HomeCompany NewsStandard Bank Top Women EmpowHER Conference creates networks for entrepreneurs across SA

Standard Bank Top Women EmpowHER Conference creates networks for entrepreneurs across SA

The 2023 Standard Bank Top Women EmpowerHER skills development conferences have commenced across South Africa. The EmpowHER Development Series is aimed at providing entrepreneurs with access to much-needed skills and a chance to access new networks. A virtual training session will also be included in the journey to the pitching den hosted by world renowned presentation specialist and coach, Verity Price.

The regional conferences are sure to see innovative female business owners join its Pitching Den, which launched on the 25th of May in Cape Town. Up next is Durban on the 29th of June, and Sun City on 17th of August.

Pitching dens have gained increased popularity through television shows such as Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank, which appeal to viewers with a keen interest in business. Standard Bank Top Women is now creating the space for ten pre-selected entrepreneurs to pitch their business to a panel of experts and thought leaders, as well as to receive valuable feedback on how to transform their business into a potential market leader.

The winners from each region will be entered into the 20th annual Standard Bank Top Women Awards taking place in Johannesburg in November, where one winner will walk away with a R50 000 cash prize and the grand trophy along with multiple other prizes, brand exposure and access to the Topco community.

Last year, Adri Williams from Khayelitsha Cookies was announced as the 2022 winner. She strongly encourages all female entrepreneurs to enter, despite initially feeling inadequate to do so herself: “The journey you’ll go through will help you see your worth and your business’s value, [and] it is so worth it! Even if you don’t end up being selected as the winner at the end, it is the journey you go through before stepping onto the stage – that develops you into a winner.” After winning, Adri shared that the prize money helped contribute to them successfully launching in Shoprite stores this year.

Video – Cape Town Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJbCdG7UL7Y&t=1s

The winner of the Standard Bank Top Women EmpowHER pitching den in Cape Town was Denise Stubbs, from Thokozani Winelands Investments.

She was chosen by an esteemed panel of judges with diverse experiences, including last year’s winner Adri Williams; Naledzani Mosomane, Head: Enterprise Development at Standard Bank; Fikile Kgobe, Lead Global Markets SA (BCB/PPB) at Standard Bank; Topco Media’s Group Editor, Fiona Wakelin; Cara Saven, Founder of Cara Saven Wall Design and Comms Chair for Entrepreneurs Organisation in Cape Town and Zinzi Nxopo Magoda, a researcher, author and lecturer at Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Finalists for EmpowHER Durban are:

  • Ntokozo ‘Melo’ Ntleko | Takkie Wash SA
  • Daniela d’Hotman de Villiers | Savvy Social
  • Denise Sonny | Denise Sonny (Pty) Ltd
  • Seshme Holloway | JRS Solutions
  • Labashini Mahomed | Dynamic Shipping Services Pty Ltd
  • Gaynor Britton | Westlink Business Solutions
  • Catherine Bosse | Bosse Events
  • Lebogang Ramonetha | Chemyx
  • Olwethu Nzuza | AmaShazi Animal Feed Suppliers
  • Leisha Naidoo | Injabulo Home Grown Learning and Development Solutions
  • Gail Galvin | The Truffle Lady

To apply for the North West Pitching Den, visit:

Tickets to attend the events and see the entrepreneurs in action and network with other attendees, can be purchased via:

Companies that wish to get involved with this event may enquire for partnership opportunities by emailing [email protected].