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The hard lockdown caused by COVID-19 has impacted the very livelihoods of the majority of SA citizens. The economy is on a difficult road to recovery, but there is a life-line…Women. Nunu Ntshingila, a regional director of Facebook Africa at that time, wrote in an article published in 2018 on iol.co.za that, “In a new study conducted by Development Economics on behalf of Facebook, it is estimated that businesses set up by women in South Africa over the next five years (from now until 2022), hold the key to unlocking more than R175 billion a year for the economy while creating 972 000 jobs.”

She goes further to use Nigeria as an example and states: “If we look on Facebook, the number of new women-owned small business pages in a country like Nigeria, increased 319 percent between 2016 and 2017 – this in itself holds exciting opportunities for all women business owners, the possibilities of growth and job creation.”

So, it is safe to say that an increasing number of SHEntrepreneurs or in other words “successful women entrepreneurs” are building real empires and creating jobs which will ultimately drive the economy and assist with social growth. The growing momentum of female entrepreneurship is both exciting and motivating but yet, still very daunting for women. Besides the lack of access to finance, and constant worries about risks and financial security, they also might feel unsure on how to start a business. They might feel afraid or doubt their abilities. Many also feel undeserving and still experience unworthiness among business people in various industries dominated by men.

Sadly enough another downfall is the inability of quite a few women in business who don’t want to get behind other women and help them succeed. They don’t want to mentor or coach them or even allow them to shine. We at The Mindspa Institute, a woman-owned skills and leadership developer and training company, want to urge all women in business to shift our focus during Women’s month 2020 and become women who stand together to help each other develop and succeed in business.

5 Tips how Women can Empower other Women to Become Successful in Business:

Madeleine Albright said: “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” It is time for South African Business Women to unite! Consider the following tips to help your fellow SHEntrepreneurs and business women across South Africa on their journey to success:

1. Get inspired and become an inspiration

Lead by example and surround yourself with people who are positive and inspiring. Positivity and inspiration rubs off. If you feel inspired and live in such a manner that others can see you are positive and motivated; they will love being in your presence and hence you become an inspiration to others. Be true and don’t hide behind the façade that everything in your life and business is just moonshine and roses. Show that your successes came with hard work, and yes often very difficult pitfalls, but with self-motivation and always tackling a problem with positivity you managed to achieve successes and growth. Amplify that the small successes are worth celebrating and will eventually contribute to big successes. In doing so, you inspire other women to follow in your footsteps.

2. Build relationships and networks

Women have the ability to build communities and keep families together. Use these skills and start with the people you know. Organise networking opportunities and see how you can assist and collaborate with one another to grow your businesses. Involve all the new people you meet along your own journey. Empower your fellow business women by introducing them to the influential people you know. If you build a big network of business relationships, you as well as your fellow business women will have access to diversity of strengths and talents as well as the resources and know-how to grow and improve all of your businesses.

3. Educate and Mentor

Not only should you as a business woman never stop developing skills and learning, but you also have a responsibility to help fellow business women to learn from your experiences and mistakes. Help them develop their skills by telling your own business stories. Teach them the various ways you are using your skills to achieve your goals. Point out potential pitfalls and dangers so that they don’t end up making the same mistakes. At the same time also help them learn from their failures. Coach them in such a way that they understand the words of Henry Ford: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

4. Boost confidence and be uplifting

Be a cheerleader for fellow business women. Build each other’s confidence by complementing and giving positive feedback. Don’t break each other down. Focus on one another’s strengths and talents. Have other “women’s backs” in meetings and support them. Never gossip and if you can’t say something positive and uplifting about your fellow business women, rather keep quiet. There is a quote by an anonymous author that reads: “You can always tell who the strong women are. They are the ones building one another up rather than tearing each other down.”

5. Give regular, positive and constructive feedback

Always be yourself and use your emotional intelligence. The way in which you deal with situations when you use empathy also builds your credibility. In other words, if you are honest, but in a nice, empathetic way you become approachable. Practice clear effective communication along with active listening. When giving feedback, make sure you focus on developing other women’s strengths and don’t hammer on weaknesses. Rather give positive suggestions than negative responses.

If business women surround themselves with people who empower them to become better, they will have such a strong support system guiding them towards their goals. Women Business Leaders become great and successful, not because of their money, sheer power or ruthless business tactics, but because of their ability to empower others.

The Mindspa Institute offers three very exciting courses to help women in business to achieve great results in business called: Top Tips For Business Women; Essential Business Skills for South African Women; and Leadership.

Source: Article reference link: https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/opinion/opinion-unleashing-economic-potential-of-sas-women-owned-business-16522041