It has been exactly 66 years since the historic 1956 women's march to Pretoria, a momentous protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. During this event, activists courageously rebelled against a patriarchal system that aimed to control and subdue women, reducing them to submissive beings at the mercy of men. Despite over two decades of democracy, the landscape showed that only 21.9% of businesses were owned by women. Several factors contributed to this disparity, including limited access to capital and funding, as well as inadequate support within entrepreneurial spaces. These issues collectively highlighted a lack of recognition regarding the vital role women played as business owners, encompassing the government, private sector, and financial institutions, all of which were crucial contributors to their success.

Avo Vision plays a vital role in contributing towards the 2030 gender equality sustainability goals; over the years, women dominated all the training by just above 60 percent. We took pride in introducing the "Bopa Mosadi" enterprise development programme in Rustenburg, a name meaning "build a woman" that perfectly captured its essence. Over the course of 12 months, this initiative transformed the lives and businesses of the participants. The programme, expertly facilitated by Avo trainer Mpho Motshegoe, proved to be an exciting journey of empowerment. Motshegoe shared, "Entrepreneurs welcomed and embraced this opportunity, recognising the significance of business growth."

Supported by the Do More Foundation in collaboration with Niya Consulting, this programme equipped 20 women with invaluable financial knowledge and essential business management skills. Avo Vision firmly believes that mastering personal finance is a cornerstone for effective business financial management. Mpho explains, "Personal Financial Management was a critical session, aimed at equipping and empowering participants with insights into personal finances. Topics such as budgeting and distinguishing between needs and wants were particularly well-received."

Through this comprehensive programme, participants gained mastery in personal development, financial management, peer mentorship, and business simulation. Several participants shared their thoughts on the impact of the programme:

"This programme helped me build up my confidence and self-worth in ways that none other than the best could provide. In less than six months, the substantial change I experienced counts for years left behind. Much gratitude to Avo Vision for their life-changing empowerment efforts."

"At first, I only advertised online. However, after attending the Avo programme, I learned that even word-of-mouth marketing and issuing flyers could be effective. Since I started distributing flyers and promoting my business through word of mouth, I have gained more customers."

“I have started saving more and recording my income. I will create a clear balance between my lifestyle and work and invest well in technological tools for speed and improved quality of my work."

Faced with the pressing unemployment crisis, these determined womenpreneurs took it upon themselves to create employment opportunities. Hailing from diverse backgrounds, they shared a common aspiration to elevate their businesses to new heights. Over the past months, they acquired the skills needed to establish sustainable and profitable enterprises, driving their personal and business growth.

If your organisation is ready to fulfill its Corporate Social Investment (CSI), Enterprise Development (ED), and Socio-Economic Development (SED) commitments while making a lasting impact on South African Entrepreneurship, we encourage you to reach out to us via email at engage@avovision.co.za.