of judges for the sterling work they do in adjudicating the process. We hope that these awards will create further momentum for their future success and inspire other women entrepreneurs to greatness."

The winners

Santam Woman of the Future: This award is given to a female entrepreneur who has survived the first 1,000 days of business and is on her way to creating an empire. This award was given to Cara Saven of Cara Saven Wall Design. Cara Saven Wall Design is a décor company that designs, curates and produces large-format wallpaper for residential, commercial and hospitality properties. The company has a foothold in the US, Netherlands, Dubai and Australia.

“Winning the Woman of the Future title makes the years of hard work, and juggling being a mother and an entrepreneur all worth it,” said Saven.

Santam Social Entrepreneur: This award is given to a female entrepreneur who is making a real difference in her community. The award was given to Zandile Mkwanazi of GirlCode.

GirlCode is a social enterprise that aims to get more women into the tech industry, and facilitates the advancement of their skills through various training and outreach programmes. The company has taught and reached more than 62,000 young South African girls to date.

“Winning the Santam Social Entrepreneur award affirms the hard work I have put into GirlCode, but I know there’s still a long way to go to close the gender digital divide in South Africa,” said Mkwanazi.

Santam Rising Star: This award is given to a young female entrepreneur whose business is still within its first 1,000 days, but which the judges believe will flourish way beyond them. It was awarded to Dr Peta-Anne Browne of Wardworx.

Launched in January 2020, Wardworx is a task management app that securely stores patient information, including ward and bed locations, so that doctors can collaborate on patient care.

Winning the Santam Rising Star Award is the encouragement and validation that she needed to keep pushing herself, said Browne. “Being an entrepreneur has its ups and downs. Quite often doubt can set in, but this award is a perfect reminder to female founders that we are on the right track and have something truly special to offer.”

Santam Readers’ Choice Award: Voted for by the public, this award went to Vumile Msweli of Hesed Consulting - a career coaching firm for individuals and enterprises, with coaches in South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Botswana and the US. Msweli wins a Golden Circle Mentorship programme from Over the Rainbow worth R5,000.

During the event, the judges participated in a live panel discussion about the tricky issue of building and maintaining a brand or team identity when staff are working from home. Moderated by Doreen Morris, the discussion was followed by a live Q&A session with the online audience. The panel discussion`s take-home message was that as a business owner, you need to be agile, recognise and reward your staff, respect their personal space, and have regular check-in meetings.

“We believe that the only way for our economy to recover as quickly and inclusively as it needs to is through our entrepreneurs, and Fairlady has always believed that South African women lead the pack in that regard,” said Suzy Brokensha, Fairlady editor. “There’s an untapped well of talent and originality in this country, and it’s an absolute privilege, every year, to see the very best rise to the top in the Women of the Future Awards. This year’s winners are outstanding, and so are the runners-up. It’s exciting to see so much potential being realised – and what women can achieve when they put their minds to something!”

“Being part of this journey has been very exciting, and I’m inspired by all the women who participated,’ said Truelove editor Makhosazana ‘Khosi’ Zwane-Siguqa. “Over the years, Truelove has been a trusted guide for black women in all areas of their extraordinary and multifaceted lives. We have seen more and more South African women take the plunge and start their own business or organisation. There are proven links between the development of women and the sustainable development of countries. We are therefore thankful and proud to have partnered with Santam in this quest.”

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