Entries for the 2022 Santam Women of the Future Awards have officially opened.
Santam, in association with Fairlady and Truelove, is looking "for the most impactful, resilient and inspiring female entrepreneurs in the country," a press statement reads.
Whether you've just recently started your own business or have been running one for a while, you could stand a chance to win a cash prize at the awards.
Take a look at the judging panel for this year's ceremony below, and find out what they're looking for in a winner.
The CEO of Naspers South Africa, Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, joins the Women of the Future judging panel for the first time.
A recipient of several international accolades and a member on the board of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, Phuti looks forward to engaging with female entrepreneurs who are making a significant difference through the work they do.
"A competition such as Women of the Future is incredibly impactful for women who are working their way up in both corporate and entrepreneurial businesses. I am looking for courage."
Professor Thuli Madonsela
Chair of Social Justice at Stellenbosch University, and founder of the Social Justice M-Plan and the Thuma Foundation, Professor Thuli Madonsela has been part of the judging panel since the inception of the awards.
Professor Madonsela says that some jobs require you to have a degree, but to be an entrepreneur, you need an idea, passion and hard work.
"I am looking for women who are building a world they want to live in. They also need to be looking to the future, and the impact of the fourth industrial revolution."
Entrepreneur, CEO at Over the Rainbow and fifth-time judge, Dawn Nathan-Jones believes that if every small business employed an additional person per year, South Africa would be one step closer to solving its unemployment crisis.
"Women-led businesses in this country have made a remarkable impact in driving change - politically, socially and economically. I am looking for women entrepreneurs who have experience in supporting, nurturing and empowering other women to succeed in their own right."
READ MORE | Fall back in love with your job
Fairlady editor-in-chief Suzy Brokensha is a veteran of the magazine publishing industry. She believes that women play an essential role in energising South Africa's floundering economy.
"South African women are extraordinary. Because they have received so little support from government and private industry over the years, they have always had to make their own way -- whether that's selling veggies and fruit as a side hustle or starting their own multimillion-rand corporates so they can finally take the seat they deserve at the boardroom table.
"They're tough, resilient and enterprising, and they create some incredibly impressive businesses. This year, I'm looking for a business that has managed to thrive despite the incredibly difficult circumstances of lockdown and the inexcusable severity of loadshedding, because I know the woman behind it will be a powerhouse."
Makhosazana 'Khosi' Zwane-Siguqa
Truelove editor-in-chief Makhosazana 'Khosi' Zwane-Siguqa is a multi-award-winning journalist and editor with more than 19 years of experience in the media industry.
"The past 18 months have once again proven how resilient women and women-led organisations are. Women, internationally and locally, have demonstrated exemplary leadership by making often hard decisions with heart. I'm looking for an organisation with heart."
Enid Lizamore, Executive Head of Human Resources at Santam, offers insight into the world of transformation and what entrepreneurial support can look like across various industries.
She is passionate about seeing women lead and drive change, and has made it her responsibility to try to pave a pathway of opportunities for them.
"I am looking for courageous women who display tenacity, a hunger to empower others and a willingness to build a bigger, brighter South Africa."
Entries for the 2022 Santam Women of the Year Awards close on 20 June 2022.
There are three categories available for business owners to enter:
1. The Santam Woman of the Future
This title is awarded to an entrepreneur aged 30 or older whose business is more than 1 000 days old and who is well on her way to establishing an extensive enterprise.
2. The Santam Rising Star
This title is awarded to an entrepreneur between 16 and 30 years old who is still within her first 1 000 days, but whose business, our judges believe, will flourish way beyond them.
3. The Santam Social Entrepreneur
This title is awarded to an entrepreneur aged 30 or older who is making a real difference in her community. Her business/social enterprise/NPO has survived the first 1 000 days.
With over R575 000 worth of prizes, winning one of the three Santam Women of the Future Awards is a true game-changer.
Winners will receive mentorship from the judge of their choice, incredible prizes, and their business will also get an enormous publicity boost from Fairlady and Truelove.
Find full details on entry and prizes here.