De Beers and UNW Initiative Completes First Round Of Workshops

DE BEERS SOUTH AFRICA AND UN WOMEN COMPLETE FIRST ROUND OF WORKSHOPS IN CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAMME FOR WOMEN MICRO-ENTREPRENEURS IN LIMPOPO

De Beers Group and United Nations Entity for Women for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNW), in partnership with Blouberg and Musina municipalities, is pleased to announce the completion of the trainer development workshops aimed to equip trainers to deliver capacity-building programmes to support women micro-entrepreneurs in Limpopo.

A total of 17 local trainers have been provided with the appropriate skills to deliver training to the women entrepreneurs that will participate in the programme, which expects to reach around 500 women entrepreneurs over a three year period to help them build and sustain successful businesses in areas ranging from retail, catering, agriculture, spaza shops and manufacturing.

The trainer development workshops were designed to equip the trainers to better understand the specific challenges faced by women micro-entrepreneurs, as well as to build access to peer support networks and ensure the trainers can support the programme participants on an ongoing basis.

The training model for the capacity-building programme is focused on providing participants with knowledge and skills in the areas of marketing, record keeping, stock management, costing and business planning. The ultimate objective is to enhance understanding of business concepts, including accessing markets, increasing market share, generating income, creating jobs, and supporting effective decision-making, communication and negotiation skills.

The completion of the trainer development workshops coincided with a launch event for the programme in South Africa, held at Meropa Casino in Polokwane, Limpopo Province on 9 November. In attendance were representatives from De Beers Consolidated Mines, UN Women, Mayors of Musina and Blouberg municipalities and implementation partner Hand in Hand Southern Africa, trainers, and the first group of 58 women entrepreneurs to receive training.

Innocent Mabusela, Head of Corporate Affairs, De Beers Consolidated Mines, said: “At De Beers we pride ourselves in strategic partnerships that play a crucial role in supporting our local communities. The partnership with UN Women and the Blouberg and Musina municipalities is particularly close to our hearts because it speaks to commitment to supporting women and girls through skills development and job creation for the benefit of not only their own families, but their communities as well.”

Anne Githuku-Shongwe, UN Women Representative, South Africa Multi-country Office, said: “This programme is responding to the promise of the 2030 Agenda which states that no one should be left behind. The partnership with De Beers Group aims to complement national efforts on job creation and economic empowerment of women by supporting women micro-enterprises through capacity building that is customised to address their daily challenges in practical ways.”

Ngoakwana Seleka, Managing Director of Thabosilakhu Empire Restaurant

First year anniversary of De Beers Group’s partnership with UN Women

In September, De Beers Group celebrated the first anniversary of its three-year global partnership with UN Women, which includes a US$3 million investment to advance women and girls in De Beers Group’s diamond producing countries. A three-year capacity-building programme will improve the livelihoods of more than 1,200 women micro-entrepreneurs in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. In Canada, De Beers Group is providing scholarships and support to women and girls who want to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

As a UN Women HeForShe Thematic Champion (www.heforshe.org), De Beers Group has also committed to achieving parity in the appointment of women and men into senior leadership roles in its own organisation, as well as ensuring the company’s brands are a positive force for gender equality through all its marketing campaigns.

Over the past 12 months, De Beers Group doubled its appointment rate of women into senior positions, with 51 per cent of new senior hires being women. A set of new inclusive marketing guidelines has also been developed, and highly successful campaigns have been run by De Beers Group’s consumer brands Forevermark and De Beers Jewellers, featuring real and remarkable women.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “We are proud of the progress we’ve made over the past year and have been extremely encouraged by the shared enthusiasm for our goals across De Beers Group and the wider diamond industry. We are still early on our journey and are determined to stand with women and girls in the pursuit of true gender equality.”

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