16 May Local women bag business awards
DENISE Stubbs of Thokozani Wines with Economic Opportunities MEC Beverley Schäfer and provincial Department of Agriculture head Joyene Isaacs at the EU-SA roundtable event held at Thokozani. |
TWO women in agriculture from the Western Cape have been named among the world’s top female entrepreneurs at the 2019 Enterprising Women Awards.
Denise Stubbs of Thokozani Wines and Jeanne Groenewald of Elgin Chickens were named winners in their respective categories. Winners had to demonstrate that they could run a fast-growing business while at the same time mentoring and actively supporting women and girls in entrepreneurship, and they must also stand out as leaders in their communities.
The Enterprising Women Awards is run annually by the US-based Enterprising Women magazine in honour of entrepreneurs in seven categories based on the size of their business. Thokozani hosted a South Africa-EU round table discussion on trends, sustainability and empowerment in the wine industry.
The discussion was attended by Economic Opportunities MEC Beverley Schäfer, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström and provincial Department of Agriculture head Joyene Isaacs. “Thokozani is not just a shining example of transformation in the agricultural sector in the Western Cape, it’s grown into an internationally recognised, sustainable business venture under the leadership of Denise Stubbs,” said Schäfer.
Elgin chickens has won several local awards and Groenewald was named as one of the winners in the Department of Agriculture’s Female Entrepreneur of the Year awards last year. “Groenewald has taken Elgin from a few backyard chickens to a major business, which now employs over 600 people, over the two decades she has been in business.”
Thokozani, the Diemersfontein Wines empowerment initiative in which farmworkers were given a share of the business, has seen excellent success over the years, with their Ovation wine label being stocked in Woolworths stores. “These two women are the only South Africans to have been recognised among some of the world’s top entrepreneurs and are in illustrious company on the list,” said Schäfer.
“We congratulate them on winning this award, which not only recognises their business leadership, but also the role they play in building up their communities and in developing other women entrepreneurs. “Entrepreneurship is often tough and requires tenacity and heart and through their hard work, Stubbs and Groenewald have built businesses which create jobs and allow people to meaningfully participate in the economy.”