This week we are talking all about growth and women in business, zooming in on how to grow a business with staying power, and staying ready for any curveball that may come your way. Our focus is on how leading women in business navigate the space, seeing opportunities in every challenge they face, whilst building an authentic brand that speaks for itself. Four strong women panelists head this Masterclass: Celeste Le Roux – Co-Founder & Chief Executive of React24, Munyadziwa Rikhotso – Executive Director of Nsovo Environmental Consulting Solutions, Busi Selesho – internationally accredited money coach, international speaker and international best selling author/ energy healer, and Karla Fletcher, Head of Marketing at Topco Media.
Karla introduced this week’s Masterclass by highlighting the level of urgency Africa faces in terms of gender equity. Recent years have proven that women-lead companies are, in fact, leading the way to success. Yet, gender parity within the workspace is still a pervading issue that needs to be redressed. Karla notes that there is an exciting year ahead, with many empowering projects coming up, such as the Standard Bank Top Women Membership initiative, geared towards accelerating women in business across Africa, as well as the next exciting Masterclass set to take place on 25 February 2021. She also sets out key themes to be addressed this week, namely, getting out of your own way, promotion opportunity creation, securing funding, tackling a competitive working environment as a businesswoman, and empowering your brand for the future and beyond.
Polls from the Masterclass indicated that around 50% of respondents attending, hoped to learn more about securing funding for their business, while 33% were interested in becoming award-winning business women. This comes as no surprise, as more than 50% of responding attendees indicated that they were currently facing challenges with regards to securing their finances and working in a competitive work environment.
Key takeaways from this Masterclass included:
- In preparing to start a business, there are critical questions that you need to ask yourself: What do I want to do? Who do I want to serve? and Why? – Answer these questions and find your purpose, first, then commit to it. This is how you develop staying power.
- It’s all about the WHY of the business. This is what adds VALUE to your business. Be prepared to serve people, doing things that most people won’t – differentiate your brand from the rest.
- When it comes to your product or service, do something that you are actually proud of. Do not go into it just to ‘pay the bills’. Your career is a part of who you are. Only when you embrace this, will it prosper.
- Leaders need to effectively communicate their vision to their team members – often the message behind the brand gets lost because of poor communication.
- Catastrophe, as Covid-19 has shown us all, pushes us to the next level, necessitating us to think differently and do better. We must use this newfound energy to jumpstart and invigorate our business plans.
- When it comes to funding, you need to build a strong relationship with money, learning to save and stock up on your reserves for the rainy season – which does come eventually. Keep a close eye on your books too. Money comes and goes, so think ahead and plan for financial curveballs.
- Often entrepreneurs rely on tenders. However, you need to strategically place your business and manage your expectations. Find a partner that is well-aligned with your values, and build a mutually beneficial relationship.
- Be unapologetic, confident and consistent in what you bring to the table, eliminating all self-doubt as this is detrimental to your success. Investing in your energy, and speaking positivity into your business, will go a long way in solidifying your personal brand.
- You need to be able to pivot, especially during these times. Listen carefully to your staff’s concerns, and what your customers need – meet the demand and build your credibility.
- There are only so many hours in one day. Time is limited. Find ways to recreate yourself so that you are still selling yourself, your brand, even after work hours. You need to be hungry, and remember that hard work will always pay off.
To catch up on our Masterclass, you can click here: https://youtu.be/Sn1IT1BPdXc
Celeste Le Roux is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive at React24, a national site services provider to the facilities and property market in South Africa. React24, established in 2000, is a BBBEE level 1 rated, black woman-owned and operated company, offering all built environment trades and disciplines under one roof. Celeste is the 2020 Standard Bank Top Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner, and is committed to being an advocate of transformation and leader of change, championing the cause of empowering more black female leaders and change the narrative in the industry. Last year, she was also awarded The 2020 Woman Mentor of the Year, during the inaugural Empowerment and Recognition of Women in Construction Awards. With unwavering dedication to her craft, Celeste opened the first black woman-owned CETA Accredited plumbing training college named The React Training College, on 22 September 2020, in hopes of making training more accessible to women artisans working in the trade.
Munyadziwa Rikhotso is the Executive Director at Nsovo Environmental Consulting Solutions. She is the winner of the 2020 Standard Bank Top Women Award in the Gender Empowered Company: Conservation Biodiversity and Environmental Management category. Nsovo offers environmental consulting services to clients throughout South Africa to ensure legal compliance and environmental sustainability. Nsovo provides tailor made innovative solutions to environmental challenges facing clients anywhere any time; exceeding expectations and ensuring maximum value for investment. Munyadziwa completed a Bsc Degree in Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Witwatersrand, going on to obtain a Bsc Honours Degree at the University of Johannesburg. From humble beginnings, her company has grown into an integral part of the South African environmental consulting space, is 100% black women-owned, and has claimed its fair share in the sustainability market.
Busi Selesho is an Internationally Accredited Money Coach, International Speaker and International Best Selling Author of ‘Money and Black People’. Busi runs a Coaching Firm, ODEL Coaching. Busi helps businesses and organisations take care of their most valuable asset, their employees. Her focus is on; Money Coaching, Financial Freedom, Emotional Intelligence, Wellness & Career Change. She is the CEO of Isipho Sempilo HSE Solutions, the founder of Money Breakfast, where she hosts seminars and workshops on Money Consciousness, The Energy of Money, How to Get Out of Debt and achieve Financial Freedom, and is the creator of her Online Money Programmes to help those who cannot attend her courses. Busi was also listed as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Young South Africans, in 2017, by Avance Media, and was an esteemed judge on the panel for the 2020 The Standard Bank Top Women Awards.