#THEGAMECHANGERS: Celebrating the Successes of Local Women in Business

Published: 19 August 2020

2020 marks the 65th observance of National Women’s Day in South Africa. In 65 years we have seen immense improvements in opportunities for female entrepreneurs, as well as a significant growth in the country’s small business sector as a whole.

This Women’s month we celebrate #TheGameChangers, leading the charge for female entrepreneurship in South Africa. Let us introduce you to three local female business women who have cultivated their own success despite overwhelming challenges.

Mama Bongi
Mama Bongi’s Choc Chip Cookies

Mama Bongi started by making cookies for clients at Amazing Spaces, who soon started asking if they were able to buy them to share her incredible recipe with friends and family. Soon, Mama Bongi had garnered a great following and decided to open her business to the public.

She now has a full eCommerce website and delivers nationwide, and dedicates her success to improving the community around her. “I always dreamed of being a teacher and this cookie business allows me to lift up and teach others to cook with me. I am now able to improve my kids’ lives as well as those around me. I am grateful every day for the opportunities and love shown to me, and want to be able to pay it forward to others.”

Shop Mama Bongi’s cookies here.

Songo Didiza

Songo is an entrepreneur who founded the Green Building Design Group (GreenBDG), a 100% black women owned and managed multi-disciplinary global advisory company,  as a solution to close the knowledge gap in the green economy, as well as an opportunity to promote real economic growth within the green economy in South Africa. She is a trusted advisor and global speaker in the green economy, and has extensive experience in implementing sustainability strategies for businesses and government sectors in South Africa. She has been voted Sub-Saharan Africa’s Energy Innovator of the Year by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and currently serves as a Research Committee member of the Property Sector Charter Council (PSCC).

Songo serves on Symmetry Hub’s Retail Advisory Panel (RAP) as one of the expert advisors and growth partners on the team. You can book a one-on-one session with her here.

Anni Wilhelmi
Head of Women Presidents Organisation South Africa (WPO) and Founder of Women in Business Accelerator (WiBa)

Anni Wilhelmi is founder of CrossRoads Co. CRC provides organisational strategy and impactful goal tracking methodology to EXCO’s. Head of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) South Africa and Chairwoman of Women in Business Accelerator (WiBA), which she founded, both organisations are focused on entrepreneurial development. Anni helped launch the Manna Box to support WPO and WiBa companies in the lifestyle product sector, one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is a subscription based mail order model created to sell South African products into the US market. Marketing within the US, funding for production, support and shipping is being provided to local women in business with the first export shipment leaving port end of September 2020.

Learn more about CrossRoads Company and the Manna Box Project.

After President Ramaphosa’s Women’s Day speech announced that he would be setting aside 40% of public procurement for local female owned businesses in order to expand the access of women to economic opportunity, it seems the tide is turning and that female entrepreneurs will soon have even greater support from both peers and government. If you are a woman looking to make your mark on the South African business sector, the Symmetry Hub is packed with insightful resources and access to business tools and service providers who are committed to helping you achieve your goals.

Click and connect with the right growth partner to overcome your unique business challenges.