The first Women in Business group met in the business centre on Friday 29 June to share stories about getting ahead in business. (picture left: Speakers at the first Women in Business networking session were Yolelwa Sikunyana and Vidhya Jayawardena.)
Guest speaker Vidya Jayawardena – entrepreneur behind The Black Box – encouraged the audience of about 15 women from the campus to answer four questions positively before starting a business:
- Do you know what you want to sell?
- Do you have immediate access to a minimum viable product?
- Does it solve a customer need?
- Do you have access to a basic market at zero to minimal cost?
“Entrepreneurs are problem solvers and we need to stay relevant to the market. Focus on your strengths to get ahead,” was her advice to the group.
Jayawardena’s first career was to qualify as a CA with Deloitte and she started her consultancy soon after realising that a corporate career wouldn’t fulfil her ambitions. The Black Box consults to SMEs on strategy and accounting-related matters.
The second presentation for the afternoon was Yolelwa Sikunyana from Sikunyana Incorporated, based at Riversands Incubation Hub.
As a legal professional, Sikunyana remarked that the industry still tends to be male dominated. The women in the room echoed her experiences, voicing the opinion that males tend to dismiss female achievements in many other professions as well.
Everyone agreed that it’s up to women to look for solutions and support each other, to prove their own worth and be confident of any contribution they make to the business world.
These events will be hosted on the last Friday of each month 14h00 – 16h00 to encourage networking and social interaction.