The embassy of France in South Africa has partnered with the Entrepreneurship Development Academy (EDA) at GIBS to develop a tailor-made programme to support 50 members of the Circle of Global Business Women (CGBW).
CGBW is a global network of innovative women who are authentic in their endeavours to create a leadership shift globally and are committed to developing and promoting programmes that support and enhance the potential and well-being of women. CGBW seeks to mobilise resources to design, implement, monitor and evaluate strategic programmes in the areas of empowerment, leadership, and innovation.
The 50 women entrepreneurs, who met the criteria as CGBW members, enrolled in a 14-week online training programme, which began in October. The programme focusses on different aspects of running a viable business, such as business finances, management structures, resource allocation and operational efficiency.
During his Women’s Day address in August, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government had resolved to set aside 40% of public procurement for women-owned businesses as part of ongoing efforts to ensure transformation and equality. Ramaphosa said South Africa’s national strategic plan aimed to promote women’s economic inclusion to achieve financial independence in a bid to reduce their vulnerability to gender-based violence.
To this end, the French embassy, CGBW and GIBS EDA hope to contribute to the development and strengthening of women as equal players in the South African entrepreneurial ecosystem. This project forms part of a Solidarity Fund for Innovative Projects by the French embassy that was set up at the request of French President Emmanuel Macron. The objective of this programme is to bring more opportunities to women-led businesses by transferring knowledge and skills.
Miranda Hosking, director of the GIBS EDA, observed: “We are delighted to partner with the French embassy and the Circle of Global Business Women on this programme that aims to support women-led businesses. An investment in the development of women entrepreneurs will have positive spin-offs beyond the immediate beneficiaries.”