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News & Press: 2013 News Items

Young QS represents SA at International Women's Entrepreneurial Challenge

Thursday, 21 November 2013  
Posted by: Bert vd Heever
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International Women's Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) 2013 Nov. 10-13, 2013

Three enterprising women, under the leadership of Cape Chamber of Commerce, are proudly representing South Africa.

Renee Keeble, Nonku Ntshona and Ferose Oaten are all to be recognised for their phenomenal contribution to economy and society on a whole at the prestigious gala award evening.

The Lima, Peru Chamber of Commerce will welcome women entrepreneurs from Africa, Asia, India, Europe and North and South America to celebrate the Seventh Annual International Women's Entrepreneurial Challenge Conference (IWEC) November 10-13th.

This year 26 women will be honoured from Canada, Colombia, Bolivia, Spain, Sweden, South Africa, the United States, Peru, Turkey, The Philippines, Bangladesh and India and will recognise successful women entrepreneurs from industries including fashion, electronics, health services, real estate, luxury car hire services, environmental services, retail gift and party industry, BPO, hair and beauty, mining, trading corporation, food management and distribution, vehicle roadworthy stations, law, childcare and education, chocolatier industry, beauty, quantity surveying, entrepreneurial development, wellness, laboratory quality control, electrode production, food and nutrition, cosmetic development and production, commodity marketing, public relations, restaurateur, and many other enterprises. 

The firms lead by these women represent a turnover of more than one billion dollars with over 20 000 employees and they will be looking for business opportunities in Peru, which has one of the fastest growing economies in South America.

This is in compliance to IWEC’s mission in developing a global business network for successful women business owners, helping them gain and expand access to international markets by presenting a platform for the exchange of knowledge, experience, connectivity and to promote dialogue among women entrepreneurs and business leaders throughout the world.

This years conference theme is "Building Successful, Respected Companies” and the will be opened by the First Vice President of Peru, Marisol Espinoza.  During the conference attendees will network with local business people and explore subjects such as: global economic challenges; Women’s leadership in growing businesses, mentoring and numerous other topics related to leadership and management of successful businesses.

IWEC was initiated in 2006 by the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce in association with the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Ladies Organization FICCI/FLO and joined by the U.S. Department of State and the Cape Chamber of Commerce.  The organization has held annual conferences in Barcelona, New York, New Delhi and Cape Town, South Africa and is pleased to be welcomed to Lima.

South African Awardees represented by the Cape Chamber of Commerce are as follows:

Renee Keeble, Managing Director

SA Commercial (Pty) Ltd    

As an entrepreneur who quickly built her own successful business, Renee regards strong relationship building, quality, integrity & innovative leadership as key attributes for success.

With a sharp eye for efficiencies and strategies contributing towards a sleek operation, much of her experience was gained through managing the national direct marketing business for Old Mutual, one of South Africa’s leading financial institutions.

She is founder and managing director of the award winning, SA Commercial, an outsourced contact centre and business processing operation started in 2007. Through strong customer engagement programmes, the company provides the important link between a business and its clients. To see what inspires Renee read her interview here.

Nonku Ntshona, Managing Director

Nonku Ntshona & Assoc. Quantity Surveyors (Pty) Ltd 

Having qualified as a professional Quantity Surveyor, Nonku’s career blossomed into associate partner at Turner and Townsend. Her entrepreneurial spirit drove her to open up a successful Quantity Surveying practice; Nonku Ntshona and Associates; in 2005.

The business which is growing in strength through her leadership brings to bear her in-depth knowledge of the property development and construction industry. 

Her broad range of skills gained from over a decade of experience includes working on prominent development projects in South Africa and the broader African region thus gaining understanding in infrastructure developments in the mining industry, roll out projects in the automotive sector, commercial,  retail, residential; mixed use developments and watching brief projects. 

Her achievements include being the winner of Young Black Entrepreneur of the year 2010 – Metropolitan Oliver Awards; Finalist for Women in Property Network Rising Star Award 2009 amongst others. 

Ferose Oaten,
Managing Director

Avts Roadworthy Stations (pty) Ltd 

Ferose Oaten is the Managing Director of AVTS Roadworthy Stations, based in the Western Cape. The company’s core business is roadworthy testing and vehicle inspection, and was established in 1992. 3 years ago, TÜV SÜD, multi-national player headquartered in Munich, entered into a partnership with AVTS to enter the South African market, bringing their expertise and global reach.

AVTS employs 83 staff members in 7 branches in the Cape Peninsula.  Ferose holds directorships in other TÜV SÜD companies in South Africa.  Her previous elected positions include being President of the RMI and the National Vice-President of the Businesswomen’s Association.  She is currently the Vice-President (Business) of the RMI and the Chairman for Africa of the International Motor Vehicle Technical Committee, based in Brussels.

The 2013 awardees from South Africa are represented by The Cape Chamber of Commerce. Janine Myburgh, President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry had the following to say

"IWEC is an important cog in the Cape Chamber's overall export support initiative. More than that, it allows the Chamber to support and recognize the immense potential of the women entrepreneurs within our organization. Of the Cape Chamber's 3000 members, a full 37 percent are involved in exporting products and services. This number will grow as we find ways to lower the risks of exporting to foreign countries and extending the support networks to assist our companies. 

The Cape Chamber is delighted by the fact that almost 40 percent of our companies are represented by women in senior management, either as owners or key decision makers. This number still needs to grow however, and IWEC is the perfect platform to allow our already successful women-owned companies to reach the next level. 

We see IWEC as the means to launching these companies into the stratosphere of international business, where we have every confidence they will perform with the best the world has to offer. African business is taking its rightful position in global business, and the Cape Chamber is represented by the best women possible to lead the charge.”

A driving force behind the representation of South Africa at IWEC is Anni Bodington, IWEC Project Coordinator and Cape Chamber Council Member says; "The vision of the founders to create a network of second stage entrepreneurs has proven to be successful with representation from 6 continents, awardees using the platform to conclude contracts internationally, education at the highest level being offered to IWEC awardees by IESE Business School, who's Open Programs are ranked by Financial Times as first in the world and a Foundation being formed with a Board of Directors ensuring the longevity of IWEC. This has taken commitment, focus and an unwavering belief in the mission and vision of IWEC.” Anni is also a Past Awardee and the South African representation on Steering committee. She has been instrumental in developing the Dreams Beyond Borders IWEC mentorship programme; education of global women in business who do not reach the high entry criteria required by IWEC. The programme was initiated by the Cape Chamber of Commerce who drove the pilot project with 3 countries participating in 2013.