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RBWOYA 2019: You can now nominate the region’s top businesswomen

Feb 5, 2019
RBWOYA 2019: You can now nominate the region’s top businesswomen

Nominations are open for the Businesswomen's Association (BWA) / Investec Regional Business Woman of the Year Awards (RBWOYA) 2019.

The competition recognises women entrepreneurs and professionals for the crucial part they play in the economy of the region.

Here, in their own words, are what last year’s winners had to say about what it meant for them to be recognised by the BWA:

  • Winner in the Government Category, Dr Buyiswa Hlangothi (Nelson Mandela University): “I truly appreciated being recognised publicly and am very honoured to have received this prestigious award. This award has helped me to realise that I have the potential to influence other women who think they are not good enough to make it further in their careers. Sometimes all it takes is to use your own journey to bring change to others and the BWA has helped me to operate in that space by opening up the platform to shine. I think there are many women out there who excel in their businesses but are not aware of platforms such as the BWA. Thank you BWA for bringing such opportunities and recognition!”
  • Winner in the Corporate Category, Roseann Shadrach (The SPAR Group): “Winning the award in 2018 couldn’t have come at a better time in my life, as a family we had suffered a great tragedy and I found myself in a very emotional state, with not much hope for a happy future. As a nominee, the process encouraged me to search deep within myself and find Rose again. I learnt through self-reflection that I was indeed an achiever, and that I had pushed gender boundaries to reach the pinnacle of my current career in a male-dominant industry. I also had the esteemed privilege to meet some amazing businesswomen that were able to not only relate to my situation but also impart knowledge, love and genuine care. I can never fully explain the invaluable blessing of the network that comes with winning this award. Well done to the BWA on this incredible initiative. To be allowed a platform to celebrate women in business this way is phenomenal.”
  • Winner in the Professional Category, Sam Streak (PE Montessori School): “The competition has given me the opportunity to reflect on 25 years of work and absorb the acknowledgement of my community for all that work. It has encouraged me to strive for greater levels of professionalism, and to serve as a role model for others, especially young girls. Through the BWA I have had the opportunity to interact with many unbelievable and inspiring women - something I would not have done, had I not had the opportunity to participate in the whole process - regardless of the winning. But winning has given me confidence and affirmation. Professionalism is something that I have always strived towards, and to know that a panel of judges could see and acknowledge this has deepened my sense of self in a way I did not imagine when I started out with the process. I believe strongly that it is essential to acknowledge women achievers of all ages in Nelson Mandela Bay - we are a thriving, creative, talented and rich community of women and spotlighting this is critical. It allows for acknowledgment but also for aspiration and inspiration.”
  • Winner in the Entrepreneur Category Noleen Acton (Kowie Toyota/ Total Port Alfred): “To be recognised as an achiever by such a dynamic association as the BWA was a great honour. Being part of the competition has taught me that every participant had faced some obstacles and hurdles, even fallen, yet stood up and persevered in reaching their goals. I met the most incredible women across all spheres of life, was inspired by everyone’s journey and had been able to better myself by applying what I learnt, to my own career and personal life. Winning has earned me the respect of my business associates and colleagues. Clients seem to have extra confidence in knowing that they are dealing with an achiever, someone who has passion, determination and commitment to her career.”
  • Winner in the Social Entrepreneur Category, Linda van Oudheusden (Missionvale Care Centre): “The competition is a great celebration of women and our unique strengths. The Awards process was challenging, but also a great learning curve and an experience I will never forget. It is wonderful to have this platform recognising women of worth as it adds credibility to oneself, and to one’s business or organisation.”
  • Winner in the Emerging Entrepreneur Category, Melissa Palmer (B&E Conference Centre): “This prestigious award is truly the biggest achievement of my life and has validated all the hard work and effort that I have put into my business since I started in 2014. I believe that being recognised is so important and the Awards is an amazing platform for this. Since winning, I have approached my day-to-day business in a whole new light and focussed more on working on my business and less of working in my business. This change in mindset has opened many opportunities of growth not only for me and our business but also our employees who have had to take up some of the tasks I used to be responsible for. I highly encourage any woman nominated for this prestigious award to step out of their comfort zone and go for it! It truly is life-changing. What doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t change you!”

Nominations for the awards are open until February 28, with the awards being divided into six categories: emerging entrepreneur, entrepreneur, social entrepreneur, corporate, professional and government. Entrants must be nominated, but they do not have to be BWA members.

Three finalists will be chosen in each category by an independent panel of judges, after which the winners will be announced at a gala dinner at the Boardwalk Hotel and Convention Centre on June 20.

Nomination forms are available through the office on pe@bwasa.co.za or on the following link: docs.google.com/forms

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