‘Women can change capitalism in Africa’

Updated on 22 April 2014

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'Women can change capitalism in Africa'

Ladies, we bring an essence to business that men could never explore, not because they don’t care but because they miss the gene. The ability to care about employees, the environment and the communities we operate in is innate in women. It is our most natural gift and we need to harness it to change business or capitalism fundamentally. The fact that we are still faced with a strike affecting both owners and employees in the platinum belt in South Africa is indicative that old-cowboy-style capitalism doesn’t care much for people and this is un-African.

Doing business the African way

It is time for multinationals to realise that in the new South Africa, you have to contour your business to fit the environment you operate in. I will risk it and say that if our strike-infested industries placed people before profits, strikes would significantly decrease. If we tied this to a substantial paradigm shift in the role of unions, we might bring our growth rate back to what it should be. However, it will take women to bring about this swing. Where are the female voices urging negotiators to get back to the boardroom table so our children can have food on their table?

People before profit

We will only change the status quo when we break the cycle of old capitalism. The next generation of entrepreneurs needs to have a deep and innate focus on people, the environment and the communities we operate in, over profits. However, right now women already have this gene so allow us the space to turn things around. I’m not asking for permission, simply stating facts.

Now, please don’t get me wrong, I love the gratification of making a profit. However, it is only an indicator that you’ve achieved your goals. It is the culmination of everything coming together beautifully so it cannot and should not be at the expense of what it means to be African.
If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to grow a business. This is what it means to do business in Africa and the sooner multinationals realise this, the quicker we can get back to building a better life for all.

About the author: Antoinette Prophy is an entrepreneur by DNA. Passionate Afro-Optimist. Golfer. Realist. Always enjoy a good laugh. Love a good book. Antoinette is also the founder of Afrofusion Advertising. Follow her on Twitter at @AntoProphy.

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