On its third instalment of the Women’s Power Seminar, BOCCIM gave centre stage to the outgoing Chief Executive Officer of South African based Shanduka Group, Puthi Mahanyele to share insight on her progressive and dynamic strides in business. The seminar, held on Saturday last week, focused on empowering, inspiring and providing networking opportunities for both aspiring and established business women in Botswana.
Mahanyele has rich experience in entrepreneurial development, gained through Shanduka Black Umbrellas (a South African non profit enterprise development incubation organisation). Shanduka Black Umbrellas nurtures 100 percent black owned businesses in the critical first three years of their existence through provision of nationwide incubators. Mahanyele said fostering entrepreneurs should first and foremost involve people who are absolutely committed to it. She added that the development program should have a long term focus and also enable access to mentorship around the growth of such businesses. She also emphasized that the program should attach value to it, in the sense of charging a fee as people tend to value something that they pay for as opposed to what they get for free. Stressing why wealth should be created, Mahanyele pointed to the insignificant number of wealthy people in the world. “Out of more than 6 billion people in the world, less than a hundred of them have the wealth,” she said.
Mahanyele joined Shanduka Group in 2004 and her presence within the South African business community is both acclaimed and famed across different accolades. Counted among the ‘Top 50 women in the world to watch in 2008′ by Wall Street Journal, she went on to be named one of the “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa” in 2011 by Forbes, which was followed by an award in 2014 as the Forbes African Business Woman of the Year.
Mahanyele admitted that her glittering achievements did not come without difficulty; especially as a woman. She disclosed that being a woman in business can, in pursuit of being taken seriously as your male counterpart, cause one to try and prove herself all the time. She however noted that a woman should eventually arrive at a point where she just focuses on what she does and people will just see the results. “At the end of the day that’s really what it is about,” she added.
Another speaker, Standard Chartered’s Head of Retail Segments and Products, Motlalepula Mpho offered advice on saving and protection of wealth. Mpho said it is important that when borrowing money people should understand the real impact of interest rates. She added that where possible, people should opt for short term funding as it reduces the burden of paying back the loan, but however warned that the money should be spent wisely. She cited the use of a credit card as an example.
“Use a credit card for transactions whose dates you will remember so that you make sure to pay back the money before interest rate can be charged,” she advised. This she said is possible because transactions paid within 30 days after use of credit card are not charged interest.