After an extraordinary display of creativity and economic prowess by a multitude of enterprising women, the unveiling of the triumphant top three powerhouse women has finally arrived. These remarkable winners captivated the judges and left an indelible mark on the competition, each taking away their share of prize money and mentorship worth over R1 million:
Morongwe Mokone: Mo’s Crib
Morongwe Mokone launched Mo's Crib with a profound dedication to sustainability that permeates every aspect of the brand. Prioritising fair wages and safe working conditions for local artisans through ethical sourcing practices, they foster a strong sense of community and empowerment. By maintaining a transparent and ethical supply chain, they not only deliver exceptional homeware but also play an integral role in the socioeconomic advancement of African communities. This steadfast commitment to social responsibility has solidified their reputation as a brand that not only offers exceptional products but also actively works towards the upliftment of the communities it serves.
Second place: Faith Mokgalaka: Puno
Faith Makgolele's Puno is a pioneering platform that integrates technology and agriculture, providing crowd-investments and insurance to marginalised smallholder farmers across Africa. With 33 million farmers seeking financial aid, Puno's distinctive approach serves as a vital financial ally, fostering food security and transformative change. Leveraging investor resources, Puno offers short-term loans and insurance, nurturing a sustainable agricultural value chain. With a vision for a thriving future, Puno aims to realise the full potential of African agriculture, empowering every farmer and every yield. Drawing from personal experiences in a farming family and a background in Computer Science from Wits University, Faith's vision for Puno emerged as a comprehensive solution to bridge financial gaps and transform the lives of these farmers.
Third place: Hlobisile Yende: The Yende and Partners
Hlobisile, a third-generation farmer following her family's legacy, was driven into agriculture by its role in financing her education, leading her to pursue a master's degree and formalise her enterprise for future sustainability. She actively engages in the Corteva Women in Agriculture programme, emphasising the importance of leaving a lasting legacy. Adapting to water scarcity, she introduced rain-fed butternuts, yielding 40 tons from a successful one-hectare trial, demonstrating the potential for sustainable growth. Her business ethos centres on addressing agricultural gaps, prioritising expansion, food security, and empowerment, especially for aspiring female farmers, while recognising her farm's contribution to national food security.
"The pool of talent and innovation we witnessed during this competition was truly exceptional," exclaimed Minize Haron, chief marketing officer for Access Bank South Africa.
Jacaranda FM managing director Deirdre King echoed the sentiment, stating, "These women are pioneers, changing the economic landscape whilst uplifting other women and that’s exactly what this competition is about."
This groundbreaking event not only highlighted the brilliance and resilience of South African women in business but also underscored their unwavering commitment to forging opportunities, even in the face of adversity. What started out as a pilot project in 2022, has become a unique competition that has increased entries by 65%.
In a joint statement, Jacaranda FM and Access Bank South Africa praised the perseverance and spirit of all participants, encouraging every woman to illuminate her path and continue blazing trails in the business world. "Womenpreneur Her Perfect Pitch has been an eye-opening journey, showcasing remarkable talent and societal impact. It is an honour for us to co-sponsor an event that celebrates remarkable and their business prowess and social value."
With these exceptional women leading the way, the future of South African entrepreneurship appears brighter than ever.
Morongwe Mokone will receive the coveted prize package, valued at over R1 million, which includes:
Faith Mokgalakawill receive:
Hlobisile Yende will be awarded:
Moreover, the top 10 finalists will each enjoy R100,000 worth of airtime on Jacaranda FM and a R50,000 educational study voucher from Access Bank.