Female entrepreneur conference hits Bfn

2017 Pitching den winner, Francine Zana, and runner-up, Nomkhitha Kwinana

Eight female entrepreneurs from Bloemfontein will get the chance to pitch their businesses at the Standard Bank Top Women Entrepreneurial Conference, on Monday. The conference is part of a multi-provincial roadshow taking place throughout May to empower female run enterprises.

The eight pitchers are local entrepreneurs who have been selected from a number of entrants after applying earlier this year. They will have an opportunity to be involved in a pitching session in front of a panel of judges as part of the conference. According to conference producer Asanda Mbali, the event presentations will take the form of a three-minute elevator pitch, followed by a five-minute question and answer session.

According to a statement, the Standard Bank Top Women is a leading gender empowerment brand in the country that celebrates organisations that prioritise gender empowerment. The regional conference series aims to encourage companies with growth potential to become market leaders and inspire other female entrepreneurs. While the Standard Bank Top Women Entrepreneurial Conference kicks off in Bloemfontein, others will take place in Kimberley, Klerksdorp and Mbombela.

Winner of the 2017 Port Elizabeth pitching den, Francine Zana, expressed the impact that the event has made on her business. “To Standard Bank and Topco, thank you so much for your contribution to my business’s growth. I have never thought in my wildest dreams that I can attend and pitch in an event of this nature and win,” said Zana.

Businesswomen looking to build their personal networks, create partnerships, generate business interest and gain business-building knowledge by interacting with other entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend. “This will be a one-day conference and there will be a networking session. There will also be a speaker. The women will be able to engage with one another and exchange business cards,” explained Mbali.

First prize winner in 2017, Zana, was awarded R70 000 to use towards her business needs. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele