Seriti launches development programme empowering women in mining
A holistic development programme aiming at empowering woman entrepreneurs in the Emalahleni/Middelburg area was launched in May 2022 by Seriti. This programme will be run by Collective Value Creation (CVC) over the next eighteen months and emphasises Seriti’s focus on women empowerment.
Managing Director of CVC, Wybrand Ganzevoort, says the Women in Mining programme’s twenty entrepreneurs will be skilled and their companies developed to grow, increasing their competitiveness and ability to attract further business.
The majority of the ladies on the programme are established suppliers to the Seriti Power business and they have each been running their companies for a number of years. Some of the companies have gone through difficult times during the COVID:19 pandemic and these entrepreneurs are looking for renewed success in their businesses.
Although they have previously been part of entrepreneurial development programmes focussing on women, Ganzevoort stresses that this programme “specifically looks at the needs of women entrepreneurs in a male-dominated industry as well as the women in the context of the family, spouse and community.” With most programmes of this nature, immediate attention is provided to the business support needs, however, Women in Mining specifically addresses the holistic relationship between the female entrepreneur and all the various stakeholders. The aim is also to separate realistic from unrealistic expectations and establish which expectations require restoration.
CVC’s Project Manager on the programme, Orla Ollewagen, said that “As women have unique needs and face diverse challenges, particularly as an entrepreneur, a common thread arose from workshopping these needs prior to designing the programme. Some core shared concerns include feelings of loneliness as a female leader; the daily struggle of juggling numerous roles and not being taken seriously as a woman in business. I have a passion for women’s development and am excited to see these ladies develop individually and collectively as they support one another to grow their own businesses as well as those of others.”
Speaking on the experience CVC brings to the programme, Ganzevoort mentions that they have recently run an executive women’s development programme through Collective Value Creation Botswana. It was during this time that the needs of business women owners and executives were emphasised.
How will the programme be executed? Ganzevoort explains that the programme focuses firstly on developing the business owner, after which their business is supported through development workshops, backed up by one-on-one mentoring.
Each of the business owners will have access to specialists acting as mentors in various areas such as sales, marketing, finance and personal development. These specialists will also be consulting the participants in order to improve their business activities. Ninety percent of these mentors and business specialists on the programme are also female.
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Minah Zulu, a participant in the Women in Mining programme, said that she is looking forward to personal growth and becoming more assertive and confident as a businesswoman. She is grateful to Seriti “for such a program that recognises that women in mining have a tremendous contribution to make to the business, by offering their support to unleash our hidden potential.”
Seriti’s Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programmes, aim to develop local SMMEs to create a pipeline of supply chain-ready businesses who can secure procurement opportunities both inside and outside Seriti and develop existing local suppliers and SMMEs to enable them to realise the scale and drive supplier diversity in our Supply chain.