As part of the activities to mark National Women’s Month, the City of Johannesburg is to host a five-day Women Entrepreneurship Week at the Joburg Theatre from Monday August 17.
In a first for the City, budding women entrepreneurs will debate against each other on five entrepreneurship-related issues – creative arts, construction, energy, health and professional services.
“Every day a relevant Member of the Mayoral Committee will sit through the presentations and will, with other members of the judging panel, select the best presenter. The participants will be judged on how business-ready their presentations are and how quickly those plans can be taken to the market,” says Gugu Masondo, Operations Manager of the City’s Department of Community Development.
Winners of each category will be announced at a prize-giving ceremony on the last day. Research has shown that small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) are the biggest creators of job opportunities resulting in, in most cases, massive skills development.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development Councillor Chris Vondo says meaningful empowerment can only be realised when more women become active participants in the economy and use their talents to satisfy a need and create jobs.
“As a result of various socioeconomic conditions, most households in Johannesburg are headed by single mothers. By staging the Women Entrepreneurship Week, we want to ignite a spark among women that being self-employed can have multiple benefits for the business owner and the surrounding community,” says MMC Vondo.
“It’s through events like these that the City is teaching residents how to fish. Now is the time for women to step out of the shadows and become active participants in the economy and address generations of gender imbalances,” he says.
Philisiwe Twala-Tau, the wife of Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau, will deliver the keynote address on Friday August 21. The address will be followed by a prize-giving ceremony.