Friday 21st October 2016 saw celebration and indeed recognition of exceptional women in business at the annual Women in Business Association (WIBA) Excellence Awards, this year held at Travel Lodge in Gaborone. Continuing in its 3-year duration pledge to sponsor the Businesswoman of the Year Award, Stanbic Bank Botswana supported the event with the P50,000.00 cash prize and, beyond this, an avid passion for championing greater excellence in entrepreneurial women.
Dudu Brook, of DuduBrook Quilting, walked away with the much sought after accolade for the year 2016. Dudu was celebrated by her peers and colleagues at the glittering event, held under the theme “An Infinite Sparkle, Her Success Story.” The ‘Business Woman of the Year’ accolade seeks to recognise the outstanding achievements of women-led businesses across the country. According to WIBA, the Awards aim to promote WIBA’s mandate of developing women and to also reward WIBA members who have taken noteworthy initiatives towards achieving their business goals.
The many awards recipients on the night were thoroughly assessed against stringent qualification criteria. Judges included: Thapelo Phuthego, Percy Raditladi, Anamina Singh, Getrude Molefi, Wapa Ellery Chilume and Beata Kasale. Local businesswoman, Ms. Petronella Matumo, who is the embodiment of female ambition and accomplishment in the Botswana business world, served as the keynote speaker. External auditors, Mazars, ensured the transparency and integrity of the awards.
Said Stephanie Stoneham, Head of Marketing at Stanbic Bank Botswana, “What a phenomenal time to be a female entrepreneur in Botswana, as we see a true army of women of passion, excellence and determination rise to the fore to make their mark. Platforms such as the WIBA Excellence Awards only make enhance the dialogue on this important matter, and it is imperative we continue this narrative. This culture of support, advancement and paying recognition is vital, and Stanbic Bank at once admires and supports growing this further. We are humbled to be able to work with the phenomenal WIBA team.”
WIBA was established in 1990 as a wing extension of Botswana Confederation of Commerce and Industry (BOCCIM). As women continued to make strides, WIBA’S portfolio grew and it was later registered as a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) in 2003. Currently part of the Business Botswana Council, WIBA exists to facilitate: adoption of specific laws that encourage women entry into business and support the sustainability of women-owned businesses; and increased input by women in economic decision making and business leadership in the country. It further works to increase the number of women in male dominated industries.
WIBA President, Tumi Mbaakanyi, said: “It has been yet another successful year of unearthing local female gems through the 2016 WIBA Excellence Awards. A great opportunity to celebrate another bevy of phenomenal women, who continue to make great strides in business whilst creating employment for others. As this platform continues to grow, we are grateful for the support of so many corporates, such as Stanbic Bank, who complement WIBA, the NGO, in delivering on its mandate of contributing towards the improvement of balance sheets of women owned businesses in our country. Now is our time!”