Johannesburg 28 out of top 50 cities for women entrepreneurs

Dell has announced the findings of its 2017 Dell Women Entrepreneur Cities Index (WE Cities) – a global, gender-specific index that looks at a city’s ability to attract and foster growth of women-owned companies.

Johannesburg ranked 28th out of the 50, ahead of Seoul, Barcelona, Tokyo and Dublin, to name a few notable locations. The top five cities for women entrepreneurs are New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, London, Boston and Stockholm. Cities are ranked on five categories of characteristics – capital, technology, talent, culture and markets. The study ranks cities to show the impact of local policies, programs and characteristics in addition to national laws and customs on high-performing women entrepreneurs.

“Globally, women’s entrepreneurship rates are growing more than 10 percent each year. In fact, women are as likely or more likely than men to start businesses in many markets. However, financial, cultural and political barriers can limit the success of these businesses,” says Karen Quintos, EVP and chief customer officer at Dell. “By arming city leaders and policymakers with data-driven research and clear calls to action, we can collectively improve the landscape for high-potential women entrepreneurs, which in turn dramatically lifts a city’s economic prospects – as what is good for women is good for the economy.”

Johannesburg’s rating

Johannesburg Overall Score 38.6/100 | Overall Rank 28/50
4.7 million population
$102 billion Gross Metro Product (2016)
Top industries by employment are: (1) Finance, (2)Trade, (3) Community services & (4) Manufacturing

Notable Strengths
Powerful women in South Africa, at least in politics, are not uncommon: the percentage of women in the Parliament of South Africa, 44%, is among the highest in the world.
Additionally, women represent 42% of the Cabinet and 38.4% of local government.
The country also has several policies designed to decrease gender bias.

For example, Section Nine of the Constitution of South Africa guarantees “equality before the law and freedom from discrimination” and the Employment Equity Act defines “unfair discrimination” as a difference in terms and conditions of employment between employees of the same employer performing the same or substantially the same work or work of equal value based on gender, among other characteristics (ranking it 7th on Policy in the Culture pillar).

Moreover, female talent in South Africa extends beyond politics: in Johannesburg, 76% of adult women participate in the labour force and there are four local business schools with an average female enrolment of nearly 43%.

Ranking 11th on Markets overall (driven by its 7th place rank in Policy), the City of Johannesburg also has a website that helps people start a business and the national statistics agency, StatsSA, collects gender data on income and employment at the regional level in the Quarterly Labor Force Survey (QLFS), which helps keep track of women’s economic progress over time.
Areas for Improvement
Johannesburg has many opportunities to better nurture and support women entrepreneurs.
Education is a key area for improvement, both for entrepreneurial women and the workforce at large: less than 19% of the female working age population has a tertiary education or above (although this is still higher than the 17% of the male population with a tertiary education or above). Another area of improvement is paid maternity benefits, which currently stand at just four months of unpaid or partially paid maternity leave. This would help women maintain and build their capital base where the city ranks 39th.

Johannesburg could host networking opportunities and build city level organisations and/or incubator and accelerator programs specifically for entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs.

Johannesburg also ranks 50th on safety. That said, it could address its high crime rate (and its percent of people worried about being attacked) so the overall working environment is safer for women.

Johannesburg could also increase women’s use of technology by developing programs to decrease the high average monthly cost of internet (ranking 41st) and by creating technology training programs specifically designed for women (where it ranks 48th out of 50).

MTN launches second Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards

 

Mapula Bodibe, Executive for the Consumer Business Unit at MTN SA, and Mark Harris, Group CEO of Kagiso Media

MTN yesterday opened nominations for the second edition of the Women in ICT Awards in partnership with Kagiso Media and ITWeb Brainstorm.

This initiative seeks to accelerate women’s participation in the ICT sector by celebrating and rewarding women professionals who have made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the ICT sector. In doing so, this initiative hopes to attract girl children and young aspirant female professionals to consider a profession in the industry and enhance the industry’s employer value proposition.

MTN is inviting the industry to nominate women working in the sector for the Awards in several categories. Nominations can be made at https://www.mtn.co.za/womeninict – nominations close on 4 August.

Nominees will be evaluated in the following categories:

Leadership Recognition Award: recognises senior female executives in the ICT sector whose proven depth of experience in leading change, influencing business outcomes and leading teams has impacted positively on the organisations they lead.

Innovator Recognition Award: recognises women who have introduced new methods, ideas, or products that are contributing in one way or the other to the delivery of a bold, new, digital world.

SME Recognition Award: recognises wholly-owned, women-run enterprises that are viable businesses which are making inroads in the ICT sector, and will be extended to internal employees who also run businesses on the side, using ICT to enable their businesses.

Graduate Award (High Schools): recognises a top ICT graduate from a high school who finished top of their class. The award is open to females who graduated in the immediate year preceding the awards ceremony.  

Graduate Award (Tertiary): recognises a top ICT graduate from a tertiary institution who finished top of their class. The award is open to females who graduated in the immediate year preceding the awards ceremony.  

Community Builder Recognition Award: recognises a woman who has made a considerable difference in her community through ICT, or use of an ICT tool to make a difference in the community.

Lifetime Achiever Recognition Award (Women Pioneer): recognises a woman who has longstanding success in the ICT industry, has demonstrated a remarkable entrepreneurial spirit, and has continually stayed ahead of the curve.

Excellence in ICT Journalism Award: this category seeks to recognise a journalist who has contributed immensely to creating a better understanding of the ICT industry through her reporting.

CEO’s Award: this award recognises an MTN employee that has made a difference within the organisation with the use of ICT and Technology.

Ministerial Recognition Award: this category gives the minister the opportunity to use their discretion to nominate a female ICT professional whose contribution has helped to bridge the digital divide and facilitate access to telecommunication services.

A new category has been introduced this year – The Public Choice Award. This category gives members of the public the opportunity to nominate an outstanding female professional in the ICT sector using an SMS platform. The dedicated SMS number will be unveiled in due course.

Speaking at the launch yesterday, Mapula Bodibe, Executive for the Consumer Business Unit at MTN SA, said that despite the strides being made by women professionals in ICT, a lot still needs to be done to increase the levels of women participation in the sector.

“The representation of and by women in the ICT is still negligible,” she commented. “Regardless of how bleak the statistics are, there are still pockets of remarkable women leaders in the ICT sector. I wish to appeal to these professionals to use their influence and positions to pave the way for other female professionals to thrive and prosper.”

 

Deshnie Govender

Deshnie Govender

Name: Deshnie Govender

Designation: Creative Director

Company: iVENT

What do you do every day? No two days are the same in digital but essentially I work with brands, agencies and influencers. From strategy and content creation to post production – engaging and authentic content is my key focus.

How did you get into the tech space? It found me! Starting out as a DJ I needed my music to be heard and social media was the easiest (and free) platform that allowed me to connect with others in seconds. When I realised social media and influencer management could become actual careers, I leveraged off my experience in music to start up my consultancy.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Do what you love and never work a day in your life. I can honestly say that I love what I do and, notwithstanding stressful days, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Start with your own platforms. What do your social media accounts look like and what is the frequency of your content? Hands-on experience is the best way to start so I would suggest job shadowing or interning at a digital agency. Trust me, this is the environment that will show you how fast paced this industry can be.

What motivates you to get out of bed every day? My company, iVent. I am deeply passionate about what I do and never do anything half-heartedly. My work ethos dictates that my dedication and commitment – not just to my clients, influencers whom I collaborate with and projects that I run – are given 150% of my effort. There is no such thing as sleeping in for me!

What do you want to be when you grow up? I’d like to become a better version of me ☺

Expanding my offices in the UK and America, showing that market what our local influencer offering is like and collaborating on projects. We need to be the first to market, not the last option.

Blog: www.ivent.co.za
Linkedin: https://za.linkedin.com/in/deshnie

Sugeshni Subroyen

Sugeshni Subroyen

Name: Sugeshni Subroyen

Designation: Marketing Manager

Company: Mint Management Technologies (Group)

What do you do every day? I am responsible for running the marketing discipline within the Mint Group of Companies. Mint is a global Microsoft business provider who provides technology solutions to companies in the financial services industry. No two days are the same, our team of four (strategist, content marketer, events producer and social media marketer) crafts exciting messaging and campaigns to promote our brand globally.

We are a one-stop marketing shop that focuses on the full spectrum of marketing services and with our recent expansion to USA and Africa, we now have exposure to marketing to different cultures and expectations.

How did you get into the tech space? I was always in the financial services sector and when the opportunity came about to join one of the largest technology giants in the country, I grabbed the opportunity to be part of the EOH Group. I worked at the Head Office in Bedfordview as part of the Corporate Marketing team. With an inspiring and revolutionary leader like Asher Bohbot, who could not be passionate about technology?

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Always give your “all” in everything you do!

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Tech is the way to go! According to Satya Nadella, we are in the 4th industrial revolution, Digital Transformation. If you are not part of this revolution, I am afraid you will be left behind!

What motivates you to get out of bed every day? I am passionate about marketing and the impact it has on the success of business. Everyone is a marketer in some shape or form and we are marketing ourselves daily without even noticing. Personal brands extend to professional brands. I love what I do and the motivation comes when people recognise the worth of marketing in the grand scheme of things!

Who do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be someone that can leave a legacy and make a difference so that my girls are proud of their mom and her accomplishments. I want to give back to my community and inspire young girls to be a success in everything they set their hearts on. Success is not determined by the position you hold or the car you drive but is rather the determination and eagerness you put in to any goal you set yourself, whether it is the best cake baker you can be or teacher or developer or UX designer!

Twitter: @ssubroyen
Google+: Sugeshni Subroyen
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sugeshnisubroyen

Wits Navigator Challenge – entry deadline extended

WITS NAVIGATOR CHALLENGE 

Wits University’s Disability Rights Unit (DRU) assists over 1000 students and staff each year. Almost a third of these are physically or visually impaired. While Wits University’s campuses meet very high standards of accessibility for those with disabilities, it remains difficult for some disabled students to navigate around Wits.

The Wits Campus Personal Navigator Challenge aims to develop innovative systems that will increase the independence of students with visual and physical disabilities by providing them with a “personal navigator” around Wits’ vast campuses. The system should be able to safely guide a visually impaired or a physically impaired student from one location to another by using predefined safe accessible routes.

The system could be a simple standalone device that attaches to a walking cane or wheelchair or be a wearable device (e.g. wristband). This unique navigation system may work independently or in conjunction with relevant existing and/or future systems (software, apps, maps, etc.) to provide visual/audible directions and information to the student. To do this the proposed system might use multiple sensors installed at key points on campus which will provide location information and alerts to the base unit installed on a walking cane/ wheelchair/wearable device.

The aim of the Challenge is to assist successful entrants in turning a great idea into a viable tech startup. The top 10 ideas will have an opportunity to work in Wits University’s new startup incubator in the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein. The winner of the Challenge will spend 4 weeks working in a partner incubator in Canada, USA, Netherlands, UK or India.

The Challenge is open to all – not only Wits Students – and is being run by the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) with sponsorship from the Carl and Emily Fuchs Foundation.

CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES: 24th MARCH 2017

SUBMIT APPLICATION

Click here for more detailed information on the event.

WomeninTech: A question of changing perceptions

EMC systems engineer Jeanette Marutle joined the company in 2010 with no technology experience. A nine-week bootcamp, two years’ of mentoring and training and four years’ on the job and she’s working with the local sales team to provide high-end technology solutions to meet customers’ business needs.

“It’s been an exciting journey,” she says. “I didn’t want to be in tech, tech found me.”

Marutle studied economics, mathematics and computational mathematics and wanted to go into the economics side of it, but ended up in the computational space. “People who meet me now versus six years’ ago can see I’ve changed. I work with customers who’ve been in IT for 20, 30 years, and helping them and convincing them that I can add value to them has given me confidence.”

IT is a constantly changing sector, so you’re always learning, she says. “I’ve gotten to a point where I tell myself that I don’t need to know everything, I need to know enough and I need to know who to ask about the things I don’t know.”

View the full interview with Jeanette Marutle:

Women in tech on film…

We made a video! It’s part retrospective of the last #WomeninTechZA networking event and part invite (to men & women in tech) to the next at Fak’ugesi. With thanks to sponsor Business Connexion for all the support! 🙂

Get your tickets for Monday’s event with Debbie Rogers from Praekelt & Business Connexion’s Grace Dipale here: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/7372-womenintechza-networking-event/

https://youtu.be/TF-L3sXYzss