Each year, corporations spend trillions of dollars acquiring goods and services. Of this, only 1% of the total spend is on women-owned businesses. This means many corporations are missing out on an opportunity to diversify their supply chains, grow the economy and improve the lives of women and girls around the globe. (Source: UN Women 2017 report ‘The Power of Procurement: How to Source from Women-Owned Businesses’)

Only 1% of the total spend is on women-owned businesses.

In South Africa, this means corporations are also missing out on a simple way to support emerging micro enterprises (EMEs) that are black female-owned and the opportunity to improve their B-BBEE scorecard.

To help companies overcome this shortfall, the Absa Lionesses Xpo has been developed. This virtual exhibition will showcase over a hundred women-owned businesses in South Africa, who offer a diverse array of products and services for corporates. The user-friendly platform will allow corporate buyers and decision-makers to browse the successful women-owned exhibitors that are of most interest to them, engage in the products and services on show, and connect via a one-on-one chat or video call with these women through its networking feature. The Xpo platform also features an e-commerce functionality for added convenience for buyers.

Melanie Hawken, Founder & CEO of Lionesses of Africa

“Absa Lionesses Xpo has engaged with leading-edge service providers to ensure a highly focused and productive visual online exhibition experience.”

While the live event will run on 29 October 2020, when all Lionesses will be present at their virtual stands, the platform will remain live to give buyers access to their products and information for a limited period thereafter.

“Absa Lionesses Xpo has engaged with leading-edge service providers to ensure a highly focused and productive visual online exhibition experience for the participants, as well as the opportunity for our Lionesses to showcase their quality offerings,” adds Melanie Hawken, Lionesses of Africa founder and CEO.

Lionesses of Africa is a Public Benefit Corporation that empowers leading female entrepreneurs of Africa, referred to as “Lionesses” to create game-changing impact for the continent. The Absa Lionesses Xpo will open with presentation sessions in a virtual auditorium setting by Melanie Hawken, senior executives from Absa as the impact partner and various Lionesses.

Among the Lionesses at the Xpo will be:

  • Pumza Ndlotyeni, founder and CEO of Gebane Investments, which provides electrical engineering and substation construction services
  • Ntsoaki Kortjass, founder and CEO of Tsoabelo Security Solutions, a security services company
  • Mapholo Ratau, founder and CEO of Ledikana, that specialises in fashion and textiles
  • Andiswa Silinga, CEO of Gemini GIS Services, that offers environmental and data services, UAV surveying, mapping, monitoring and inspection
  • Mahlatse Masimini, CEO of Moshate Media, providing events management, brand communications and public relations services.
Tina Playne, Managing Executive, Sectors & Segments at Absa Private Wealth and Business Bank

Tina Playne, Absa’s Managing Executive, Sectors & Segments at Absa Private Wealth and Business Bank, says, “One of our key strategies is to engage, empower and serve entrepreneurs – women in particular. Against this background, Absa firmly believes that our partnership with Lionesses of Africa is the right fit. The Xpo provides a real demonstration of the Lionesses’ remarkable range of products and services, whilst delivering on our promise that ‘we do more so you can’.”

Participation in the Absa Lionesses Xpo is free-of-charge. Corporate procurement managers and directors, senior management, CEOs and business owners are invited to register their interest in attending it here: www.lionessesxpo.com

For more information on this event, go to: www.lionessesofafrica.com