Perfecting the Pitch for Business

Pretoria News | November 20, 11:34AM | Matlhatsi Dikbakwane

WOMEN in business were given training on perfecting their businesses during the Women in Business Connect Session at the Es’kia Mphahlele Community Library at Sammy Marks Square last week.

CdA Lapenn shared the importance of mentorship and how it has benefitted her in her life, "In my own life, I have also experienced the remarkable benefits of mentoring. It has come in many different forms and has helped me over the years achieve successes academically and professionally."
“In my own life, I have also experienced the remarkable benefits of mentoring. It has come in many different forms and has helped me over the years achieve successes academically and professionally.” – CdA Lapenn

They were also urged to pitch their business plans in 30 seconds with three main points – introduction, content and conclusion.

“All these three points are reliant on how you deliver your presentation; your introduction is your audience attention-grabber as people have a lot on their minds.

“So the best thing you can do is to begin with a strong statement or a quote or simply ask a question, because at that point you have already grabbed people’s attention.

“Don’t hesitate to dive into the content of your presentation,” said businesswoman Audrey Mphela during the training.

“In the content of your presentation there are a few questions that I lined up that will help you drive your message across: Who are you, company name, what is it your are offering, and what is your unique selling proposition?

“Lastly, it is your conclusion which wraps up everything and leaves people with something to take away.”

Tshwane MMC for finance Mare-Lise Fourie speaks during the Women in Business session.
Tshwane MMC for finance Mare-Lise Fourie speaks during the Women in Business session.

The room was filled with different women with businesses ranging from laundry to swimming pool renovations, marketing, administration, specialists in kinetic therapy and beauty skin products, IT law firms and food.

They were told to prepare their 30-second pitch, which they had to perfect among themselves before doing the rounds on stage, and then told how to further perfect their pitches.

The session was a partnership between the US Embassy in Pretoria, City of Tshwane, and WeConnect International in South Africa, meant to provide valuable information to women business owners and entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses and professional networks.

Neo Nzo was nervous and kept practising her 30-seconds pitch, and she said she was grateful for the opportunity to learn.

She said her styling company, Keeya Style, specialised in image consulting services: “My passion is to assist women to look and feel their best with ease I do that by offering styling, wardrobe sorting and personal shopping services,” she said.

The sole member of Dimples Laundromat, Mokgadi Siko, confidently sold her business: “We render residential household and laundry services, and our targets are students and the working class, as we saw a gap that people are busy.

“We do pick-ups and deliveries, we strive to deliver great services which are innovative.”

Public diplomacy officer Amy Christianson said the US embassy was proud to partner with WeConnect and the City of Tshwane.

“The reason for this session is that it is global entrepreneurship week, which means all across the world people are celebrating entrepreneurship, and we wanted to jump in with the other 179 countries who were doing it, with an awesome session,” she said.

“Here in South Africa, the US Embassy is committed to supporting efforts in empowering innovators, particularly women, to gain skills and resources to achieve success.

“I know you all have heard it because you are living it, that when women do better, countries do better, communities do better, and that’s because women are always giving back to their communities and families, they always give something up.

“And so women’s economic participation creates greater economic opportunities and stability for all,” said Christianson.

Finance MMC Mare-lise Fourie said the theme of the entrepreneurial week was to provide valuable information to women business owners seeking to grow their businesses and professional networks, and in order to achieve that, women entrepreneurs had to be recognised as players in driving their respective countries’ economic growth.

The executive director for WeConnect, Jean Chawapiwa, said WeConnect was about and for women in business. “At WeConnect what we are trying to say to cities and corporates is ‘buy from women-owned businesses’.

“We also really need to start buying from each other, from women businesses. We are not competition – we are each other’s strength.”

Originally published in the Pretoria News, November 20, 2017 »

Photographs by U.S. Embassy staff photographer