SAWEN is an organisation and brainchild of the dti to provide opportunities and necessary skills to female entrepreneurs, to not only eke out a mere existence, but to create a prosperous future for themselves and their families. Acknowledging the difficult situation many South African women find themselves in, Ruth is the driving force behind networking opportunities and ensuring members of SAWEN are protected from legalities and structures impeding on their successes. Members are awarded for their excellence and financial assistance is provided.
Whereas in other African countries there is, as Ruth calls it, one-stop entrepreneurial structure in place, it does not reflect the local situation. A paper has just been completed and will be presented to parliament to ensure SAWEN’s future as a probable ministry on its own. While finances present a problem, Ruth believes that with adequate fundraising, SAWEN can provide more opportunities and she is raring to go. Her term as CEO will end in March 2015, but her aim is to see more offices, (there are currently only three countrywide), opened and to leave a structure behind on which her successors can follow.
If Ruth left one lasting impression, it would be one of caring and nurturing and believing in the strengths and abilities of South African women. And to see their dreams come true, will see her vision realised.
Creating a Brighter Tomorrow
At the helm of SAWEN is a woman with enough passion and vision, to not only pave the road for future female business leaders, but to ensure they succeed.
Valdi Pereira talks to CEO of The South African Women Entrepreneurs' Network, Ruth Masokoane on the challenges of her position and her hopes for the future. When the Deputy Minister of the Department of Trade and Industry(dti), Elizabeth Thabethe approached Ruth to lend her considerable skills to SAWEN, she not only found someone with knowledge and skills, but a lady with heart.
Ruth came aboard to structure the fledgling organination and pave the way for the empowerment of female business entrepreneurs. She is the first to admit that there are many challenges to overcome, but there is no doubt that her passion will lead SAWEN and its diversity of members into a brighter tomorrow.
WIMVATION | SAWEN
by Alex Rose-Innes