Read time: 3 minutes

Fempreneurs shine during EWP gala event

It was a night of celebration and accomplishment when the North-West University (NWU) paid homage to the 2019 graduating class of the Enterprising Women Programme (EWP).

This flagship entrepreneurial accelerator programme was introduced seven years ago and empowers women across the NWU's demographical footprint to become self-sufficient business owners.

The gala evening saw participants from two renditions of the EWP graduate, namely EWP Vanderbijlpark and EWP Sasolburg. In total, a group of 23 women were applauded by members of the region's business fraternity and university management.

"Every group of EWP graduates reaffirms the NWU's commitment towards social responsiveness," says Johan Landsberg, manager of the bhive EDC.

He adds the programme serves as a launching pad from where fempreneurs can effectively navigate the challenges unique to them. These challenges include high levels of domestic responsibility, a lack of assertiveness and confidence, fewer business-orientated networks in their communities and a lack of capital and assets.

More about the programme

The programme is being rolled-out in Mahikeng, Potchefstroom, Sasolburg and Vanderbijlpark and is managed and co-ordinated by the bhive Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) in Vanderbijlpark. The latter represents a dynamic hub of entrepreneurial activities within the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.

According to Leonie Greyling, EWP co-ordinator, the success of the annual programme lies therein, that it provides real-time business support services to women. Participants are taken through a comprehensive curriculum to assist them in identifying business ideas and markets, the development of a sound business model and, finally, how to initiate their start-up venture. Greyling adds that, along the way, the women not only become part of a dynamic peer network, but also enjoy personal mentorship by seasoned entrepreneurs and knowledgeable members of academia.

"Ultimately, the programme offers women the opportunity to freely explore their entrepreneurial endeavours while at the same time enjoying the benefits of a structured learning experience through workshops and group-centred learning activities," says Greyling.