The United Nations Women South Africa Multicountry Office, in partnership with the National Women Advancement Establishment, have launched a project to provide technical business support to women-owned enterprises in the transport sector in South Africa.
The aim of the programme is to stimulate opportunities for women entrepreneurs through affirmative procurement, investment and supply-chain policies.
Local female black-owned consulting company Sincpoint has been selected to implement the project
“We are excited at the opportunities this project offers,” says Sincpoint founder Lebo Letsoalo.
“It will provide women-owned businesses in the transport sector with much needed, tailormade technical support, in addition to coaching and mentorship.
“The support will focus on strengthening the capacity of these women to sustain their businesses, access new opportunities and grow their businesses.”
Sincpoint will be working closely with local membership-based body, the African Women in Supply Chain Association (AWISCA), in the roll-out of the programme.
AWISCA, in turn, collaborates with a number of industry bodies including universities, training providers, industry associations, organised business, as well as private companies.
The planned project implementation period is eight months. The programme will target and equip around 200 women-owned enterprises that are suppliers to, or can potentially become suppliers to, government and larger companies across the transport value-chain.
The project is being rolled out in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo, with the aim of expanding this to other provinces over time.
“What makes this programme unique and particularly effective, is that the mentorship and coaching component will continue beyond the completion of the programme,” explains Letsoalo.
“Through AWSICA, our women will have ongoing access to industry networks and knowledge through coaching circles, site visits, round table discussions, workshops and the many other opportunities for growth and new business that AWISCA facilitates.
“Although women are currently severely under-represented in transport, more and more women are making their way into this exciting sector,” adds Letsoalo.
“Transport is a dynamic, fast-changing sector, ranging from rail and road transport, to shipping, aviation, import and export, cargo operations, domestic freight and containerisation, through to comprehensive, integrated door-to-door intermodal transport services. Each aspect requires skilled and competent people, and the women will have business opportunities at various levels within the industry.
“This project will assist in developing a much-needed pipeline of women who have the technical expertise and broader skills to thrive in this industry.”
Letsoalo urges established transport businesses to support women in the transport industry by making business opportunities available to them.