Countdown until TWES: 11 August 2023, 09H00 - 12H30
Thriving Women Entrepreneurs Summit!
This year will be bigger and better than before – with a new panel of empowering women entrepreneurs who are ready to inspire you to run THRIVING BUSINESSES!
When: 11 August 2023
Time: 09:00 – 12:30
Where: Virtual (Zoom)
Cost: Complementary Event
Reigning Mrs South Africa, Philanthropist & Business Woman
Born from the beautiful Vaal in the Free State township Sebokeng, Palesa is the Group CEO Group ITC Communications Company holding a Bachelors of Marketing and Business Management degree, she has been in the marketing and advertising industry for over 10 years. She fell in love with fashion when she travelled with her mother Elisa Makwa to New York, Brazil and London and has walked on South African Fashion Week stages and featured on both Billboard and Front cover magazines.
Palesa has worked for big fashion industries such as AFI, Prive Platinum Group, Jenni Button and Hilton Weiner. She has 2 beautiful children, Kgosi Alexander and Kelebogile Gabrielle Matjekane. Palesa’s passion reawakened when she entered Mrs South Africa 2020. Spending time with married women (and within what she terms ‘sisterhood’), she started her clothing line Maison Lisa Denim. This was in response to many women saying that they struggled with denims that fit well and are comfortable. Due to Palesa’s height, her focus also was on the length available.
The name Maison Lisa derives from women in her life. As ‘pillars of strength’, her mother and grandmother are both Elisabeth (so Lisa in short). Palesa’s grandmother, Elizabeth Makwa was an aspiring designer when she fell pregnant, so this brand is a legacy of 3 phenomenal women: Elizabeth Makwa-the aspiring designer, Elisa Makwa-business guru and Palesa Makwa Matjekane-the designer.
The brand is locally designed and produced in South Africa with both local and international markets.
Palesa is the Chair and Founder of Women In Formation Africa whose main focus is on education, empowerment and social equality to ensure that girls and women have the opportunity to contribute to their community. In 2023, she is working with ITC organisations in introducing Technology programs in schools.
Palesa has also worked with the United Nations and African Union and is the National Head of Marketing: Black Management Forum – Young Professionals. In addition, Palesa formed part of the Admin Team – Secretariats of BRICS Financial services working group.
“Being crowned Mrs South Africa 2023 I am excited to the journey ahead and using a platform such as Mrs South Africa sisterhood to learn and grow with other women and remain United paving a way for the next generation to come.
Winning Mrs South Africa proved that anything is possible.
Dream it – believe it -be it.”
Author, Industrial Psychologist & Business Woman
Industrial psychologist and business coach Kathi Hyde has lived and worked in various countries around the world, achieving an impressive list of firsts. She was lecturing at an internationally recognised university at 21, making board-level business decisions by 26, backpacked solo through Africa and Europe at 28 and at 31, she tripled the annual turnover of a Danish multinational operating in East Africa, which gave her a first taste of business possibility in difficult circumstances.
Kathi is the author of Peace by Piece: A Practical Guide to Stepping Up or Starting Over in Business and in Life – published in January this year. The book, which was launched in March 2023 and has already won a Readers Gold Choice Award, contains expertise and practical wisdom on how to overcome setbacks in life and go on to achieve outstanding bottom-line growth, even in impossible times; create more space to enjoy their success and families, and ultimately find the financial freedom to pursue what matters.
Based between Croston (England) and Cape Town (South Africa), Kathi and her husband Neil live with a collie named Joe and an elderly lab Cherry, while tortoiseshell puss-cat Suki stays in Cape Town watching over her beloved daughter.
Social Entrepreneur, CEO, Wife and Mom
Phillipa Geard is a passionate initiator, social entrepreneur, and the CEO of RecruitMyMom and RecruitaGraduate. A mother of two, Phillipa was first inspired by the talents and abilities of many skilled mothers who are a great asset in business, if they are given the flexibility they require. RecruitMyMom was founded in 2012 to find a solution to retaining these skills for forward-thinking companies.
RecruitMyMom and Phillipa’s awards include Finalist 567 Cape Talk Sage Pastel Small Business Awards 2013, Winner Top 20 Small Business Awards 2017, Winner NSBC National Woman in Business Champion Award 2017 and Winner Job Creator of the Year Award 2018 in the EOY Awards sponsored by Sanlam and Business Partners and the Fairlady/Santam Women of the Future Award winner 2019.
RecruitAGraduate was started in 2019 to help with the youth unemployment crisis in South Africa by assisting the talented youth of South Africa to easily find employment and internships.
Actress, Business Woman, Public Speaker, Wife & Mom
“Discovering your superpower and finding your authentic voice will give you the confidence to show up fully and live the life of your dreams”
Claudine Ullman (as seen on Netflix, Comedy Central, MTV, E-Entertainment), is an actress, improviser, stand-up comedian, public speaker, facilitator, founder of the Jittery Citizens and an expert creativity coach. Currently located in the United Kingdom, Claudine completed her Bachelor of Arts at Wits University, then travelled widely, refining her craft at some of the top international performance schools.
Claudine was a keynote speaker in 2015 and was a panelist led by Felicia Mabuza-Suttle at Quality Life’s Woman’s Leadership Conference as well as their Women’s Day Breakfast titled: We are The Leaders We Have Been Waiting For. Claudine was invited to present on Improv(e) Your Life at the IEB dramatic arts conference and spoke at TEDx Johannesburg in 2016 and then was invited to return to the TEDx stage in 2020.
Using comedy techniques, Claudine inspires people to operate from their creative genius and live in their full power. Claudine has an advanced diploma in life coaching QLS level 7 and is an award-winning facilitator.
Her credentials include:
- Golden Key Honour Society – Top 15% Academic Achievement
- Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans
- SAFTA (South African Film and TV Awards) Award Nominated Writer: Excellence in Comedy Writing
- Jewish Achiever Awards Nominee Women in Business as well Cultural Excellence.
- Emerge Africa Awards Nominee: Inspirational Woman of The Year
- Mrs South Africa Beauty Pageant: Mrs Personality 2023
- Women of Wonder Award Winner
Elizabeth Payne &
Cally van Blerk
Digital Marketers, Business Women, Hope Advocates & Moms
Liz’s working career began in London after completing her Business and Marketing degree. After working in Brand Management, NPD, and PR on some of the most loved British brands, it was digital marketing that captured her heart, when she attended the launch of Twitter in 2008, recently rebranded as X. (thanks Elon)
Being on the cutting edge of social media marketing from grassroots taught her a huge amount about growing and building a brand online. One of her most loved footwear choices in London was ‘Wellies’ or gumboots as we know them in South Africa. On moving back to South Africa, she struggled to find the right style and fit of gumboot that would effortlessly take her from soggy sports fields to shopping malls without missing a step.
Cally has completed a degree in Psychology and a medical sales diploma, with 8 years of sales experience. At the age of 36, after taking an employment sabbatical to look after her children, she went on to work part-time in digital marketing with Liz, where she discovered a strength in social media marketing.
With their combined skill sets and long-term friendship, they put their heads together to create a range of locally made ladies’ fashion gumboots that had all the style and functionality that they longed for, and so Silver Lining Gumboots was born. Each Silver Lining gumboot is adorned with a signature silver cloud stud as a small reminder that no matter how bleak a situation looks there really is always a silver lining.
Social Worker, Business Woman and Stakeholder Engagement Specialist.
Ntjantja Ned has a background in social work and experience spanning decades of senior management in the public service. With qualifications from both South Africa and the United States of America, Ntjantja’s ability to build consensus in multi-stakeholder environments, within complex and transitional political environments, is a result of her extensive experience in stakeholder engagement and management within government, private sector, academia, policy makers and communities. Her current portfolio of work includes being a Trustee of the Hollard Foundation Trust, responsible for the ECD portfolio and operating as an independent consultant whilst building her network marketing business. Ntjantja is motivated by the leverage of human and financial resources to produce programmes that can deliver, and she remains passionate and committed to delivering change for women and children. She has travelled and lived in several countries on the African Continent, providing advisory and consulting services to UN agencies.
Born fourth out of six siblings in the village Masoleng in Matatiele, Ntantja remembers dusty roads and long walks to school, which are not only some of her favourite memories, but also taught her resilience, a sense of family and the value of community. This led to her sponsorship of Masoleng-based girls’ education through University and the establishment of Masoleng Rising, a Public Benefit Organisation that seeks to assist young women to get involved in providing ECD programmes to their own children.
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