Human health and specialised bio-products was the order of the day at this year’s South Africa edition of the FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme (Season 2) – Phase 1 Business Training and Pitching competition, arranged by SANBio in partnership with the Africa Women Innovation Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF). The event was held in Cape Town on 29-30 May 2018.
Despite some of the challenges that exist within the development initiatives towards female entrepreneurship, African women are beating the odds and defying the obstacles in the bio-business field.
The NEPAD Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) is calling on female bio-entrepreneurs from the SADC region to submit their applications for the second season of the FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme. The first season of the programme boosted a number of female-led enterprises in the bioinnovation sector through skills development and funding.
The Tshwane University of Technology’s Prof Keolebogile Shirley Motaung, Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Science as well as Tissue Engineering and a regenerative medicine expert, won the FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme Grand Prize of R250 000 and a trip to Slush 2017 in Finland to upscale her business and refine her ideas.
The FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme was created to develop leadership, technological and business skills
Olive Leaf Investment was established by Ms Tshidi Mokoma to contribute toward food security in South Africa through rabbit farming. The business started as Ms Mokoma developed the passion for agriculture after attending a 3-day workshop on 'Foundations for Farming', (formerly called Farming For God’s Way). Her interest for agriculture lies in teaching the nation on how to be able to feed itself in a simple and effective way and hence she launched herself into rabbit farming.
Stella Gonye won the FemBioBiz Pitch Training event in Zimbabwe on 2 June 2017 and is one of the FemBioBiz finalists.
Stella Gonye has been in the dental practice for 9 years and she is also a Tutor at the School of Dental Therapy and Technology at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe. “I am a self-driven Dental Therapist passionate about health matters. My purpose in life is to serve communities and bring healthy smiles to people,” she states.
The FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme was created to develop leadership, technological and business skills in female-owned businesses in the SADC region. It is an acceleration programme aimed to support deal-making and business growth for female led or owned businesses and was launched on by the NEPAD Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) with support from the BioFISA II programme in February 2017.
Lilongwe-based agro-dealer Fannie Gondwe won the 2017 Female Biosciences Business (FemBioBiz) Acceleration Programme’s local competition in Malawi.
Mrs Gondwe will join other top performers who will have the opportunity to meet investors, business experts and potential mentors, as well as visit Cape Town to participate in the Innovation Summit 2017. She will also be flown to South Africa in July 2017 to represent Malawi at the regional FemBioBiz bootcamp.