A Cape Town business owner received R50 000 after being named first in the Small Business category at the Ligugu Lami Awards after joining the South African Women’s Entrepreneurship Network (Sawen).
The Ligugu Lami Awards acknowledges women entrepreneurs and encourages them to to take pride in their achievements. The awards was held in October in Mafikeng and hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in partnership with Sawen – a women’s networking forum which focuses on the advancement of women-owned and managed businesses.
Amina Bardien, the owner of construction and training business Funda Mentals, says she attended the awards last year when it was held in Cape Town and became curious about how businesses were nominated.
“I then spoke to one of the winners on the night and she explained to me that I needed to apply and that my business needed to nominate me,” says Bardien.
Funda Mentals then nominated Bardien who had to submit financials, tax clearance certificate and other registration documents as part of her application.
Shortly after this she was shortlisted and then received an invitation to attend the awards.
“I was confident in my application but I was mainly enjoying the feeling of just being nominated and attending the awards,” says Bardien.
She was then named as the Western Cape winner in the Small Business category on the night.
“I think Sawen definitely gave me a platform to win this award. It was a privilege to represent the Western Cape and my business was given the ultimate exposure through meeting other women business owners from across the country,” says Bardien.
She encourages more women business owners to join Sawen and says that it has given her exposure to more business opportunities.
“We are not on an island. We need links and networks, so that we can give our clients the best service. Happy clients then tell others and this brings in more business,” says Bardien.
She plans to use the R50 000 to upgrade information technology resources because even though the business is situated in Cape Town, Funda Mentals has clients from across South Africa and even as far as Tanzania.