WECONA Empowers Women in Business

  • Minister Dlamini Zuma praises WECONA for empowering women in business through collaboration, mentorship, and economic opportunities.
  • WECONA aligns with the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence, advocating for 40% public procurement for women-owned businesses.
  • Transformative dialogues initiated by WECONA have led to game-changing initiatives in sectors like finance and automotive industries.

Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities, lauded the KwaZulu-Natal Women Economic Assembly (WECONA) for its groundbreaking efforts in empowering women in the business sector. The minister’s remarks came during an event held on September 7, 2023, where she joined forces with Ms. Bongi Sithole-Moloi, the MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, to promote the provincial rollout of WECONA.

WECONA: Fostering Collaboration for Women’s Economic Empowerment

WECONA, the Women Economic Assembly, stands as a catalyst platform dedicated to women-owned, managed, and led businesses and enterprises. This initiative is underpinned by collaboration between the government, private sector, and civil society, reflecting an ongoing commitment to encourage women’s active participation in the economy. The primary objective is to unite these stakeholders, creating a driving force for transformative change in the economic landscape.

Minister Dlamini Zuma commended the remarkable contributions of women entrepreneurs, emphasizing that they are more than just business leaders; they are role models. Through mentorship programs, training workshops, and community initiatives, they are actively nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs and ensuring the enduring legacy of women in business.

Aligning with the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide

The provincial assembly of WECONA aligns seamlessly with Pillar 5 of the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide. This pillar emphasizes the urgent need to create enhanced economic opportunities for vulnerable women who often face abuse and discrimination due to poverty, unemployment, and social inequality.

Transformative Conversations and Procurement Targets

WECONA has played a pivotal role in initiating transformational conversations with industry associations and representatives. These discussions have been instrumental in setting procurement targets to bolster the participation of women-owned businesses within various value chains. One of the most notable achievements is the advocacy for the implementation of a 40% preferential public procurement policy for women-owned businesses.

Through these dialogues, groundbreaking initiatives have already been set in motion in several key sectors, including finance and automotive industries. This commitment to change is poised to bring significant opportunities and economic growth for women in business.

Minister Dlamini Zuma’s presence at the event underscored the government’s commitment to advancing gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. She expressed her optimism for the future, stating, “Throughout the continent, women entrepreneurs are not just business leaders; they are role models. Through mentorship programs, training workshops, and community initiatives, they are nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs, ensuring that the legacy of women in business continues to thrive.”

A Brighter Future for Women in Business

WECONA’s provincial rollout signifies a significant step forward in the quest for economic empowerment and gender equality. The collaboration between government, the private sector, and civil society is poised to bring about transformative change, providing women with more opportunities to thrive in the business world.

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