Vijay Naidoo - President South Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry : A Greater Slice of the Economic Pie
Vijay Naidoo - President South Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry : A Greater Slice of the Economic Pie



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Vijay Naidoo - President South Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry : A Greater Slice of the Economic Pie

2017-02-15

The case for giving woman owned businesses a greater slice of the economic pie goes beyond issues of gender equality and other populist notions. The reality is that woman owned business owners generally bring a different skills set to the management of their enterprises that more often than not results in their early success, growth and sustainability. These include empathy, a more innovative problem solving approach, the ability to stretch their limited capital resources and novel negotiating tactics. But should lest established (male owned) let their guards down in competing with them, the velvet glove often encloses sharp claws that are readily drawn if needed...

The emergence of women owned enterprises (WOEs) as a catalytic force to enhance transformation and accelerate growth in local economies in particular cannot be ignored. The adage that 'behind every successful man is a woman' is being pushed aside: increasingly women are emerging from the shadow of a husband/CEO/HOD to take the lead confidently and competently.

Chambers are well placed to support and amplify this trend to the benefit of their local economies by:
  • Explicitly including the promotion and support of WOEs in their broader economic transformation goals
  • Fostering and forging partnerships with stakeholders that provide support and funding
  • Actively promote the breakdown of barriers between 'established business interest' and WOEs
  • Sourcing and sharing information that can benefit this sector
  • Diversifying their membership base by targeting WOEs
  • Encourage participation by WOEs in chamber structures
  • Establishing linkages with businesswomen's organisations
Similarly, local and district municipalities can, and should contribute by:
  • Ensuring their procurement policies and SCM processes actively encourage and promote the participation of WOEs
  • Building strong relationships with provincial and national departments that focus on woman's issues to leverage funding and support opportunities
  • Developing business support incentives that favour and encourage WOEs
It must be acknowledged that some laudable initiatives are emerging to underpin and support this emerging trend: I was privileged to attend the launch of SEDA's Woman Enterprise Coaching Programme (WECP) in the Ugu District recently. This is an intensive 10 module business development course that will cover all areas of business management. Some startling statistics were shared with us about the achievements of the programme in other districts, and we look forward to the replication of those success stories in our region.

T: 039 682 0235
C: 083 700 5427
president@sccci.org.za, vijay@saol.com
(Previously published in the Mercury Network)




Vijay Naidoo - President South Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry : A Greater Slice of the Economic Pie

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