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Economic Empowerment

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Women Economic Empowerment

B'avumile Skills Development Initiative

The B'avumile skills development programme is a women's empowerment capacity-building initiative aimed at identifying talent in the arts and crafts and textiles and clothing sectors. It is a formal training programme to develop women's expertise in the production of marketable goods and the creation of formal enterprises in the creative industry.

The programme places emphasis on both skills development and the economic empowerment of women. B'avumile seeks to:

  • Recruit women involved in the creative, clothing and textile industries, with skills in embroidery, sewing, weaving and beading;
  • Provide specialist skills training and assist women to establish their own enterprises or co-operatives;
  • In partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (seda), provide additional training in packaging, customer service, basic bookkeeping and registering a business; and
  • Provide training sessions in municipalities. The training includes training on business skills. A number of women who have undergone this training run successful businesses and have been further assisted through other products offered by the dti.
Each year a particular province is selected and women enterprises are identified to participate in the process. A selection process is undertaken with the panel of experts in the sector, provincial partners, including the provincial government departments and seda.

Technology for Women in Business (TWIB)

Technology for Women in Business (TWIB) was introduced to accelerate women's economic empowerment and the development of women-owned enterprises through the recognition of technology-based business applications and systems, and to unlock constraints to enterprise innovation and growth as well as global competitiveness.

The awards are part of the broader TWIB vision of linking women with relevant science and technology-driven business solutions that will improve their business creativity and potential, and reward those women who have used technology to grow their business.

TWIB targets women entrepreneurs who use enterprising technological innovations to increase the production and enhance the quality of their products. Their business must be a profit-making enterprise that demonstrates diffusion of technology.

The TWIB Awards are held every year. TWIB calls for nominations to be done through advertisements placed in national newspapers as well as on the dti website. The judging or selection process is handled by an independent panel of judges/adjudicators appointed by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry. Prizes range from ICT business solutions to entrepreneurial support.

Technogirls Programme

The mandate of TWIB extends to programmes that encourage girls to pursue careers in engineering, and science and technology by facilitating access to educational information, career opportunities, and academic and extra-mural learning programmes.

The current theme of the programme is "A Girl Today, a Successful Entrepreneur Tommorrow". Through the campaign the dti aims to encourage young girls to contribute to the country's economic development and growth by becoming the creators of wealth and job opportunities.

The programme, which is conducted annually in different provinces, targets 10 schools from previously disadvantaged communities and 10 learners per school are selected to participate. A total of 100 learners per province participate. Each school comes up with an entrepreneurial idea, which is measured in term of credibility and feasibility, practicality, originality and durability. Cell C is the partner in the programme.

Nine provinces have participated in the programme since its inception. The winning schools receive computers and fax machines as well as gifts from Cell C such as cellphones, bags or T-shirts. The learners are given the opportunity to present at the Budget Vote day as well as a trip to the Annual Global Summit.

South African Women Entrepreneurs' Network (SAWEN)

the dti identified and adopted SAWEN to fast-track support provided to women in addressing challenges faced when establishing, strengthening and sustaining their enterprises.

SAWEN is a membership organisation with a mandate to represent and articulate the aspirations of all women entrepreneurs who operate within the South African SMME sector.

Support services under the banner of SAWEN programme include:

  • Effective network forums;
  • Training and capacity-building programmes;
  • The provision of pertinent business information and advice that leads to business opportunities;
  • Facilitating trade missions and exposure to global economy; and
  • Maintaining a reliable database of South African women entrepreneurs.
SAWEN can be contacted at +27 (11) 403 1048, or visit their website: