What women entrepreneurs want


There is not much research on what women entrepreneurs want, but the research that has been done indicates that women entrepreneurs are looking for platforms and places to connect with markets and with each other on a business to business level.

This is according to Michelle Geraghty, a regional director of FNB.

She was one of the speakers at the 2019 FNB Business Women's Breakfast early in the week.

It was hosted in Cape Town on Tuesday in association with Smile 90.4FM.

'Be limitless'

Other entrepreneurs shared what they hoped for on a personal level.

Deshun Deysel, a businesswoman and avid mountaineer, was part of the first South African expedition to Mount Everest in 1996.

She told the audience that her inspiration comes from her hunger to be limitless, no matter how impossible it looks.

"Why limit yourself to your age, suburb, school and what jobs your parents had? You have to transcend your circumstances and what the world tells you that you are capable of," she advised.

"You must just try and if you fail, then dust yourself off and try again. That is limitless thinking."

Know your target

At the same time, it is important to know what your target is in order to hit it, she said. 

"We are so limited by our fear and other people's fears that we limit ourselves and not even make a start on something," she said. "I was not limited to things like my skin colour. Things are possible if we allow ourselves to go there. Try until you hit your target. Why be limited?"

Currently she is training for another attempt to reach the top of Mount Everest as part of an all-women team. 

"South African girls are still raised with limits of what they are told they can do. So, we must get our girls beyond self-doubt," said Deysel. "It is about being focused so that, when there is an opportunity that comes your way, you are ready for it."

Actress, television presenter and member of celebrity Survivor SA Ashley Haden said, in her view, one of women's strengths is collaboration.

"Women see the big picture, for instance in terms of strategy. Women are also good at putting the needs of the whole first – although this can be a downfall if you do not also take care of yourself," she said.

"Women are not afraid to ask for opinions."

Untapped potential

For Rapelang Rabana, a computer scientist and entrepreneur, there is a huge, untapped potential for technology tools to be created and women can provide that.

She said she questions any assumptions she makes.

"I start to humanise everyone in a conversation. I want to get to the underlying belief system underlying my fear and I talk a lot to my parents and family," she said about her approach in life and in business.

"My mother never put constraints in her world. So, drawing emotional inspiration from someone else is a good idea."

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