Yesterday, Rise gathered like-minded women together for a morning session of inspiration and networking in honour of celebrating Women’s day and women entrepreneurship. The occasion started off with an assembly of donations for neighbouring Women’s Shelter. Rise is a South African Fintech innovation Hub and aims to create the ultimate tools for innovation and growth in financial services. Rise is also a curated community where the best and brightest can develop, collaborate, and scale together.
South Africa commemorates the month of August as a tribute to the women who participated in a national march petitioned to the Union Buildings on August 9, 1956 against pass legislation that required African persons to carry a document on them to provide that they were acknowledged to enter a white area. Over 20,000 women of all races and ages from every corner of South Africa marched together towards the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The march was a resounding success and a brave recognition of these women who risked arrest, detention and banning that declared the 9th of August national Women’s day.
Supporting women entrepreneurship is certainly a positive and concrete prime which echoes and preserve the values passed from the past. The support carries and amplifies the message of women empowerment.
Renowned social entrepreneur Lillian Masebenza was the keynote speaker of the event and shared a profound insight of what it takes to go beyond succeeding as an entrepreneur. Lillian attributed that contributing to society is the first step to a successful entrepreneurship.
Since she took an early retirement from her job Old Mutual in 2001, Lillian Masebenza launched Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Networks, which adapts traditional community structures to create a trusted platform for income-generation for women and youth in South Arica. She provides business training, skills-development, and mentorship to groups that previously focused exclusively on saving for special occasions and fostering a new sense of entrepreneurship among disadvantaged communities. For example, her first assignment was to help a sewing group in one of South Africa’s townships were they made and sold garments. It entailed skills, marketing and financial trading for women to sell a value-added product at the right price and place. Masebenza has since used her connections and corporate background to facilitate a tailor-made offering to social groups like traditional caters, crafters and tour groups.
Her model was recognised by the international social entrepreneurship institution- Ashoka- in 2008 and was named a Fellow Ashoka. In the years since she launched Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Networks, her work has appeared in the number of TV programs, magazines, newspapers and radio shows.
“Remove the label of being a victim, empower other women and make everyday a woman’s day,” she said.
Rise prepared a petite Giveaway competition and the winners received hampers from Rise and Linum Labs. The event concluded with powerful networking and an upscale breakfast hour station.