By Elizabeth Mamacos
Young women connect from all over the city and the country. Credit: Unsplashed
We all start a new year with grand plans and ambitious goals, and with the right support we can certainly achieve our dreams.
We asked successful business women who they lean on for support, and this is the resulting selection of local, supportive and inspiring women’s networks that promise to help you be the best you in 2019.
Future Females is a movement that aims to inspire female entrepreneurs and to support their success. The platform provides a digital, physical and emotional space where women can connect, inspire and collaborate with each other, and access the resources they need to succeed.
Each city’s chapter runs themed events where women can connect, learn and be inspired by experts and serial entrepreneurs. ‘Mompreneur’ and member Chantel De Beer told us that Future Females “encourages me to never give up. I never feel alone as I communicate with the business community for advice, support and feedback.”
“The DreamGirls Academy is a dynamic sisterhood of female professionals, entrepreneurs and leaders,” co-founder and director Ezlyn Barends told us. “These women mentor and guide teen girls and young women to reach their highest potential.”
“The platform helps successful women to give back and to positively shape the lives of the young ladies that we work with,” she says. “We have a structured mentorship program which encourages and supports the beneficiaries to upskill themselves, fulfill their potential, become positive catalysts for change and successful trailblazers and change agents.”
The Academy provides a structured mentorship and empowerment programme that encourages and enables young women to become successful well-rounded trailblazers and change-makers.
The Association of South African Women in Science and Engineering (SA WISE) was created to strengthen the role of women in science and engineering in South Africa. SA WISE aims to raise the profile of female scientists and engineers, while highlighting and addressing problems faced specifically by women in these fields.
The group lobbies for the advancement of women in science and engineering and provides leadership and role models for young women in this industry.
The Young Women in Business Network is a broad-based women’s empowerment company, owned, controlled and managed by women from a variety of professions, businesses and industries.
The network is dedicated to the economic empowerment of young women, and the company has two subsidiaries: Young Women in Aerospace and Defence and Young Women in Engineering and Construction, to support and advise women in these professions.
This is a community that aims to help young African women achieve their professional dreams. Their website offers free digital content such as online classes in managing money or improving productivity, as well as access to paid Masterclasses run by successful business women.
She Leads Africa pan-African also hosts events across the African continent, including the SLAY Festival.
“It takes a community to build a business, and Xtraordinary Women is that community,” founder Gwen Serrotti told us. “We aim to inspire success and to support ordinary women to do extraordinary things. We are passionate about helping women entrepreneurs and encouraging them to DREAM BIG and to live their life with purpose!”
“Our events are aimed at providing inspiration and business knowledge to female entrepreneurs. We take a genuine interest in their success. We offer access to workshops, educational events, cocktail evenings and much more,” she said. “And you don’t even have to be a member to attend to networking events!”
Founded in 1980, the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa provides networking, training, mentoring and knowledge-sharing opportunities to its diverse membership. The group is recognised as the leading organisation for women in South Africa and strives to inspire them to “dream big’, both personally and professionally.
The association provides members with development, training and capacity building programmes, and works to play an instrumental advocacy role in terms of driving gender inclusivity.
Girls in Business Network is an engagement platform aiming to support and grow entrepreneurial-minded females in South African townships. Co-founded by deputy secretary of the ANCYL Fezekisa Makeleni, the organisation aims to support and grow entrepreneurial-minded females between the ages of 15 and 25. Their guiding principle is to provide opportunities that enable beneficiaries to lift themselves out of poverty in a sustainable way.
Girl Boss Hustle invites members to connect, market and plug into a ready-made community of like-minded women. Janine Basel, CEO of Akro Capital and founder of Girl Boss Hustle, says that the only real creators of wealth in our society are businesses. “But Entrepreneurship can be lonely and isolating,” she told us. “We do workshops with women, assist where we can, and help grow networks. We delight in lighting the fire of success and action in women and encourage women entrepreneurs to be loud and proud and to show up.”
The Hello Boss Community is a close-knit, collaborative community of female entrepreneurs. Founder Ashley Knight says her dream is for women in business to have the opportunity to fearlessly learn, connect, collaborate and flourish, with help from other like-minded women.