Thirty-eight women entrepreneurs exhibited their products and showcased their services at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Expo held at Victoria Yards over the weekend. Organized by the United States Embassy to South Africa, the expo included exhibitors in the skincare, catering, décor, and fashion sectors.
Speaking at the event, Counselor for Public Affairs Frank Whitaker said the expo was a capstone of the Embassy’s latest Academy for Women Entrepreneurs program, which has provided more than 300 South African women with the skills, resources, and networks needed to start and scale their ideas into successful businesses. “We are proud to say that some of these women entrepreneurs are here today exhibiting what was once an idea, and is now a complete product or service,” Whitaker said. “South African women and women entrepreneurs are changemakers not only in their industries but also in their communities, and the U.S. government believes in creating platforms such as this event to help support women entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in the business environment.”
The expo also included a panel discussion, moderated by Loeries CEO Preetesh Sewraj, expanding on how women entrepreneurs can scale their business and increase profitability, especially in a tough economic environment. The panelists included Entrepreneur of the Year and co-founder of DreamGirls Academy Mmabatho Mokiti, and co-founder of Mo’s Crib Michelle Mokone. “In business it’s important to collaborate and tap into free services that help entrepreneurs grow and professionalize their business,” Mokiti said.
“There was a spirit of sisterhood where together we rise and shine,” one of the vendors at the expo, Linda Headbush said. Headbush is the founding director of Mnandi Pantry Delights.