Finalists grateful for SACBW’s role


Elna Schwartz, Shirley, Natasha Rheeder, Imke Dekker, Adri Janse van Niewenhuizen, Elsie Harmse
Elna Schwartz, Shirley, Natasha Rheeder, Imke Dekker, Adri Janse van Niewenhuizen, Elsie Harmse

South Africa (July 2016) – Business women of the Garden Route enjoyed an exciting programme of speakers and networking on the 26th July 2016 at the George Botanical Gardens Coffee Shop.  The theme of “The Deeper Your Relationships, The Stronger Your Leadership” was powerful and everyone left the event with plenty of food for thought.  The four regional finalists of the Western Cape Business Woman Of the Year inspired attendees with concise messages of what drives them to succeed.

Adri Janse van Niewenhuizen, managing director of the non-profit organisation Pink Trees for Pauline, composed an inspirational song of victory for the exclusive use of iDUC.  As professional songwriter she was signed in 2008 to one of South Africa’s biggest recording companies – Select Music.

As owner of the song, iDUC will then be in a position to sell it for a considerable profit. Pink Trees for Pauline was started in 2012 in one town and grew over the past 4 years, in association with CANSA, to ±109 towns nationwide.  In 2015 Pink Trees for Pauline was done in ±109 towns with an estimated population of 3 720 342 of which more than 75% are previously disadvantaged.  An estimated 8828 people benefitted from the 2015 campaign and Pink Trees for Pauline endeavour for an estimated 11035 people to benefit from the 2016 campaign.

Elna Schwartz from AVIS Van Rental drives operation, vision and growth.  Elna exclaimed that it is each woman’s choice to take new direction. She believes that when one stops being afraid one discovers your hidden gifts. With only the ‘turn of a key’ women can unlock their potential. As a business woman one must always have a passion to add value to the community.  The Boerie Bash on a Friday morning was Elna’s brain child.  In 2015 R8 000 was raised for George Night Shelter. Elna believes that winners are not people who never fail, but people who never quit.  She started the fund raiser “Run to raise” and 140 people took part in the first year.  Her goal with “Run to Raise” is that it is a standing event and that the beneficiaries will change.  Her advice to business women…if you want to do business in a man’s world you must understand their world.

Dekker of Dekker Attorneys in Mossel Bay became successful in a competitive environment.  She believes in being honest in her approach and views.  Since Imke became a finalist the Mossel Bay community discovered her overnight.  She subsequently decided to get involved in her community.  She became involved with a feeding project, a soup kitchen which feeds 400 children in Mossel Bay.  She decided to facilitate a big drive and became involved with the Oliver Twist project with Mossel Bay Advertiser and she now serves on their board.  Langarm boere dans at Barnyard is their next project on 13 August in Mossel Bay and Imke secured sponsorships for items to be auctioned off during the night.  Tickets for the event can be obtained from the Barnyard and  Barnyard Website

Shirley Schmidt of Afrishore Lifting & Rigging thanked the SACBW for this opportunity.  Shirley explained that Afrishore remains a traditional business and that she had to become familiar with drilling and off shore equipment.  Being innovative assured that she could unlock huge potential.  She operates in a tough and fast changing world and has to take care of every single need of supply vessels and everyone involved.  She believes that communication is paramount in business and that everyone involved in a business have to understand how critically important they are to the success of that business. Afrishore partners with companies in Ghana and how the company started off and what it has become is amazing.  Shirley is proud to have started an initiative of what the Port is all about in Mossel Bay.

The 4 business women involved in the SACBW Business Woman of the Year competition thanked the SACBW for what it does for women in business and this opportunity.  They all went out and supported projects in their communities and the competition helped them to get out of their comfort zone.

Well-recognised business woman and vice chairperson of the SACBW Garden Route Elsie Harmse, of Africa Skills Village, addressed the attendees on the topic “The Deeper Your Relationships, The Stronger Your Leadership”.  Her powerful message of “Look in the mirror, say I am successful, I have the potential and I can make the difference!” was truly inspirational.

For more information on the SACBW Garden Route, contact Madeleine Nel, project administrator, on 044 884 0791.

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