Two outstanding Cape Town business women will travel to Shanghai in China in September this year to receive awards from the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge.
They are Jill Bysshe and Jaqueline Naughton who both run businesses with an annual turnover of more than R20 000 000. They were nominated by the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Jill Bysshe owns Neo Trading, a company that distributes natural and organic products. She bought the company six years ago when it was essentially a “one-man” operation representing only 12 brands. Since then, Neo Trading has grown to the point where it now distributes 50 brands, turnover has increased to more than 20 times the original volume and is poised for even greater growth as the products are now going into selected chain stores.
Jaqueline Naughton is in the call centre or contact centre business. She used to run an operation in the UK that employed 12 000 people before coming to live in Cape Town where she set up her own business, BYC, which provides consulting and training services to the growing industry. It started as a one-woman business and has developed to a team of 130 during the past 17 years.
Ms Janine Myburgh, President of the Chamber, said it was inspiring to see these women building successful businesses in a difficult economic climate. “They embody the spirit of enterprise that we so desperately need in this country and they set an outstanding example for others.”
She said the IWEC meeting in Shanghai would give past and present winners of the award a chance to meet other winners from different parts of the world, exchange ideas and perhaps develop new aspects of their businesses.
“In the past the IWEC conferences have proved to be stimulating and have encouraged the winners to take on fresh challenges, and the Chamber is proud of the role it had played in bringing South African women into the international limelight,” Myburgh said.