The fraction of women that are benefiting from women economic emancipation vehicles in the country is still limited for various reasons. One of the most common reasons for this is a lack of a strong platform where women in business can be gathered in order to harness the potential and successes of those who have made it for mutual benefit.
The South African government has over the last few years undertaken a range of initiatives to promoteand support the economic empowerment of women. Such initiatives include holding conferences, establishment of women networks, e.g. S A Women Entrepreneurs Network, S A Women in Mining, S A Women in Construction, etc. The sad part is that very few of these have impacted significantly on the economic empowerment of black businesswomen. It is equally sad that while women in South Africa make up over half the business
force, their contribution has also not been adequately nurtured. Their activities is still located in the areas of crafts, hawking, personal services and the retail sector.
The creation of an enabling environment, coupled with a structured body that will be a voice for black businesswomen is of critical importance and an urgent matter, if black businesswomen are to benefit as an equally important community. The formation of BBWA, comes as an intervention at an opportuned time, when the country is rolling out the Accelerated & Shared Growth Initiative (ASGI-SA) which is driven by Dep. President, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
It is with this background that the black business women pioneered the establishment of a Black Business Women's organisation to formalize the business activities of black women in general under a common umbrella tagged "Black Business Women's Association" so as to facilitate networking and access to business opportunities. Black Business Women's Association (BBWA) was formed in order to create a common rallying place for all previously disadvantaged women who are in business in a way that would embrace mutual learning and development.
Aims & Objectives
BBWA is a not-for-profit organization made up of black business women. The sole purpose of the organization is to create a vehicle that will serve as a voice for black businesswomen. In particular, the organization has been set up to achieve the following objectives:
Identify and disseminate information on tangible investment opportunities to women entrepreneurs;
Assist women entrepreneurs with understanding various investment opportunities as well as packaging proposals/bids for such investments;
Identify and facilitate participation opportunities in various inward and outward trade missions;
Provide continuous information on business activities (women and business activities in general);
Serve as referrals;
Influence legislation to accelerate the economic empowerment of black business women.
Forge good relations with other organizations with similar objectives.
Do skills audit amongst members and organize training sessions
BBWA will be used as a platform to represent the interest of BBWA Members in different forums.
Mentoring and coaching
Do match making of businesses.
The purpose of the BBWA is as follows:
To highlight the achievements of black women in the arena of business
To highlight the various vehicles that have been set-up to fast-track women empowerment in business
To highlight the various industries and business arena that are still difficult to penetrate by women and how this can be done
To create a platform for networking, strategic partnerships and learning
To facilitate education, training and development and skills transfer through workshops and seminarsTo influence legislature interms of economic Emanicipation and Transformation