Female founders from businesses including Taskay Apparel
, Black Tie Media and Communications
, Direct Solar Solutions, Nobonga Health Promotions
, Simply Granola
, Akachi Media
, Lisa's Box
, Pukka Holdings, Toda Holdings
, Abacus Services
, Robyn Hey Attorneys
, Tshepiso Branding Solutions
and Lunar Geoservices
were selected out of a number of applicants to participate in the virtual bootcamp, where they were paired with a mentor to help strengthen their businesses for growth and success.
Commencing in August (National Women's Month), each week the founders were welcomed by guest speakers, Renchia Droganis
(founder and CEO of Africology), Matt Banner
(TikTok business development manager at 365 Digital), Melina Lambrakis
(co-owner and director at Europa Art Group), Ruschda Ismail
(CFO of dentsu South Africa) and Clare Trafankowska
(managing director of Vizeum and iProspect SA) followed by six learning modules hosted and delivered in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network UK
and 22 On Sloane
This year, the learning modules included inspiration to help the entrepreneurs move from a position of founder to leader, interrogating their business models, mapping their customer journeys, strategies for thriving in a digital marketplace, redefining, and diversifying for growth as well as fundraising avenues.
In week eight, the founders (together with their mentors), put their workshop learnings into play by participating in a final pitch event where owner of Akachi Media, Nkateko Mtshina, and owner of Simply Granola, Nicola Kok, were awarded with 'pitch of the day'.
Commenting on the bootcamp, Sarah Sebetola, owner and managing director of Tshepiso Branding Solutions
, says: "I am truly appreciative of the opportunity I received from the Female Foundry programme. The modules, constructive guidance from my awesome mentor, coupled with the practicality of the knowledge gems shared, will remain with me as I continually evolve from founder to leader. Keyaleboga!" "Being part of the 2021 Female Foundry cohort was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to touch shoulders with some of the most incredible female powerhouses in SA. What a privilege to be inspired, mentored, and taught by exceptional leaders and experts. Not only was the programme extremely insightful, but I am also inspired to see more female entrepreneurs pave their way to success in the SA marketplace,"
said Nicola Kok, owner of Simply Granola
Nkateko Mtshina, founder of Akachi Media
, said: "Female Foundry opened my eyes to many things I did not have a solid understanding about and confirmed what I am doing right. My exact purpose was to learn more about the things I didn't know so, this was right on. The programme is not for the faint of heart, only highly committed, serious entrepreneurs that want to build a significant company should apply. Each founder got something different out of the same presentation and the bootcamp put it all together in a way that will allow me to accelerate my business in a remarkable way!"
Koo Govender, CEO of dentsu South Africa, comments: "The foundry business growth programme is designed to offer experienced training and mentorship to empower and develop the skills of female entrepreneurs which is something that I am so passionate about from a personal and business perspective. As a foundry mentor myself, it is always so rewarding to see a cohort of female entrepreneurs commit to developing their businesses and having the passion and determination to grow to new heights.
"A huge thank you to our 2021 mentors for volunteering your time, skills and expertise: Audrey Naidoo, Bruno Bertrand, Chike Oputa, Clare Trafankowsa, Diane Boorman, Glen Marques, João dos Santos, Lani Carstens, Mantsha Pheeha, Marian Ogaziechi, Sikota Bones, Zaheida Sayed and Zodwa Vundla. It is so appreciated."
At dentsu, we are committed to mentoring entrepreneurs and change-makers to empower and accelerate their growth as part of our social impact strategy. The launch of the second Female Foundry in South Africa is a key milestone in dentsu's journey towards achieving its global target of supporting 500 female founded businesses by 2030.