Veuve Clicquot Unveils Women Entrepreneurship Barometer in SA

Words: Stéphanie Pereira

In South Africa, France, the United Kingdom, Japan and Hong Kong, 80% of female entrepreneurs believe that in order to succeed, they need the support of a network of female entrepreneurs. South African women are bolder than their international counterparts as 70% of SA women aspire to become entrepreneurs.

Maison Veuve Clicquot Inspiring Woman Entrepreneurs to Overcome Their Obstacles

This year, for the first time, Maison Veuve Clicquot unveiled an international barometer that maps out the current state of female entrepreneurship, shedding light on common prejudices, mental and structural barriers to be overcome and how to get beyond them. The findings were revealed and discussed in the presence of over 100 of SA’s leading businesspeople at the Veuve Clicquot X Women experience, held on the 24th of October in Johannesburg.

Veuve Clicquot X Women audience

The Veuve Clicquot X Women experience was created to encourage networking and offered guests the opportunity to engage and exchange, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Women and men who are striving today to raise up a new generation of entrepreneurial women also participated in vital conversation to unpack the findings of the barometer.

Female Role Models to Role Makers

All over the world, now more than ever, women need Role Models who inspire them. Role Models are key to women’s ability to envision their future and take the plunge into entrepreneurship. But Role Models alone no longer suffice. Women need not just inspiration but real assistance and support. This new sisterhood marks a shift of perspective, from Role Models to Role Makers: women who mentor, train, and inspire by championing other women, encouraging them to be bold and to spring into action – palpable during the reveal of the Veuve Clicquot Barometer results hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel in Johannesburg.

More Men Aspire to Become Entrepreneurs than Women

In South Africa, 70% of women (vs 78% of men) aspire to become entrepreneurs. Although the current generation of women is more likely to take up the challenge, with 78% of women aged 20-29 willing to give entrepreneurship a try, the gap narrows between men and women with men only marginally more willing at 81%.

Why Are Women Afraid to Become Entrepreneurs?

56% of female wantrepreneurs confirm that fear of failure could dissuade them from taking the plunge into entrepreneurship (only 54% of men say they have felt that fear). In fact, 67% of woman entrepreneurs state that they have already experienced a professional failure owing to their gender.

How can woman entrepreneurship be supported and encouraged?

By rethinking the way woman entrepreneurs are perceived, by providing new frames of reference to rising generations, by acting purposefully, whether one is male or female: in these ways, each individual can become a Role Maker and embolden successive generations of audacious leading women. Moreover, 87% of South African female wantrepreneurs say it is necessary to be supported by a network of woman entrepreneurs if they are to finally break through the glass ceiling.

Veuve Clicquot X Women group shot

Some Advice from Fierce, Leading Ladies

During the Veuve Clicquot X Women experience, Johanna Mukoki, founder of Travel With Flair, unpacked the balance required between fulltime entrepreneurship and family life.

“Focus on the fact that a happy mom is a mom who is living her full potential and her best life,” she told the audience.

Thato Kgatlhanye, founder of the Rethaka Group, has very clear-cut advice to offer given the challenges woman entrepreneurs face:

“Do you know what you are running towards? Do you have the clarity, personal authority and focus to build what you need to build? Finally, what does success look like for you? Because if you aren’t aligning your personal values with your business, the challenges will become insurmountable.”

Amanda Dambuza, who cashed out a portion of her pension plan six years ago and launched her R100-million business with R80 000, says that to be successful you have to focus on the opportunities, not the challenges.

“If you think everywhere you go you will just have hurdles and obstacles, then that’s what you will find,” she said. “Take control – don’t abdicate responsibility. Find the solution.”

SA Entrepreneur Amanda Dambuza

The Maison Veuve Clicquot has Cultivated a Legacy of Boldness and Entrepreneurial Spirit

The fearlessness shown by Madame Clicquot when she took over Maison Veuve Clicquot in 1805, at a time when women had no place in the world of business, endures in the heritage of the Maison. To pay homage to her legacy, the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award was created in 1972 and the New Generation Award in 2014. Both awards highlight the exceptional accomplishments of woman entrepreneurs. Since the creation of these awards, Maison Veuve Clicquot has recognised more than 350 women in 27 countries worldwide.

Generations of Audacious Leading Women to Come

Today Maison Veuve Clicquot wishes to affirm its commitment and embolden successive generations of audacious leading women. “Veuve Clicquot takes pride in providing a platform to South Africa’s audacious businesspeople offering insight and the opportunity to both network and participate in vital discussion. Veuve Clicquot aims to support business people as they forge their own destinies so that they, in turn, can inspire generations of women to come. And Madame Clicquot would surely approve,” says Pascal Asin, Managing Director Moët Hennessy Africa and Middle East.

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