Grow My Business Masterclass returns

The Grow My Business Africa Masterclass is back for the second running and will take place virtually AND physically in Cape Town.

The concept of the Masterclass stems from an Entrepreneur’s frustration of leaving a workshop or business conference inspired, but without deliverables, actionable steps or practical tools to apply in their business.

The objective is not to just inspire SMME’S and emerging entrepreneurs or professionals, but to EDUCATE them and provide tools that they can apply in their business or careers by means of a workbook.

Each attendee receives a Tailored Workbook on:

-Business Growth Strategies


-Finance and Funding

It gets depressing to work hard and have nothing to show for it. Join us as we learn from marketer, Sbusiso Kumalo, and Leaveil de Fountain from Allan Gray, on how to better position your business for Growth, financial literacy and how to access funding.

Dont’t miss it! Book your tickets here:

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4IRCARE and CliniMed have joined forces to support women fighting against Gender-Based Violence (GBV). The event takes on an expo form to educate people about all things health and to raise funds for safe houses, shelters and homes.

4IRCARE is a tech-based platform which provides affordable and innovative virtual access to private health practitioners, virtual pharmacies and virtual consultations.

Clinimed is a private healthcare facility that offers primary medical care, dental health care, wellness programmes, optometry and aesthetic solutions.

We have identified your company as a partner in the health industry and would like to offer you an opportunity to exhibit at the Expo.

For more information, email:

MANCOSA – Women’s Leadership Webinar 2020

Join the annual MANCOSA Women’s Leadership Webinar in Partnership with Aspire Solutions on the 3rd October from 10am to 11am via Zoom (link will be sent through once your ticket has been purchased) for a morning filled with women empowering women, the current Gender-based Violence epidemic, parenting during the pandemic, as well as success stories and the journey of our amazing panel of speakers!

Here with the Quicket link for ticket purchasing:

The line-up for the event:

MC, TV presenter, and actress – Ayanda Dlamini

Business Director – Mushfiqoh Samodien

Founder and Director of Womandla Foundation – @sam_gqomo

Occupational Therapist and specialist in Parenting – Nasreen Cariem

Keeping the best for last, the talented musician and performer – Ashur Petersen will be keeping you all entertained with his artistry.

Gift boxes to the value of R500, filled with amazing items from various sponsors! These boxes will either need to be collected from one of the MANCOSA centers or couriered.




Fearless Mondays series for women in entrepreneurship #SEW2020

#SEW is an annual national program aimed at raising awareness of entrepreneurship as a career, as well as emphasising the benefits of having the best of both worlds as a student and an entrepreneur.

This year, #SEW2020 will be hosting a webinar series which will focus on various issues faced by women entrepreneurs  within the  entrepreneurship space so as to align with Women’s Month. 

Our Founding Director, Sam Gqomo, has been chosen as one of the speakers and will be addressing the concept of IKIGAI – How to link your passion to your purpose – Strategies for bringing your Vision to Life – How to create your business strategy for Impact Work.

The webinars will be a 5-part series which will be held every Monday afternoon from 4pm to 5pm.

Register today by clicking on the link  and complete the #SEW2020 attendance register.


Grow My Business Masterclass

Join us this Month at the “Grow My Business Masterclass” in partnership with Leseli Creative Communications and Womandla Global Network. About the Masterclass: It is commonplace for entrepreneurs and business leaders to leave a conference feeling inspired, but rarely does one leave a conference with the right tools for change.  The objective of the Grow Your Business Masterclass is to provide you with deliverables, actionable steps and practical tools to apply to your business.

Along with valuable insight from the keynote speakers, conference attendees will leave with a business manual that was made for this conference only that covers topics such as “How to structure your business for SCALE”, “Organisational Culture” and “Finance and Funding”.  

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Registration Link:

Date: 25 July 2020

Time: 10:00am – 11:45am

Book your spot now!

Live with Batho Mokiti

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Join us LIVE on Instagram this Thursday with Batho Mokiti as she shares HER STORY!

Mmabatho is a mathematician turned impact entrepreneur with a passion for education and youth development. She started a career as an entrepreneur at 20 when she started a tutoring company; Mathemaniacs; while studying at university towards her BSc Mathematics degree, but soon realized that she wanted to serve disadvantaged schools and communities, which is when she decided to approach cooperates to design CSI (Corporate Social Investment/ Responsibility) strategies which invested in bringing quality STEM education to rural and disadvantaged schools so as to get more black learners to study in the STEM industry.

More this Thursday – See you at 12pm SHARP!

Instagram Live: Mental and Spiritual Health during a Pandemic

Join us LIVE TODAY, 6pm, on Instagram as we tackle the subject of Mental Health and Spiritual Health during a Pandemic!

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Our guest is Dr. Alixis Rhodes, psychologist in a men’s correctional facility in California. She also is a co-founder of the “No Black Girl Left Behind’  organization that connects, uplifts , inspires women of color.

Dr. Rhodes is a worldwide traveler that is a true advocate for mental health.

See you later on Instagram!

Real Estate Market Reimagined  

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Real Estate strikes a chord with most South Africans, whether from a personal or professional vantage point. For most citizens, ownership of real estate is often preluded by a long, uphill journey. As more people and businesses are in a position to acquire and develop property, so the job opportunities increase. And livelihoods are directly impacted.

Paper house under a magnifying lensOur STEAM Room guest aptly points this out, stating that activities in the sector become “the catalyst for socio-economic development”. The construction sector, amidst challenges in 2019, employed over 8% of the country’s labour force and output accounted for around 4% of gross domestic product (GDP). The real estate sector on the other hand, together with the finance and business services sectors, significantly contributed to the increase in the country’s real GDP in 2019.

This year has seen the entire economy suffer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This tragedy has also made us relook how we can do business going forward. It has made us reimagine a new normal. We are excited to have Neo Sekhantso, a young and dynamic professional in the real estate sector, shed more light on what the sector has been experiencing.

IMG-20200510-WA0009Tell us about yourself and how you came to be in the property and real estate sector?

I am 33 years old and am a qualified Professional Quantity Surveyor working as a Property/Real Estate Development Manager for one of the largest Asset Management Companies in the Continent. I live and work in Gauteng.

I studied a BSc Construction Studies and a BSc (Honours) in Quantity Surveying at the University of Cape Town between 2005 and 2008. I also completed the SAPOA and UCT GSB Property Development Programme in 2017. To enhance my skills-set and further qualify myself for a move into the asset management space, I completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Business (PDBA) at The Gordon Institute of Business Science in 2019 and then did a short online course in Commercial Real Estate Analysis and Planning with the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. 

I began my career at MLC Cape Town, starting off as a graduate then worked my way to Quantity Surveyor. I then worked at AECOM for five years; first as a Quantity Surveyor in their Cape Town office, before I was promoted to a Senior Quantity Surveyor position and ultimately an Associate Director in their Sandton office. In 2018, I changed disciplines within the Built Environment and started work as a Real Estate Development Manager at an Asset Management company in their Properties Division (Unlisted).

Why this interest in property and real estate?

I firmly believe that infrastructure (roads, railway, dams, bridges, ports, powerplants etc.)  and the Built Environment is the catalyst for socio-economic development. This belief is demonstrated by the fact that when governments want to develop or grow an economy, infrastructure and built environment spending is often increased. In addition, expenditure in this sector creates job opportunities within communities and supplies better facilities for social and commercial use.

What does your typical workday look like?

My role entails Property Development Management from the ideation phase; initial market studies and town planning; feasibility studies and presentation to the relevant internal bodies for project approval; design and construction phases; to the completion and hand over of a property asset (be it a new retail centre or office park) to property asset management teams and/or client(s). Typically, this includes the management of design teams including Project Managers, Quantity Surveyors, Architects, Engineers, and other construction professionals. It also includes being part of a deal team that is involved in the internal approval processes. 

My typical workday involves several meetings and a lot of stakeholder management. Interpersonal communication, writing skills, management skills, and an understanding of technical construction-related matters and real estate finance are key skills required as a Property Development Manager.

What has been the impact of COVID-19 on the real estate sector?

The response to the pandemic has meant different things for the various parts of the real estate market. For developments and construction sites it has meant stalled projects and the shutting down of construction sites locally and abroad. For real estate professionals, it has meant working from home and continuing with design, cost management, and project management for projects on-site and those in the pipeline.

 From a design perspective, there has also been a lot of rethinking and thought leadership. Office spaces, retail, and the built environment must consider our needs post-COVID-19, especially in relation to allowances for space per person to allow for social distancing.  Also to be considered is permanent working-from-home solutions and its effects on the population’s health; the impact of online shopping on brick and mortar stores; and a myriad of other health considerations (AECOM : How Corona Virus May Change the Future of Work, 2020).

 An already ailing construction industry has felt the impact of the pandemic. The socio-economic impact of the shutting down of construction sites of urgently required bulk infrastructure and facilities for communities will be alleviated somewhat by the new local Level 4 lockdown conditions which will allow some key projects to continue.

Which measures do you think can help the real estate sector recover? What steps can be taken by the key stakeholders?

This is a very complex question and it requires a multi-pronged and well thought out and researched solution. However, based on my observations and readings, the following interventions will be required in the short term (the next 6 to 12 months).

Construction sites need to strictly comply with the regulations and guidelines as set out by the Department of Labour and Health. Furthermore, Health and Safety plans and protocols will have to be reviewed to include measures for preventing and containing communicable diseases. Landlords, retailers, manufacturers, etc. need to be particularly vigilant and provide the necessary screening and personal protective equipment (PPE) required to ensure that infections are kept low.

 Government has already thought through the re-opening of all industries in a phased manner, considering the impact on the economy and the risk profile of each industry. Industry leaders and the government must continue working together in ensuring the survival of the industry and the safekeeping of human lives during this period.

In the long term, there may be a shift in thinking around the built environment: how people work and learn, and where they work and learn. A shift in the design of office, industrial, learning, healthcare, and retail space; in the thinking around business nodes and their distance from people’s homes; in the spatial and urban design thinking and transportation facilities and the quality thereof from a health and safety perspective (AECOM : How Corona Virus May Change the Future of Work, 2020). There will also be a focus on technologically integrated design to allow remote connection of people, and touchless and remote operation of facilities. 

The Built Environment and Real Estate Market, however, is a resilient one. In my opinion, as long as there are people that need spaces to work, live, learn, heal, etc. the market will rebound in some shape. However, I believe it will not be business as usual and the future may not be what we expect. As an industry and as users of the Built Environment, we need to continue to be proactive and innovative as we have been in the past and adapt to the future.

Many of the ideas and ideals we have been engaging through Fourth Industrial Revolution dialogues these past couple of years are now critical for our survival. We have no choice but to adapt. Many have lost their businesses. Many have lost their jobs. Many have lost their lives.

As we bring our STEAM Room COVID-19 series to an end, we hope you are able to take in the priceless information we have gathered from these discussions with industry insiders and use these nuggets to help us move forward. The STEAM Room will be back with more insightful interviews and relevant topics from more remarkable women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

About the Author

Amandla Kwinana is a strategic content and communications specialist and member of the Womandla Foundation STEAM Committee.    

 About the STEAM Room

The STEAM Room is a space for women in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) to explore innovative solutions to the challenges facing our communities and share intriguing stories from their respective worlds. The platform also provides an opportunity for STEAM entrepreneurs to profile their ventures. As with a traditional steam room, women step out of the STEAM Room feeling rejuvenated. 

Accessing Quality Healthcare

South Africans are very well aware of the inequalities which exist in our society. Health is one of the glaring issues we are grappling with. The country, along with the rest of the world, is finding ways of capacitating and improving the healthcare system to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Access to quality healthcare “is a particular concern given the centrality of poor access in perpetuating poverty and inequality”’. Access, here, can be understood in two ways: availability and affordability. Without adequate healthcare facilities in their communities, people living in these communities are disadvantaged. Likewise, without the financial means to receive the required quality healthcare, many are deprived of the help they sorely need.

South Africa has come a long way since attaining its democracy. South Africa has also inherited and perpetuated many challenges. Quality healthcare is a tug of war, with many citizens who can afford it, opting to utilise private healthcare as it is perceived to be of better quality.

scineAccording to the Institute of Medicine, quality healthcare is “the degree to which health care services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge”. Amidst COVID-19, we have seen drastic improvements; government has realised that this is also the most opportune time to start piloting the controversial National Health Insurance (NHI). President Cyril Ramaphosa, at a recent tour of Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg, mused,  “That is phenomenal, and in many ways this hospital, through the Covid crisis, [is] being transformed to be ready for NHI [National Health Insurance], and we are putting the building blocks in place.”

Dr Rampedi stepped into the STEAM Room with a view that our public healthcare system can do more to benefit those who need it most while ensuring that instead of “perpetuating poverty and inequality”, people’s livelihoods are improved.

bioTell us about yourself

I am Dr Reshoketsoe Rampedi, a general practitioner. I studied in Pretoria and did my internship at the Helen Joseph/Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital complex. I have always believed in providing good quality healthcare for previously disadvantaged communities. At the time, I thought I wanted to be an obstetrician and gynaecologist, and super-specialise in fertility.

 Growing up I looked up to women like Dr Judy Dlamini; I always felt she was the epitome of the black female doctor I wanted to be. I grew up reading books on the first black woman this and that. I have had an interest, even outside of medicine, on how I can positively impact women.

I did my community service in a township called Refilwe in Cullinan. I spent a year there and enjoyed it. It was great. I think that’s where I mostly found my purpose; providing service for people who appreciate what you are doing for them. These people had little or nothing. It’s humbling being able to bring solutions to them; some have had these problems for years but there was no one willing to go the extra mile. This is where I had to say ‘if you are going to start something, finish it; if you won’t do it wholeheartedly, don’t do it all’.

 I have recently been appointed business development manager for Hutz Hospitec, a division of Hutz Medical which is a local medical device manufacturing company.  We offer cost-effective refurbishment and remodelling solutions to existing ailing healthcare facilities.

What does a day in your life look like?

A day in my life is balanced between being at the practice on alternative days, with the remainder of the time at the office. I would like to be part of the 5am club, but the days vary with increasing default with my home exercises ( LOL). But we will get there, baby steps.

That’s another thing about healthcare workers. You work long hours. How do you do it?

What’s important is that you do your work with purpose and passion. That’s what will drive you to get up and make a difference. Yes, we hate having to leave our families and sometimes miss out on dates with friends because ‘I’m on call’’ or  I’m at work… I have had the privilege of working in supportive teams, even from my internship days. I also come from a background where my father is also a doctor and before I started medicine he sat me down on the importance of humility. In our profession you must not forget to be humble. Humility will take you a long way, not forgetting your support structure.

How has COVID 19 impacted the health industry: directly and indirectly?

From the perspective of a general practitioner, we have seen a lot of foot traffic. People are more self-aware. There is also a lot of misinformation. Most of the patients I have seen don’t really understand what COVID-19 is. The impact of fake news has led to the belief that black people can’t get it… people must just drink ginger and garlic… one must swallow their cough because the stomach acid will kill the virus, etc.

Fake news is serious. The impact of someone like a prophet saying lockdown doesn’t work goes a long way because people believe them: if they could drink petrol because a priest said so… You can imagine the impact they have in our society.

People must rely on NDOH, WHO and NICD with credible information; The NDOH has a dedicated whatsapp number which contributes towards the latest updates and is quite informative. COVID-19 extensively covered by all news networks, and the information overload also contributes to the anxiety we see in many of our patients 

Indirectly, I have seen the social impact COVID-19 has had. Fortunately for us, we are essential workers so we are working every day. Some people, it’s no work no pay. On my way to work, I drive through the community of Diepsloot; we say wash your hands, isolate and social distance but they don’t have the space to social distance.

On the education front, especially in our poorer communities, children assume it’s a normal school holiday. Some parents are taking the initiative to help them with school work. But some don’t have that liberty, some of them are with grandparents.

 On the positive side of things, this pandemic has presented opportunities for telehealth and telemedicine. In already established rapport between healthcare worker and patient and depending on how sever the condition is, we can have video or telephonic consultations. You don’t have to close shop but use technology to adapt to the current situation.

It has also opened up a number of opportunities for the local manufacturing industry. This clearly indicates our capability as Africans.

Which takes us to our last question on life post-lockdown. What can the health sector do and what should people do to better equip themselves?

The reality is a lot of jobs will have to be shed based on the impact of COVID-19. If you can adapt and remain operational now, during COVID-19, it will be advantageous. Adapting post-COVID-19 will depend on the skillset you acquired during this time.

In as much as technology is an enabler, we need to adapt technology to suit our context. We can see this through collaboration. Collaborations with government and the private sector should not end when COVID-19 ends. It should be ongoing. This moment is a test to see if we can come together in the long term and work together to make our health system work.

Rural areas, for example, can have mobile radiology testing which can be operated remotely. We can train community healthcare workers to do these and people do not have to break their pockets every time they need healthcare services.

It’s an opportunity for us to not divert, but adapt. We have the opportunity to train, reskill and upskill the youth and community. 

What is clear is that we have been afforded opportunities to reset, rebuild and do things better than we have in the past. By improving our public healthcare system, we will be impacting on the livelihood of patients and concurrently creating employment opportunities. For South Africa to realise this, as Dr Rampedi has mentioned, we need to collaborate. There is power in unity.

McLaren, Zoe; Ardington, Cally; Leibbrandt, Murray. 2013.  Distance as a barrier to health care access in South Africa

About the Author:

Amandla Kwinana is a strategic content and communications specialist and member of the Womandla Foundation STEAM Committee.    

About the STEAM Room

The STEAM Room is a space for women in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) to explore innovative solutions to the challenges facing our communities and share intriguing stories from their respective worlds. The platform also provides an opportunity for STEAM entrepreneurs to profile their ventures. As with a traditional steam room, women step out of the STEAM Room feeling rejuvenated. 

Instagram Live Chat with Mushfiqoh Samodien

Join our Live Chat this Friday, 1 May 2020, as we interview @mushfi_qoh about her story on how she built a multimillion rand company. See you with a cuppa ☕️ at 12pm SAST.