Her passion and determination is unmistakable. "So many people are wounded or completely broken; perhaps from physical or emotional abuse, neglect, or being dismissed as worthless or unimportant, often from as far back as childhood
BRENDA HORNER, is the founder and director of the Gap Academy which provides school and university leaving students the privileged opportunity to realistically assess, discover, plan and create for their future career and life paths.
BUSI GUMEDE is the founder and CEO of Goodlife Foods. The company provides natural kefir products, which offer probiotic and other health benefits, under the 'KePro' brand. Busi oversees the overall functioning of the company, formulates its products, manages production and marketing, and looks after customers
"Yes, I do sometimes take minutes," she smiles, "but it's so much more than that." It's Cathie's job to make sure that the board meets their legal and regulatory obligations, but she also has wide-ranging responsibilities. In effect, she is part of the company's conscience when it comes to ensuring corporate integrity matters more than short-term profits.
DAISY WHITE is the executive director of Magic Moments Trust, which has been established to teach rural people to discover and develop their creativity through learning fabric painting skills. Her aim is to enhance the lives of people, especially women, who are unemployed and from rural areas.
KIM ATKINS is the owner and designer of Kim Atkins Jewellers. The company predominantly makes and markets jewellery and has developed into a social enterprise. Kim provides opportunities for students who need work and assistance with their studies and to young jewellers needing experience so that they can become established in their own right
Laiela Paruk Dorasamy
LAIELA PARUK DORASAMY is the owner of Ahavah Consulting, a Level 1 B-BBEE company which was established in May 2018. The core focus of Ahavah Consulting is to supply companies with items that require a personal touch
As head of the Wealth and Investment Division for Standard Bank KZN, Lisa Forster leads a team of relationship managers and wealth managers, focusing on holistic solutions for high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals. She and her team ensure service excellence in delivering holistic solutions, both domestically and off shore, for their clients
With a strong focus on growth, her prime role is business development, but she is also involved with business consulting and scoping customer requirements. "We're experts in what we do and we understand our solutions very well," says Margie
Eleven years ago, Marlene Powell become ActionCOACH's first woman business coach in South Africa. Marlene says she reached a crossroad in her life. After 27 years of working in the financial sector of the corporate world, she realised she was been hold back from her family and her quality of life was poor, even though she was been taking care of financially
Melinda's major role is to drive the business forward and to ensure that standards and customer service continues to be fulfilled and exceeded. "We view ourselves as the experts in our field. We align ourselves with our clients' staffing needs, tailoring our services offerings to meet their diverse operational requirements
Micaela Faith Meyer
MICAELA FAITH MEYER is a multitalented independent businessperson and entrepreneur in several activities, mostly related to the health and fitness industry. A qualified personal trainer, Micaela instructs groups and individuals in Pilates, ballet and yoga
NOMFUNDO MCOYI has come a long way - from township girl to teacher, to founder and CEO of the Icebolethu Group. Today she manages eight companies, employing a staff of more than 1000 people
On South Africa is a website that links consumers to suppliers across twelve categories, with a dedicated website for each category. "For example," says Sarah, "if you were planning a function, you could go onto the OnSA Celebrate site and find everything you need - caterers, photographers, florists, venues
Transport and trucking tends to be a male dominated field, but that hasn't stopped Sharon Butler from developing Expressway into a successful logistics company together with the KZN D&H Deliveries, with seven depots and 90 trucks across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. And as she says, there's no reason why women can't run a successful transport business
After five years at The Clothing Bank, it was time to get out of her comfort zone again. Tanya sees herself as a changemaker, and she's designed her new venture, Interconnection SA, to help people change their lives in a different way
THOZEKA NTLUKWANE-LETUKA wears many hats and has been described as an eco-warrior, philanthropist and mother to all. During her varied career, she has worked as a domestic worker, market researcher, transcriber, translator, training provider and as a community liaison officer
Yogas joined Independent Media 18 years ago as a freelance journalist with the Post newspaper. In 2014, after 13 years in the industry, she was appointed as the editor of the Post newspaper
The managing director of Performance Solutions Africa (PSA), a consulting firm in Durban that conducts performance enhancement interventions. Best practice programmes are offered to organisations in the private and public sectors, involving the training and coaching of leaders and managers. PSA's major focus currently is delivering school management programmes in the education sector, and to date these have been delivered in over 2000 schools nationally.
BRIGITTE TURNER is head of Harvey World Travel Highway. When Brigitte bought Harvey World Travel Highway 18 years ago, she'd never worked in the travel industry. In fact, she'd built a highly successful corporate career in property development and was managing director of a major national property organisation. Despite the demands of her corporate position, Brigitte was a natural entrepreneur and already owned three other companies when a friend mentioned that there might be an interesting opportunity in a small travel business.
CANDICE PADAYACHEE is the forensic director for KPMG. She maintains primary responsibility and oversight of the Forensic Division in the Durban region, leading a multi-disciplinary team and engaging the firm's key clients.
CHERYL GOVENDER is the founder and owner of The Cake House in Pietermaritzburg. She is a qualified chef and professional cake artist. The Cake House has become a leading provider of designer cakes including engineered life-size cakes. Cheryl's exceptional cakes, each a masterpiece, have been featured in magazines and on television, and The Cake House is recognised as a leader in new age sugarcraft.
ELENI KWINANA has notched up an admirable list of top positions. She began climbing the corporate ladder as an 18-year-old student who, after walking into CNA to request a job, within three months was tasked with taking up her first management role. A few years later, she was requested to draft a business plan - without a template, or previous exposure to such a big responsibility - overnight! It gained her boss the new store he wanted, and wet her appetite for bigger and better things in business.
KIRSTY FONZARI heads the marketing team for Expand a Sign International and Uzwelo Bags as well as ExpandaBrand USA and supports several Expand a Sign agencies globally in marketing. Kirsty's energy is never ending, and she will be opening a 360 turnkey agency called The Buro next year. There was a gap in the market to help Expand a Sign customers with various marketing disciplines
Lenore Goss Matjie
LENORE GOSS-MATJIE, the founder and CEO of "Styled by Le'Nore", is a qualified image consultant, fashion stylist, an etiquette and protocol consultant as well as a motivational speaker
As owner and director of AfriCrafters, Lucrisha Polton says her days are as varied as fingerprints. "I do what whatever it takes to get the job done." Drawing on skills from finance to design, and from sourcing materials to tracking down exceptional rural crafters, Lucrisha is a true all-rounder
Marileen says the route to where she is today started when she was still in grade eight and she just fell in love with accounting. Even at that young age, she dreamt of being a chartered accountant and made a conscious decision to make this her goal and to work towards it
DR MAVIS NAIDOO is the principal of the KwaThintwa School for the Deaf, which is based in Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal. The school takes in children with a hearing loss from the age of 3 to 20, from the poorest communities in rural areas all over KZN
MELLONEY RIJNVIS is the owner and director of The Wend, a mental wellness solution involving Virtual Reality (VR), which uses technology to simulate the relocation of someone from their current reality to a selected environment of their choice
MICHELLE GREGORY is the co-founder of Wozani Berg Gasoline (WBG), a diversified logistics group, providing transport, fuel storage, distribution, and supply chain services nationally and in neighbouring countries
As CEO of Azisa Consulting, Natasha Naidoo leads a busy life. Asked about her journey, she is candid. "I got this far through hard work, long hours and being prepared to make sacrifices in my personal life
DCCI represents the business community. As CEO, Palesa oversees the organisation, ensuring good governance and that the Chamber fulfils its mandate which is to look after its members, who are mostly from the business community of the Durban region
Growing up in Phoenix, Serena knew people mattered and she needed a career where she could help others. She decided she wanted something in the medical field and settled on radiography and chose to study in Pretoria and it was in patient care that she really excelled
A Durban girl through and through, Tarryn has travelled the world sourcing products for South African consumers. After four years working at an antique shop, she joined a merchandising company where she worked with buyers who sourced product for Game and Dion
Trisha Gokool Parshotam
TRISHA GOKOOL PARSHOTAM is exceptionally proud of the success of Dragon Protection Services and is passionate about her brand. She is a major shareholder and partner in the company and heads up the marketing and sales division
BONI MCHUNU, managing director at East Coast Radio (ECR) - KZN's No.1 Hit Music Station, is passionate about KwaZulu-Natal and its people.
Boni was born and educated in Pietermaritzburg. She is the youngest of five sisters and after her mother died when she was 10 years old, Boni was brought up by a single dad, who she calls her 'Rockstar'.
BURGETTE YARLETT is the founder and owner of Beyond Visible Belief. She is a Master Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner, life coach and motivational speaker providing one-on-one coaching, couples coaching and group workshop facilitation
During this time, Carol yearned to return to her family in KZN. As her mother had owned a Pam Golding franchise, Carol had come to know the Golding family. Fortuitously, Andrew Golding was opening a flagship branch in Durban and needed a manager. "We opened the Durban branch in 2008 as the property market crashed! I was faced with the daunting task of either retrenching colleagues or moving on myself," said Carol. She chose the latter and purchased the Durban North franchise of Pam Golding Properties in 2009.
CINDY NORCOTT is the owner of Pro Appointments and Pro Talent, which are recruitment agencies that she has had for the past 25 years. She is the founder and chairperson of the Robin Hood Foundation, a charity that was formed in 2005. Cindy is also a motivational speaker, business coach and the author of the best-selling book, "How to be Unstoppable".
Honey serves on the Drakensberg Boys Choir School board and until June 2019, she also served on the boards of Sekelo Oil Trading and Thebe Solar Energy Holdings. Honey is a member of the Durban Chemical Cluster Executive Committee and chairs the Skills and Transformation Desk. She is a member of the Gauteng Innovation Hub Management Company's Investment Committee
Lindiwe holds a bachelor's degree in management leadership from the University of the Free State as well as other qualifications in marketing management and management development. Over her 30 years in the corporate environment, Lindiwe has repeatedly proven her ability in strategic management and leading high-performance teams
MAIMOONA SALIM is the provincial executive of the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. An NGO that helps the unemployed youth adopt necessary life skills, and assists with job placements
MARGARET HIRSCH has become a leading example to businesswomen in southern Africa. Although from a humble background, she has participated in co-founding and running the multi million-rand appliance and electronic retail organisation, Hirsch's
Mariska Grace James
MARISKA GRACE JAMES is the owner and head trainer of We Train Revolution, which is an obstacle, boxing and strength training facility, for children, level one beginners as well as elite athletes
MELANIE VENESS has been the CEO of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, now the Pietermaritzburg and Midlands Chamber of Business (PMCB),since February 2011. She is the treasurer of the KwaZulu-Natal Business Chambers Council and serves on the KZN Economic Council. Previously, Melanie was the director of Pietermaritzburg Tourism.
Merrill says that she lives her life to the absolute fullest and states, "If you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much space." She is an avid sportsperson and enjoys spending time in the gym, paddling or running to stay fit and 'to ensure a flow of endorphins
Being an accomplished business executive, Mpume has had over 20 years' experience in strategy, leadership and portfolio management in the financial services industry. She holds several qualifications in finance, marketing and executive leadership from various universities in South Africa, China and United Kingdom
NIKITA PILLAY attributes her success to a powerful cocktail of positive peer pressure, perseverance and a lucky break. She grew up in a large, loud and happy family, with three sisters and a brother, but there was no chance of a tertiary education after school
Thanks to the solid relationships built throughout her career, in the first month of going it alone, Pravina made more money than her last salary. "This confidence in my ability gave me the push I needed to continue, pursue and develop my business
Shamla is an experienced lawyer who has been in practice for 22 years. Her practice provides a wide range of legal services, with a team to back up the firm's various divisions, with its focus being commercial and civil litigation
Tanya has a vested interest in SA, which goes beyond building a successful career for herself. The way she conceptualises 'successful' is driven by commitment to inclusivity, evidenced by her business network which mobilises and develops local talent and skills to benefit the broader South African community, including its wildlife
As Head of Finance for the KZN Retail and Business Banking division in Standard Bank, Thabisa Nkanzela is part of the provincial executive leadership team and is directly responsible for providing financial management support at a strategic and operational level
As head of Retail and Business Banking in KwaZulu-Natal, Victoria is responsible for overseeing operations across the personal and business banking segments including the bank's extensive branch network, ATMs, private banking suites and small and medium enterprises