South Africa commemorates Women's Month in August as a tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. The Government of South Africa declared August women's month and 9 August is celebrated annually as Women's Day.
Numerous issues identified as affecting South African women include, but not limited to;
· Access to health care;
· Financial independence; and
· Sexual violence
According to the 2017 MasterCard Index for Women Entrepreneurs, South African women account for only 19.1% of business owners. This indicates that women’s progress in entrepreneurship has been disappointingly low compared to its global counterparts.
Startup Grind East London believes that once we promote Financial independence among women, we could solve many other ills that plague women and our society.
If you’re at all familiar with the investment industry in East London, Thandi Mbete is a name you would instantly recognise. Her name likely rings an entrepreneurial bell.
Prior to starting her current company, Thandi has twenty years working experience of which ten years is with Strategy Management from both the private and public sector. She has gone to acquire various positions starting in 1995 as an Accountant working her way to being a Financial Manager, Senior Operations and Business Analyst. She didn’t stop there, she went on to become a Business Strategist, Management Consultant, Senior Manager -Strategy, General Manager – Strategy, Non-executive Director all the way to becoming Chairperson of various committees.
Her extensive practical experience and expertise in the field of Management Consulting – Strategic Management, Organization Redesign, HR & Performance Management, Training and Facilitation, Policy Development, Project Management, Business Analysis and Business Re-engineering makes her a key asset for businesses entities. She is a certified accountant who further holds a post graduate qualification in Strategy Management and Corporate Governance which she passed cum laude.
Now, a Certified Cultural Transformative Tools Expert and Business and Life Coach, Thandi’s current company, Iingcinga Investment, is a full-service strategic advisory and investment company that provides full strategy management cycle services; starting with stakeholder consultations, strategic planning, implementation and strategic reviews and updates. As a Founder and CEO of her company, she is in a critical position to advice and strategically deliver practical and achievable solutions to startups.
Thandi will take us on a journey through her own history as a startup to being a founder and CEO in her company today; keeping to her motto, “Once you learn, you must teach”.
Jacqui Mauer is a trailblazer in the advisory and tax services industry. With 23 years under her belt, she has amassed a wealth of experience and expertise in various business sectors. A meticulous Director, she has proven her ability to build relationships and maintain partnerships with top clients to increase overall productivity and grow profit channels. She has expanded network connections by effectively determining and meeting the client’s needs.
Her leadership skills allow her to actively advise in Issue resolution, verbal and written communication, Negotiation and dispute resolution making as well as facilitating coordination. Her technical skills make her an essential talent in financial administration, Analyzing financial statement, auditing, IFRS application and Critical reasoning and decision making.
Through her work as PricewaterCoopers director, Jacqui has become a noteworthy professional amongst her peers and the industry at large. She has worked her way to the top having started as an Audit Trainee to climbing the corporate ladder to becoming a decision making Audit Partner/Director of a large multinational professional services firm, the second largest in the world and one of the Big Four auditors.
Jacqui has become an inspiration and story of empowerment. Among her many achievements, in 2008, she became a member of the Board of Advisors for the Accounting Department of University of Fort Hare. In 2009, she hosted the PwC Women’s Function for six years. In 2012, she was elected as 2nd Vice President of the Border Kei Chamber of Business and then in 2017, she became the first female President Elect of the Rotary Club of Gately and has since gone on to champion the empowerment and aspirations of women.
She is currently a member of the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors, and a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.
When she is not busy with profession social responsibility projects or current and general affairs, Jacqui enjoys interacting with people and learning about different cultures.