The winners of the ninth annual Santam Women of the Future wards in association with FAIRLADY and TRUELOVE were announced on Friday, 13 October at an exclusive event held at Shepstone Gardens and emceed by Jo-Ann Strauss.

Guests in attendance at the luncheon included businesswomen and media personalities such as Miss South Africa 2023 Natasha Joubert, Wendy Luhabe, Johanna Makgalemele, Uyanda Mbuli, Miss South Africa 2022 Ndavi Nokeri, Jena Dover, Catherine Constantinides, Sonia Booth, Miss Earth South Africa 2023 first runner up Belindé Schreuder and Constance Sibiya.

The three winners were selected from a shortlist of nine finalists by a distinguished panel of judges: Professor Thuli Madonsela, Law Trust Chair in Social Justice at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Law; Nonkululeko Gobodo, CEO of Awakened Global; Dawn Nathan-Jones, entrepreneur and CEO of Over the Rainbow; Norah Sehunoe, Executive Head of Human Resources at Santam; Suzy Brokensha, FAIRLADY editor-in-chief; and TRUELOVE editor-in-chief Mbali Soga.

Santam’s many years of supporting women in business in South Africa have given the company valuable insight into the potential pitfalls of the entrepreneurial journey. Santam understands that the first 1 000 days of running a business are the hardest – if you’re still in business by day 1 001, they believe you’re in it for the long haul! These incredibly dynamic women have either surpassed that critical point or are well on their way to doing so.

Gugu Mtetwa, the Santam Group COO, said an impressive calibre of highly talented and impressive women entrepreneurs had entered the 2023 Women of the Future Awards.  “These awards showcase the incredible role played by women entrepreneurs in helping solve societal problems whilst also driving sustainable economic growth in South Africa. We believe it’s our responsibility to help promote local enterprises to survive and thrive,” she said.

We are proud to announce the winners:

Keri Rudolph of The IV Bar was named the 2023 Santam Woman of the Future.

With 23 branches and counting in South Africa, The IV Bar offers a range of customised intravenous vitamin drips in a tranquil lounge setting, helping clients look, feel and perform their best. Winning the Woman of the Future Award fuels Keri’s dreams. ‘The credibility that comes with this award is remarkable,’ says Keri. ‘It comforts me to know that my idea is being recognised, and the impact will be tremendous.’

Thembiso Magajana of Social Coding SA was named the 2023 Santam Social Entrepreneur.

Social Coding SA, a non-profit digital skills training organisation, recruits, trains and employs young people from rural areas to teach digital literacy and coding at high schools. Thembiso says that winning the Social Entrepreneur Award will provide Social Coding SA with a platform to attract more partners and funders, raise awareness about the urgent need for digital inclusion, and kick-start the for-profit arm of Social Coding SA.

Amanda Sibiya of Branding Africa was named the 2023 Santam Rising Star.

Branding Africa is an agency that envisions a prosperous Africa driven by African brands. Its mission is to empower local businesses and entrepreneurs to build robust brands through comprehensive brand development programmes, workshops and strategy consulting services. ‘Winning this award serves as validation and recognition of the agency’s hard work, dedication and expertise, and further strengthens our reputation and credibility within the industry, opening doors to new opportunities and collaborations,’ Amanda says.

The Santam Readers’ Choice Award, voted for by the public, went to Marcia Monareng of Millennial Mindset Media.
This agency aims to uplift young people through an avant-garde approach to digital marketing. It is a 100% black-owned and female-led business that focuses on personalised solutions and close client collaboration. Marcia wins a Golden Circle Mentorship programme from Over the Rainbow worth over R9 500.

‘The judging was as difficult as I expected,’ says Suzy. ‘It’s really hard to choose an overall winner when the finalists are all outstanding! But I am very pleased with the results: I think they reflect our intention to reward excellence both in concept and execution, with a strong trajectory towards creating a strong, resilient network of business excellence in South Africa.’

‘The winners are living proof of the incredible entrepreneurial spirit in South Africa – not only are we resourceful, but we're resilient too,’ says Mbali. ‘They are investing in the future of South Africa and harnessing the transformative force of entrepreneurship to pave the way for a more equitable and prosperous future for all.’

The prizes (valued at over R600 000!)

  • R100 000 in cash to the Woman of the Future and R60 000 in cash each to the Rising Star and the Social Entrepreneur from Santam
  • A luxury beauty hamper worth R10 000 from our beauty partner, Lancôme
  • A full-page advertisement in FAIRLADY or TRUELOVE to promote the business, social enterprise or NPO
  • Invaluable mentorship with one of the judges
  • A ‘Strategies for Making and Taking New Markets’ course (worth R11 000) or a ‘Strategic Marketing’ course (worth R18 000), both from the Gordon Institute of Business Science
  • A Frederique Constant Vitality women’s watch worth R15 495
  • Business printing worth R5 000 from Lithotech
  • A Stackd cabin case worth R4 899 from Samsonite
  • Three pairs of Baker sunglasses worth R5 397 in total from Execuspecs

Read more about the winners and their businesses in the latest issue of FAIRLADY magazine, on sale from Friday, 20 October 2023.