About The Businesswomen's Association (BWA)

As the voice of women in business, the Businesswomen's Association of South Africa (BWASA) is the largest and most prominent association of business and professional women in the country. It plays a key role in highlighting the current status of women in leadership and acts as a lobby group that advocates on women's business issues in an effort to transform the economy.

The non-profit, voluntary association works through strategic partnerships that include sponsors, non-profit organisations, leading companies, government departments, business schools and international associations for the interests of its members.

Members include entrepreneurs, corporates, professionals and senior decision makers.

The BWA provides a valuable platform for the inspiration and empowerment of women in business through a variety of initiatives and opportunities for personal growth and development. Apart from creating networking opportunities for its members, it makes a strong contribution towards developing the next generation of women business leaders.

Significantly, the BWA has presented the Businesswoman of the Year Award since 1980 and also runs regional achiever awards to recognize the achievements of women in business. These awards actively seek to identify, acknowledge and cultivate entrepreneurs, corporate and professional women leader in the various regions.

The BWA also coordinates the South African Women in Leadership Census and operates a bursary fund to assist businesswomen to further their tertiary education. BWA bursaries are awarded across the country to students enrolled in post-graduate universities or technikons.

More recently, as part of its on-going efforts to strengthen the role and recognition of women in South Africa, the Businesswomen's Association of South Africa has committed itself to spearheading an Economic Gender Advocacy Programme which is specifically linked to developing the content of the new Women Empowerment and Gender Equity Bill and creating a Charter for Women's Empowerment.
Programmes offered by BWASA to fast-track young women into the local economy include Businesswomen of Tomorrow, The support to women owned enterprises programme Incubation programmes, BWA WIRED programmes - Women In Responsible Enterprises, A mentorship program,  A skills development routes to markets initiative and The BWA Value programme.

The BWA is a platform for the inspiration and empowerment of women. Individuals who join the organisation benefit by becoming part of a vibrant, passionate community of businesswomen; they are given opportunities to mentor and be mentored, they are also able to have their personal and professional skills honed and their networks developed from the experience and expertise of other women in business.
Tracing its origins back to the Executive Women's Club in 1979, the BWA in its current form was launched in 2000 through the amalgamation of the Executive Women's Club, the National Association of Women Business Owners and the Professional Women's Leadership Development Organisation.

The BWA has 7 branches around the country with its head office in Johannesburg. Branches include Gauteng, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Zululand, East London and Limpopo. Branches provide local and national forums where members can exchange ideas become informed about topical issues and create business opportunities

The BWA has a membership association with the African Businesswomen's Network.

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Our Aims, Mission and Vision

Aims Mission Vision and values

The BWA is a non-profit, voluntary organisation committed to offering real value in the form of leading and training, connecting and supporting members and South African business.

The Association aims to be a united, non-racial business organisation that helps businesswomen to create connections on multiple dimensions - personal, professional and business - throughout their career. It also creates opportunities for women business owners to grow their businesses.

As a national association with regional branches, it also provides local and national forums where members can exchange ideas, be informed about topical issues and create business opportunities.

It acts as a lobby group on women's business issues, highlighting and publicising not only the barriers to success that may still exist but also the many opportunities available to women in South Africa today.

Through strategic partnerships with sponsors, other non-profit organisations, leading companies and business schools, it provides on-going events and opportunities to advance the interests and needs of women in business.

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BWASA is established to promote opportunities to support, connect and grow women in business, through lobbying, mentoring, network, strategic alliances, and developing and recognising excellence in women.

BWASA’s vision is to provide "A platform for the inspiration and empowerment of women"

BWA subscribe to the following values:

Professionalism; Integrity; Empathy; Accountability; Commitment; Success; Respect; Passion

Our Functions

The Branches are the main touch point with the membership of the BWA, which is the platform from which the BWA bases its mandate.  Local branches are the point of entry into the BWA and provide services to members in the regions.  Local Branches meet regularly for workshops, courses, breakfasts, lunches and some evening functions. Programmes and activities range from the purely social, such as golf days and movie premieres, to the strongly business focused, such as skills development, career advancement, mentoring, economic and business sector overviews, networking, financial presentations and guest speakers from the business and professional sectors.

A highlight of the BWA Branch calendar is the annual Budget Presentation immediately after the Minister of Finance tables the annual Budget. This national road show kicks off the morning after the budget speech to each of the BWA branches and is an enlightening and interesting analysis of the annual budget. This event has met with much acclaim and grows in popularity every year.

Another highlight is the annual road show undertaken by the Businesswoman of the Year Award winner, around the country. During this event the Businesswoman of the Year meets BWA members and the media and shares her experiences.

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Joining the BWA

The BWA provides a valuable platform for the inspiration and capacity building of women in business through a variety of initiatives and opportunities for growth and development which include:

  • Creating conversations that examine structures and methods of doing business locally, regionally and internationally,
  • A networking platforms for its members,
  • Creating excellent business training opportunities to improve business performance,
  • Facilitating research on experiences of women in leadership, women in the market place and workplace and;
  • Making a contribution towards developing the next generation of women business leaders.

Our different categories of membership represent a cross section of businesswomen across different sectors. Members include entrepreneurs, businesswomen, professionals, thought leaders, social entrepreneurs and senior decision makers. Our aim is to increase the foot print of women’s economic citizenship across the country and the region.

We continually upgrade our various programmes and initiatives to keep abreast of industry trends. We provide and co-ordinate platforms for women to have access to finance, opportunities and to make progress in their careers. Initiatives include: the BWA VALUE programme, the BWA WIRED, mentorship programmes, skills development, routes to markets and Business Women of Tomorrow.

The BWA also offers Lifestyle Benefits.

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