Western Cape female entrepreneur awards
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) Female Entrepreneur Awards Programme started in 1999. This is a shared project between the DAFF, the provinces and key partners in the sector. Over the years, the programme has become an empowerment platform that recognises the entrepreneurial skills of women, young women and women with disabilities in the sector.
The programme wants to recognise, encourage and increase the participation of women and the significant role women play in food security, job creation, economic growth and poverty alleviation. The long-term goal of the programme is encouraging and supporting women entrepreneurs from being subsistence and smallholder producers to commercial entrepreneurs who will also venture into export markets.
The objectives of the programme are consistent with the vision of the National Development Plan, which contributes to the empowerment of women and their involvement in the country’s economic transformation.
Objectives of the programme
The programme focuses on women, young women and women with disabilities and aims to:
- Establish them in the sector through food security, job creation, economic growth and poverty alleviation.
- Encourage and increase their participation in agricultural, forestry and fisheries activities.
- Award their efforts and contribution in the sector and also supporting these entrepreneurs from being subsistence to commercial farmers.
- Contribute towards the achievement of the strategic objective “A transformed and united sector”.
The provincial awards ceremony takes place during Women’s Month in August to highlight the sector’s input towards broader gender transformation in our country.
There are 9 categories at both national and provincial levels. The categories appeal to progressive entrepreneurship and encourage contribution to food security.
National level will award 9 categories (best/top winner per category) and at Provincial level, there will be 13 awards for the 9 categories (best and the runner-up winners for 5 of the categories).
Where the Province awards both of the MEC’s Awards: Young Female and Female with Disability, there will be 14 winners at Provincial level.
The categories are:
- Best Female Worker in the Sector
- Best Subsistence Producer in the Sector
- Top Entrepreneur in the Sector: Smallholder
- Top Entrepereneur in the Sector: Processing
- Top Entrepreneur in the Sector: Commercial
- Top Entrepreneur in the Sector: Export Markets
- Ministerial Special Award
- Overall Winner
Western Cape’s top female agriculture entrepreneurs were announced on Tuesday, 7 August during a gala ceremony hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).
Marta Marie Klein from Baakensrug in Central Karoo was named Best Female Worker while Magdelene Campbell from Beacon Organics Farmstall won the award for the best subsistence produce.
In the top entrepreneur category: Smallholder, Leandre Mitchley from LS pig Farming Ltd Pty walked away with top honours. She started her farm with just 2 piglets and has since grown to 200. In her journey, she lost 90 pigs and had to turn to her own research methods to improve things. “It means a lot to me. I experienced a lot of losses in the past and I’m still recovering from that and winning means that I can use this prize money to recover from the losses,” she says. Her dream is to become a commercial farmer and to open her own butchery.
Jeanne Groenewald from Elgin Free Range Chickens and Elgin Poultry Abattoir came out tops in the processing category.
Liebre Jacobs from Fruitlips (Pty) Ltd won the ministerial award for youth. Her Picketberg-based business makes jams, chutneys and marmalades, all by hand. She says her idea was to make “traditional jams with a twist”, like her strawberry and rose flavoured jam. “I see this as a great honour, and a stepping stone. Being a small business, we see it as a privilege to win and we’re going to use it as a stepping stone to grow.” They currently employ 17 permanent staff and about half of them are young people.