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Winners of the 2020 Santam Women of the Future Awards announced

21 October 2020 Santam Women of the Future Awards
The WOTF 2020 winners and judges

The WOTF 2020 winners and judges

WOTF 2020 winners (L-R) Carolyn Hancock, Welile Gumede and Mmamontsheng ‘Dulcy’Rakumakoe

WOTF 2020 winners (L-R) Carolyn Hancock, Welile Gumede and Mmamontsheng ‘Dulcy’Rakumakoe

The winners of the annual Santam Women of the Future Awards in association with FAIRLADY and TRUELOVE were announced at an exclusive business luncheon emceed by Doreen Morris at Atlantic Studios, and broadcast via livestream, recently.

The three winners were selected from a shortlist of nine finalists by a distinguished panel of judges: Professor Thuli Madonsela, Chair for Social Justice at Stellenbosch University, founder of the Social Justice M-Plan and the Thuma Foundation; Executive Head of Human Resources at Santam Enid Lizamore; social entrepreneur Dawn Nathan-Jones; radio and TV presenter, author, producer and facilitator Redi Tlhabi; FAIRLADY editor Suzy Brokensha; and TRUELOVE editor Mbali Soga.

Through an independent survey, Santam has found that the first 1 000 days of a business are the hardest. If you’re still in business by day 1 001, they’ve found that you’re likely to succeed in the long term. These incredibly dynamic women have either surpassed that critical point or are well on their way to doing so!

‘Under very different circumstances in 2020, we are excited to be partnering with FAIRLADY for the Santam Women of the Future Awards once again, and welcome TRUELOVE aboard this brilliant initiative, which is now in its sixth year,’ says Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe, Chief Marketing Officer at Santam. ‘We are also privileged to have an esteemed panel of judges, which has diligently overseen the selection of the winners. As Santam, we cannot thank them enough for the energy and passion they bring to the process.’

We are proud to announce the winners:

Mmamontsheng ‘Dulcy’ Rakumakoe of Quadcare Occupational Health (in Gauteng) has been named the 2020 Santam Woman of the Future (awarded to a female entrepreneur who survived the first 1 000 days of business and who is on her way to creating an empire). Quadcare Occupational Health is a network of medical centres in low- to middle-income communities in Gauteng. "Winning the Woman of the Future Award affirms that the hard work I invested into Quadcare and its patients hasn’t been in vain," says Dulcy. "I can finally call myself a woman of the future!" This award will help bring to fruition her plan to open 25 more practices over the next three years and provide healthcare to more than 20 000 people a month.

Carolyn Hancock of Angels’ Care Centre, Thembelihle School and The DNA Project (in Howick, KZN) is the 2020 Santam Social Entrepreneur (awarded to a female entrepreneur who is making a real difference in her community). Angels’ Care Centre is a space to care for kids who come from extreme poverty in informal settlements, while the Thembelihle School provides multicultural education to children from Grade RRR to Grade 7. The DNA Project is working on passing legislation to ensure that DNA evidence can be collected legally at crime scenes and from suspects. "Winning the Social Entrepreneur Award will help me to build on the programmes I run, focus on adding a crèche facility in the early childhood development offering, and pay more attention to the youth in the community," says Carolyn. "We’re in a position to offer life skills that could be life-changing for these young people."

Welile Gumede of Azowel Projects (in Madundube, KZN) has been named the 2020 Santam Rising Star (awarded to a female whose business is still within its first 1 000 days, but who judges believe will flourish way beyond then). Azowel Projects is an enterprise that empowers youth and women, and focuses on developing unused and neglected farming spaces in the Ilembe region of KwaZulu-Natal. "Winning the Rising Star Award is a validation that the work is bringing about change in the community and assuring my customers that Azowel Projects produces quality goods," says Welile. But above all, she hopes the award will inspire people from rural communities all over South Africa to believe that success is possible, no matter the circumstance.

The prizes

The Woman of the Future receives R80 000 in cash, while the Social Entrepreneur and Rising Star each receive R50 000 in cash.

All the winners walked away with:
· A PR package worth R10 000 from Lulalend (this year’s co-sponsor, which provides fast and easy financing for startups)
· A luxurious beauty hamper worth R5 000 from Estée Lauder
· Business printing worth R5 000 from Lithotech
· A course worth R17 000 from the Gordon Institute of Business Science
· A Samsonite Zalia 2.0 Bailhandle worth R3 699
· A ladies wristwatch worth R1 095 from Missguided
· An hour’s invaluable mentorship with one of our judges
· A media training course.

New to the awards this year was the Santam Reader’s Choice Award, voted for by the public. We are happy to announce that Luella Naidoo of Jezriel Craig Holdings has been named the 2020 winner. She wins an Entrepreneurs Spectrum to Success course – From Rookie to Rainmaker in 7 Steps – worth R6 995 from Over the Rainbow.

During the event, the judges also participated in a live panel discussion about the challenges and opportunities that female entrepreneurs in South Africa are facing in this unprecedented time. Moderated by Doreen Morris, the discussion was followed by a live Q&A with the online audience.

"The winners this year have been really extraordinary in every sense of the word, not only because they’re succeeding in their own businesses, which is tough enough, but doing so under the extremely difficult circumstances brought about by Covid-19," says Suzy Brokensha. "Covid has made us adapt the format of the awards too, and I think the results have been great! Just goes to show what progress pressure can bring about."

"The process of receiving entries and selecting some of the standout ones was absolutely rewarding," says Mbali Soga. "Seeing it all come to fruition despite the Covid-19 pandemic is nothing short of a miracle. Congratulations to all the winners!"

Read more about the winners and their businesses in the November/December issue of FAIRLADY magazine, on sale from Friday, 23 October 2020.

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