SA Network aims to Boost Women as Entrepreneurs, Community Activists

Updated on 26 March 2018

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Women of Stature network


A South African woman’s networking organisation is helping women from varying backgrounds and races to become entrepreneurs while also making a positive social impact.

On Friday Woman of Stature, founded five years ago by Charlotte du Plessis, showcased women who were honoured last year for their community work, as well as excelling in entrepreneurship, healthcare and finance.The 2018 recipients will be announced on Saturday.

“The thing that differentiates Woman of Stature as a networking organisation is that it is absolutely purposeful, intentional networking,” co-director Lynn Hill told the African News Agency at the sidelines of the conference.

“It has at its core vision to create sustainable globally competititve South African female entrepreneurs to play in a global economic market.”

“We are looking to expand the network globally, but the focus is to empower South African entrepreneurs from all walks of life, across sectors, to become globally competitive and branded through global visibility and also to translate that visibility into economic quantification.”

The organisation plans to start new chapters soon, in Cape Town and Durban.

The current recipient of Woman of Stature’s top award is Shafika Isaacs, who outlined how she has drawn on her experiences as a political activist during the white apartheid system that discriminated against non-white South Africans, to help the millions of poverty-stricken people, particularly in education.

“Essentially it’s about influencing big educational systems to shift, in South Africa and different African countries, primarily in the interest of the poorest of the poor, refugee communities,” she said.

“My big internal struggle has been, how do I reconcile the fact that I work with people who live and breathe under such degrading conditions and I’m a woman of stature.”

Reigning recipient of the ‘Woman in Community’ award is Pam Green, a divorced mother of one in her late 30s who used her social media skills, and a strong sense of empathy drawn from personal hardships including an abusive relationship, being briefly homeless, and fighting cancer, to help less fortunate South Africans

Green founded ‘Second Chances’ after a Facebook message she posted to highlight the plight of a man forced to beg on the street despite being a high school graduate, went viral.

“I posted the Joseph story on Facebook and within 24 hours it had been shared 37,000 times and Facebook tells me that to date it has been viewed by 42 million individual people,” Green said on Friday.

A campaign that yielded radio station interviews, newspaper articles and TV appearances on Sky News, BBC and Al Jazeera ultimate yielded a job for Joseph, and Green realised she wanted to help more people in similar dire straits, to fulfil a quirky childhood dream of one day having a tombstone that says “Here lies Pam Green, she tried to save the world.” (via African News Agency)

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