An initiative by the founder of Unorthodox PR Media Group, Sibabalwe “Siba” Sesmani, seeks to find solutions to issues hindering young female entrepreneurs from growing their businesses.
The company hosts monthly Women’s Youthpreneur Breakfast workshops with policymakers, private institutions and funding organisations as part of furthering discussions to help young women.
This month’s event, entitled What is your Why?, questions why young entrepreneurs are venturing into business and how they can survive their journey.
“We gather delegates and information about their companies and send it off to our partners. Through our partners, we are able to identify key needs and assist our entrepreneurs at their point of need,” says Sesmani.
These workshops initially started as informal sessions in 2015. Back then, it was inspired by the need to make a change in entrepreneurship and encourage more women to consider this avenue as a career path.
Unorthodox PR Media Group is a media relations company that supplies brand visibility to clients using platforms like TV, radio and print.
“The inspiration came from personal experience. I experienced numerous problems pertaining to females in the world of business,” she recalls. She says entrepreneurship is extremely challenging, but the odds are stacked against women entrepreneurs, both socially and in business.
“Often, when meeting other female entrepreneurs, we repeatedly discussed the same issues without taking any action. There’s something phenomenal when women work together and hence the Women’s Youthpreneur Academy events were launched,” she says.
Sesmani says since the inception of these monthly events, they have heard positive stories from young women who aspire to start their companies but were too scared. They have now changed their perceptions about venturing into business.
“We have also linked up our delegates to work with one another. We have channelled business opportunities through our delegates. We have availed ourselves for any assistance and guidance.”
Sesmani is a BCom Economics and Econometrics graduate and in 2013, she was chosen to be one of 20 young women from around South Africa to participate in Absa’s young Pioneering Women conference.
The workshops seek to close the gender gap for women entrepreneurs in certain industries by bringing decision-makers and industry players together with women entrepreneurs.
She also co-owns PR and communications company, Sapphire Relations, which focuses on providing clients with a media exposure and helps them achieve their objectives. She is also a Director at Arigo investments.
Sesmani produced a two-hour radio show called Open Wednesdays on Maboneng Radio in 2015, in which she interviewed entrepreneurs working in the precinct.
Young women entrepreneurs who aspire to attend these workshops should email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The events are held in Sandton, Johannesburg.