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The authority on gender empowerment in business for nearly 20 years.

The Standard Bank Top Women EmpowHER Conference series wraps up for the year

Written by Staff Writer

September 12, 2023

By Sinazo Mkoko

“I am part of the economic solutions that this country so desperately needs, and I believe I’ll be the one to reignite hope in millions of young South Africans. We can do it one house at a time.”

So said Lufuno Rasoesoe, Founder and MD of Tosh Detergents, a cleaning and detergent business that was formed as an economic business initiative to respond to the current hygiene and economic challenges. 

Lufuno was speaking at the Standard Bank Top Women EmpowHER Conference series, which was held in the North West last month. She was crowned the winner of the Standard Bank Top Women EmpowHER Conference North West.

Judith Ndaba of Elevate Life (Pty) Ltd. was placed as the first runner-up, followed by Dr. Precious Mabuza from FS Mining Wash Plant (Pty) Ltd., who came second runner-up.

The trio was among the eleven finalists gracing the event’s stage. All the finalists were described as “visionaries and trailblazers who are redefining entrepreneurship across various sectors.”

Topco Media CEO, Ralf Fletcher, said the entrepreneurs’ innovative ideas and dedication exemplify the spirit of entrepreneurship that drives economic growth and empowers communities.

The North West Conference was the last series of the year after two successful ones took place in the coastal regions—Cape Town and Durban.

An esteemed panel of judges, including Kholofelo Shaai, Head of Supplier Development, Standard Bank, Siphiwo Mzwali, Automotive Sector Lead, The Women Economic Assembly, and Carol Rasegoi, Director of Economic Empowerment at DEDECT, Lisa Illingworth, Founder of FutureproofSA, and Busi Selesho, an Internationally Accredited Money Coach, enriched the young entrepreneurs with their vast knowledge and valuable expertise.

The Provincial Manager of Enterprise Banking at Standard Bank, Nqobile Zondi, delivered a keynote address.

The aim of these regional EmpowHER conferences is to reach female entrepreneurs in different parts of South Africa and empower them to become the best businesswomen in their respective industries.

“The Standard Bank Top Women EmpowHER Conference series seeks to equip women entrepreneurs with the skills to build successful enterprises that drive South Africa’s economic development. This series offers women entrepreneurs an opportunity to upskill themselves with access to knowledgeable and experienced mentors,” states Topco Media. 

Standard Bank Top Women Conference and Awards

One of the most exciting aspects of the EmpowHER conference is the opportunity it offers to the winners from all three regions. These exceptional women will attend the 20th annual Standard Bank Top Women Awards in November 2023, to be held in Johannesburg. This grand celebration of achievement and ambition will see one remarkable individual walk away with the coveted trophy and a substantial R50,000 cash prize.

“Through the Standard Bank Top Women EmpowHER conference and awards, we have witnessed a powerful confluence of innovation, resilience, and determination among women entrepreneurs. This annual gathering stands as a testament to the unwavering commitment of women who are shaping the future of business in South Africa,” Ralf said. 

“As we reflect on the success of this year’s series and look ahead to the national conference and awards, we are inspired by the remarkable journeys of these individuals and their collective impact on our economy. We invite all business and corporate women to join us in this journey of growth, connection, and empowerment as we continue to pave the way for a stronger, more inclusive business landscape.”

As the EmpowHER series concludes for the year, our audience can anticipate the forthcoming Standard Bank Top Women Conference in October, followed by the Standard Bank Top Women Awards in November. This pivotal event promises to provide further insights, connections, and empowerment. Secure your spot now by registering through this link.

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