Your empowering speakers from our summit:

Coming Soon

Palesa Matjekane
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.”

Coming Soon

Kathi Hyde
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.

Phillipa Geard Corporate Portrait

Phillipa Geard
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.

Claudine Ullman Corporate Image.

Claudine Ullman
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 
silver lining gumboots owners

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.

Ntjantja Ned Speaker

Ntjantja Ned
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.

Educational Qualifications
· Degrees in Social Work & Psychology; University of Fort Hare, 1978 & 1982 respectively
· Master’s degree in Social Welfare Administration, University of Cincinnati, 1986
· Diploma in Policy Development Management, University of Witwatersrand, 1994
Board Director, Trustees and Memberships
· Trustee: Adopt-a-School Foundation ( 2008-to date)
· Trustee: Netcare Mother & Child Trust (2008-to date)
· Trustee: Hollard Foundation Trust (2006-CEO role 2009-2015 and currently Trustee)
· Trustee: Assupol Community Trust (2014-2020)
· Director: KYB ECD Incubator (now IMBE) (2015 – to date)
· Independent Trustee: OSTI (2022-to date)
· Founding Director: Masoleng Rising NPC 2023
What last years attendees had to say:

Company Culture

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Client Testimonial – Alastair Laing

Dear Pieter and ActionCOACH Team,


I just thought that I would drop you a quick email to say thanks so much for all the coaching, friendships and mentoring.

Though-out the last 18 months my business has grown 100% in commission revenue and my client satisfaction score is higher than ever.

I believe that these results were achieved through hard work and excellent systems and implementation of these systems. The ACTION COACH programs that I did full time last year and the part time business plan as well as the various growthclubs have all contributed to this success by showing and teaching me how to “Action” all that I have learnt from you guys.

Thanks for making business fun and I can’t wait to see you all at the next event.

Deo Gratia Insurance Brokers
Andre Benjamin Swart

“Pascal Pau at ActionCOACH has added more value to my business in three months than my three year MBA has.

Pascal really cares and listens to me as the business owner and it is great to have someone to share the stressful journey with.

As a business owner, it is great to have someone hold me accountable, but at the same time making business fun and exciting.

Within three months, my business has already made a saving of over R500 000.00 with cost restructuring, thanks to the assistance of Pascal.

I would therefor recommend Pascal Pau (ActionCOACH) to any business owner who would like to take his/her business to the next level, while making it exciting at the same time.

Just always remember, one needs to be committed in anything in life to make it work 100%, the same applies to ActionCOACH.”

Wesley Augustyn
Founder and CEO Black Sheep Holdings

Testimonial for Deborah Coskey Action Coach – Business Coach
S&A Generators(PTY)Ltd have been working & collaborating with Deborah from Action Coach for just over a year now.

In that time, we have observed that it is rare to meet someone who listens, guides, encourages, motivates, supports and helps you see the bigger picture so that you can reach your goals.

Deborah & Action Coach genuinely want to see you & your company succeed!

Since joining Action Coach with Deborah, we have expanded our networking with small businesses in the same boat but at different stages of their journey, which has helped motivate us to learn & adapt.

Deborah has helped pick us up after setbacks & celebrated our wins with us. She doesn’t just provide business coaching, but therapy sessions wrapped up all in one

She has a unique skill of engaging in regular conversation asking the right questions which leads you and your team to those “AHA” moments that facilitate learning & development.

We don’t have a formal business background and Deborah has helped us by giving guidance with the behind the scenes technical tools to help us monitor & track our finances, cash flow and put in place correct costings. She has steered us in the right direction with HR issues, sales & marketing and putting systems in place to help run the business. She takes a holistic approach and knows us and our business. She isn’t afraid to push you and gives honest feedback & opinions.

She has helped us focus & prioritise working on the business not just in the business to ensure we have a stable foundation to grow.

The proof is in how our businesses performance has improved & all the positive millstones we have reached in the last year under Deborah’s coaching! We have had 40% growth in turnover, positive cash flow, achieved finance to purchase a new vehicle as well as our crane truck. Our Staff are working more efficiently with new uniforms, tools & PPE. We have a marketing strategy in place, branding our vehicles & a website in progress. Over all our Staff are more positive & excited about our business and its potential.

We happily & highly recommend Deborah as a Business coach if you are looking for an extremely competent person & Action Coach Team to challenge & hold you & your team accountable to support & grow your business.

Many Thanks & Best Regards,
Louise Angel, Roger Smith
Director, Director
S&A Generators

Ayoba is a fairly young company established at the beginning of 2010 and has grown exponentially to date.

We found that we had outgrown our systems as well as the ability to properly manage such. It was then that we approached Neil Porter. Through ActionCOACH he has strategically placed this company on the right track.

We re-structured the company and changed the focus of Management from working in the company to working on the company. We have a better focus on where we are going and the state of our cash flow. We have also implemented measurement and control systems which indicate our market share and effectiveness.

It has been our experience that Neil Porter put our company on the right track to maintain, manage and grow our markets and continue to succeed in our unique business environment.

Zelda Taylor

By implementing the simple techniques that Pascal conveyed during the training I was able to create for more productive time during my average day. With a small amount of team buy in we were able to create a far more productive work environment with fewer disruptions.

Tom Capitao Manager
Digital Division 4 Tech IT Solutions

Our business was going through a tough time; we had investors that we were wanting to pay off, turnover was low barely covering expenses, we had no systems or procedures in place, problems finding the right staff, half of our staff members didn’t have KPI’s and job descriptions. We felt that because neither of us had any tertiary education we were on the back foot all the time, not knowing if we were doing the right things or making the right decisions with regards to the business.

One day a friend of ours mentioned that the best thing he did for his business was to join Action Coach. We attended a free seminar, walking away from it we both felt very inspired and motivated to get started working on making our business work for us. The cost to be a monthly member is almost another salary, so this did take some consideration, however, we can both say it is the best salary we have ever paid for what we get in return.

We have paid our investors off in less than a year, we have systems in place, budgets to follow, staff who know their KPI’s. We even went on an overseas trip and left the business in the hands of our competent staff without having to worry about a thing.

Our coach, Deborah Coskey, is a great fit for us, we have had many laughs along this journey. So much work to do but the rewards are what you achieve. It has made such a difference to just have someone, a coach, to bounce ideas off, talk through issues, confirm your instincts and have as a mentor.

Joining Action Coach is the best business decision we have ever made, not only has our business grown but so have we as individuals.

Here is only one thing to say about our coach.
Thank you Deborah, you are awesome!

Coach Bert Weenink has help us dream big and achieve the big goals that we set. We have a new Deport for Richter Sand because of our coaching sessions with him. Our systems are in place, we have staff weekly meeting which really helps break the communication barrier. Our parents can be proud of us for taking over their business with such success

Joelize Greeff and NJ Richter

Jeff has vast knowledge and hands-on experience in sales and business development, which makes him the ideal person to coach individuals on how to manage their time, finances and business more effectively. Although the main purpose of our meeting was to get to know each other better and to determine how we could be more effective and supportive in cross-referrals, I explored the other reason for wanting to meet with Jeff.

He provided perspective and encouraged me to do a swot analysis on myself i.t.o. my strengths, weaknesses, goals and areas where I could add extra value.

After following his advice, I met with my Manager and shared the outcome of my findings and together we brainstormed further to clarify our combined thoughts as to where I would be able to add more value in the business.

Sometimes you need an outsider’s perspective that has the relevant expertise to guide you in the right direction.

Michelle Fisher
Kempston Recruitment

Good Day Darryn

“On behalf of Hirsch’s Hillcrest, we would just like to thank you for being the guest speaker at our Business Networking Breakfast. Everyone who attended had great feedback to share with me. Your talk was most informative and you truly opened up the eyes of business owners. We look forward to you sharing your knowledge with all the other Hirsch Store’s. “Jason Morris, Hirsch PRO

Jason Morris
Hirsch PRO

As a new business owner, I was honored that Bert took me under his wing and was willing to Coach me in making a success of my business. I knew my numbers, but advertising I knew nothing about. Bert gave one look at my advertising material and suggested we change the look immediately. Needless to say I have not looked back. I can highly recommend Bert as an Action Coach. Bert takes pride in his work, and your business is treated as his own. Bert is very good at looking from the outside into your business, making suggestions on a rational level. I am so emotionally involved that I sometimes need that wake-up call (From my Action Coach).

Thanks to Bert for believing in my Dream and still helping me to run a successful business. As my Coach always says …. DREAM BIG!

Business Owner, Therapist and Founder
Fat Freeze Clinic
Marthie Maree

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Darryn Le Grange from ActionCOACH for assisting us in the growth of our business, and also for encouraging us to have confidence and belief within ourselves.

He has taught us some vital lessons in the short time we have been coached by him, which has motivated us to grow our business and to know what we need to focus on to be successful.

Darryn has been a huge ‘investment’ to us inexperienced business woman. We wanted someone we could bounce our ‘fantastic’ ideas off, to know that we were heading in the right direction with our thoughts and plans.

In the past couple of months we have learnt the obvious, such as planning your day, which is a lot harder than it seems!, to understand the financial side of the business in basic accounting language. He has driven us to do things that are not within our comfort zones, such as cold calling….but this is increasing our sales!

There are no excuses! It is great to have set lessons and tasks which assist in improving the business. It forces you to make the time to do the necessary.

There is no excuse like ‘no time’. In addition, we have met a new group of business people which are enjoying the benefits of ActionCOACH, who all enthusiastic about helping each other. So just a big thank you for the short months we have been with ActionCOACH and we look forward to the months to come.

Jolene Schefermann and Leanne KnottDirectors
Chempac Distributions

Since joining Pascal’s group coaching I’ve not only learnt about business I’ve learnt a lot about myself as well and I’ve improved a lot of things in my life since I’ve joined. He is an incredible coach with great energy and his sessions are always something I look forward to during the week.

He’s helped me articulate my purpose, vision and business ideas I’ve had for the longest of time which has given me great confidence to work on them and become a successful individual. I feel like joining his business coaching program is the best thing any business person can do for their business and

Wonga Mlonzi

I have been an entrepreneur for 8 years. My current business is in distribution and I have owned it for 5 years. I was first introduced to ActionCOACH Diederik van Niekerk on referral from my accountant. I was reluctant at first as my business was in a good place. I didn’t think coaching was necessary. I accepted an offer for a free consultation and was impressed with what I was presented with and I signed up. I have now been a client of ActionCOACH Bloemfontein for almost 3 years and during this time I was taught practical techniques in managing my cash flow, increasing my revenue, adding value to my services, realistically measuring what works for my business and what not.

By applying the coaching to my business the following happened: my revenue increased by 50% in less than the first 10 months, due to the reducing of my expenditure; my profit margin increased, my service delivery improved, my clientele expended as I was able to identify my target market realistically and effectively collect and analyze client data. I have since also been able to open another business. I now had someone holding me accountable to my actions and my goals.

The results Of this was (and still is) I am able to offer better salaries and recruit Good quality staff. The office morale is at a high and I work less hours in my business and more on my business. My business is growing by the day.

The professional relationship with my coach was one built on trust and driven by results. This helped me be comfortable in being able to identify my businesses deepest weaknesses and to discuss them with him openly. In the flip side as we identified my businesses strengths, my confidence in managing my own business has grown in leaps and bounds.

My experience with ActionCOACH Diederik van Niekerk has been a very positive one and I will definitely recommend him to any business owner.

Jaclyn Engelbrecht

Starting your own business is daunting. Starting your own business on your own – worse than daunting. Where do you start? Who do you look to for direction and guidance?

Yes, yes google, friends, family, ex colleagues but they all have their own jobs and approaches and whilst I got a lot of support and ideas from these sources I generally would sit in my home office doing the stuff I knew how to do and added to that, well, I don’t like asking for help. Then 6 months into my business owner career my mom(yes, my mom) suggested I get in touch with ActionCoach.

After a couple of weeks of deliberation, I plucked up the courage to call them and spoke to Darryn who invited me to a free seminar and a complimentary coaching session – who could say no. I didn’t, and I have not looked back. Deborah Coskey took me on as a client in July 2017 and my business took off. She is a no nonsense (make sure you do your homework – #justsaying), compassionate, supportive, knowledgeable and dedicated coach, whom I highly respect and thoroughly enjoy as a person. She has pushed my comfort zones way beyond what I would have done on my own, held me accountable for actions and results and guided and pushed me to believe in the impossible.

The result – a business that made a profit in the first year and the second year first quarter were record months. Is she done yet – hell no! I am I done yet – hell no! Would I want anyone else to take me through this – hell no!

Deborah has been an incredible Coach and I highly recommend her!!”

“I would like to add that it is not often that I find a speaker that is asked to present a topic but does so much more. I feel that the way in which you presented and
engaged with my staff was at a very high level. Judging from the comments of those who attended I believe you hit a home run with a number of planners.

We all know what we should be doing but tend to get bogged down in everyday life. Thanks once again”

Regional Business Developer
Jonathan Mandell

I would like to express my excitement!! And to thank ActionCOACH for making me feel so positive about my business ( Hyper Packaging) again.

I have hope now and think (know) that with the help from ActionCOACH I can turn my business around.

Adel Hanekom