Last week, the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) hosted a colloquium for women owned businesses in the Western Cape to celebrate their success.A group of about 40 women in business shared their success stories with a group of SMME industry players which included the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the City of Cape Town, Absa bank, Woolworths and Pick n Pay retail store, Saldanha Industrial Development Zone, and the Stellenbosch Municipality. Seda chief executive officer, Mandisa Tshikwatamba, who delivered the keynote address, said women must take note of their positions of influence; be they formal or informal. She said as patriarchal as any society could be, positional power is entrusted with women as they are expected to set direction and vision in their families and assigned the role of distribution of resources even when ownership of resources remains entrusted with men. “This is power attributed to you because of what you represent and how you carry yourself.“From this, it is possible for one to be admired from afar, attributed greater wisdom and many other attributes. Business is more than what you might acquire, but what you possess and project”, said Tshikwatamba. One of the biggest challenges that is always highlighted by small businesses is access to funding. Ntombi Nonxuba, the owner of Rise Uniform, speaking at the event she sai: “Business owners must interrogate and understand their business before they look for business plans for funding. “The biggest mistake that we make as small businesses is that we look for funding before even we start the business.“We need to do something before funding, we need to soil our hands first so that we can have something that we present to a possible funder,” she said.Rise Uniform manufactures uniforms for schools and retail stores, and its biggest client is Pick n Pay. The business is based at the Teguka Business Park near Phillipi.It started operating in 2007, and formerly registered in 2010, and that 90% of its employees are women. The Small Enterprise Development Agency in the Western Cape has made 747 interventions and spent about R6.6 million between April 2016 and July 2017 on women owned businesses. Seda is an agency of the Department of Small Business Development, it is mandated to implement the government’s small business strategy; design and implement a standard and common national delivery network for small enterprise development; and integrate government-funded small enterprise support agencies across all tiers of government. Its mission is to develop, support and promote small enterprises throughout the country, ensuring their growth and sustainability in co–ordination and partnership with various role players.