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BWA Businesswoman of the Year nominations open

The Businesswomen's Association (BWA) is inviting members of the public to submit nominations for the annual Nedbank-sponsored Businesswoman of the Year Awards. Nominations for the 2008 event, which celebrates the achievements of the country's businesswomen, are open until Friday, 30 May 2008. Last year's Entrepreneurial winner was Renee Silverstone, CEO of The Jupiter Drawing Room.

Finalists will be announced at a media function which will be held in Johannesburg in June and the main ceremony is scheduled for the end of July. Last year's Corporate winner was Thoko Mokgosi-Mwantembe, CEO of HP South Africa.

Two categories

The BWA added a new twist to the event two years ago by splitting the awards into two categories in order to bolster the awards and highlight the achievements of South Africa's entrepreneurial women. The two categories are:

  • The Corporate Businesswoman of the Year
  • The Entrepreneurial Businesswoman of the Year

Since its inception in 1980, this award has become one of South Africa's most prestigious awards for women in business, honouring the country's top corporate and entrepreneurial women. The past 28 years have seen some of the country's most exceptional businesswomen – women who shape destinies and inspire and empower those around them – being nominated by their peers. These women are successful and influential and are a leading light in SA business. They are role models and mentors who make significant and positive contributions to their organisations and the community in which they live and work.


The nominee should be a South African resident and/or citizen who:

  • conducts business in SA;
  • a budget expenditure of R75 million or more for CORPORATE;
  • controls a budget expenditure of R35 million or more for ENTREPRENEUR;
  • has been working for her current company for a minimum of three years, but not necessarily in the same position;
  • has demonstrated her ability to achieve business success; and
  • is a role model

Nominees who fit the above criteria are welcome to participate, regardless of whether they are members of the BWA or not. Nominations can be made telephonically on +27 (0)11 486 3301, email or online at

Winners from previous years include names such Gloria Serobe, Angela Dick, Marina Maponya, Reeva Forman, Jane Raphaely, Dawn Mokhobo, Wendy Lucas-Bull, Pam Golding, Sindi Zilwa, Dr Anna Mokgokong, Irene Charnley, Maria Ramos, Nicky Newton-King, Futhi Mtoba and Monhla Hlahla.

Restructuring of executive

In keeping with its strategic objectives and vision, the BWA recently announced the restructuring of its executive leadership.

Executive head Angie Makwetla now fulfills the role of stakeholder relations officer, reporting directly to BWA president Basetsana Kumalo, and COO Yvette Montalbano has taken up the position of CEO. The organisation is presently in the process of looking for a suitable COO to work with the team in implementing the BWA's strategy and business plan.

According to Kumalo, the BWA's strategic vision and objectives for the years ahead have created a need for a more robust approach in leveraging the right stakeholders in order to assist the BWA to become the organisation that truly inspires and empowers women.

Role reassessed

“In order to adequately fulfill our mandate and to meet our obligations to our members, it was important that we reassess our role as an association that represents the interests of the country's businesswomen. Mama Angie Makwetla has vast experience in stakeholder and strategic relations and she is a luminary in the field of public relations. With her leadership skills and her wealth of experience, we are excited that in her new position she will take the BWA to new heights and help us to illuminate the image of our organisation.

“Over the past year, Yvette has proven to be a leader with strong strategic direction and vision. Her amazing passion and enthusiasm for female empowerment in the corridor of business is certain to resonate with members of the BWA as we face new challenges in the field of business. She is a trailblazer who is certain to give new impetus to the role of the BWA going forward,” says Kumalo.

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