MARGARET HIRSCH, Chief Operations Officer of the Hirsch Group and a champion for women’s empowerment, received the award for the most Influential Woman In Wholesale and Retail for the African Continent, and was also given a Lifetime Achievement Award in her category in the Titans Women Most Influential Women in Business and Government awards ceremony that took place at the Gallagher Estates Convention Centre recently. This is the 14th top business award won by Margaret over the last 4 Years.
The Awards ceremony was hosted by CEO Global. Regional events were held in eight countries throughout the African Continent, leading up to the Continental Gala Dinner, where the winners for the whole Continent were announced.
They say that if the world was a country, Istanbul would be its capital.
The IWEC (International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge) was held in Istanbul recently – this was an apt place to hold the event as it is the only place in the world where you have Asia and Europe in the same city. The women who gathered together for this event came from around the world, and have been applauded for their work, not only as entrepreneurs, but for encouraging and developing those less fortunate than themselves.
Selected by the Cape Town Chamber Of Commerce, South Africa had 3 nominees in the group of 27 – Wendy Kemp (owner of the Accountability Group) Shona Macdonald (CEO of Shonaquip, wheelchair manufacturers) and Margaret Hirsch (COE of the Hirsch Group) who were all winners in the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge Awards were presented to participants by the Governor of the Chamber of Commerce’s wife, Ozleyis Topbas, at a gala evening in the City.
The Mayor of Istanbul, Kadir Topbaş, made the key note speech and praised the women for what they have achieved in their lives.
Some interesting background information: 45% of women make up the worldwide workforce and only 25% end up in top positions and in the Top 500. It is a well-documented fact that when women head up a company it is more effective and profitable than companies headed up by their male counterparts.
Said Mayor Topbaş “I believe we underestimate the power of women, what they achieve and their nurturing ability. Their ability to listen and the ability to understand make it a huge part of their success. Most women start with micro loans and build their business up with that and there is an extremely high percentage of women that pay back their microloans in comparison to men. Women are a lot quicker to share their experiences and to mentor other people”.
Hirsch’s believes in rewarding the women in the community who are making a difference in their world through the Margaret Hirsch Woman in Business Achiever Awards competition. The competition runs over the period of a year, where the monthly finalist stands to win a R500,00 Hirsch’s gift voucher and the overall winner a R10 000,00 gift voucher.
Recently the November finalist, Adel van Heerden – owner of Steele Model Agency, was announced as a finalist at Hirsch’s Centurions monthly Ladies Networking morning. Adel not only runs the Agency, but makes a valuable contribution towards the community through providing children and teens the opportunity to enter the Fashion world, whether it be as models or fashion designers.
Says Adel: “I started modelling when I was 15 years old, and the confidence and character that it built in me encouraged me to make this available to those less privileged.”
The keynote speaker at the event was Nicolette Steel, who is a sought after Inspirational Speaker and Author.
The title of her message was ‘Looking back to the future’ where she explained that in order for us to move forward we need to look at what we have learnt from the past. “Embrace the person you have become”. She spoke on the importance of celebrating our past successes and also the hard situations we have gone through – recognising the fact that we have survived them and keeping this in mind – we will be able to attempt the impossible. Quoting from the song by One Republic, Nicolette encouraged the ladies to live life to the full: – “with every broken bone, I swear I lived”.
After an encouraging message, each of the participants had the opportunity to present themselves and their business in a 30 second time slot. After the formal part of the event, opportunity was given for guests to network over a cup of coffee and breakfast snacks.
Hirsch’s are all about adding value to their customers, and one way they like to do this is by offering a monthly Domestic Cooking Course – where they not only teach them to prepare healthy meals – but also how to use of various kitchen appliances.
Commented Hirsch Centurion PRO, Joanne Brunette, “The attendance and response to this course has been tremendous. Denise van Eck was on hand to demonstrate the use of the Braun Multiquick in the making of a ginger lemonade, as well as various other Braun and Kenwood appliances during the course of the afternoon. Other items on the menu were a tasty homemade mayonnaise, ask-for-more chicken, quiche, flatbread and a Blueberry Souffle. Our audience were ‘wowed’ at the speed with which the flatbread dough and the souffle were made in the Kenwood Chef. “
Tasters of all the dishes prepared were offered at the end of the course, and unanimous approval was offered – with the ladies extoling the virtues of each dish. Each participant received a Certificate on completion of the course.
A FIRST FOR SOUTH AFRICA
Hirsch’s and Defy have got together to bring the South African public a Christmas dream come true for families. A Giant Snow Globe! Commenting on this fun activation, CEO of the Hirsch Group, Allan Hirsch said “ This is a first for South Africa and we want it to be the ultimate experience for children all ages over the Christmas period.”
Warren Pearce, Hirsch’s National Event Manager explained that the Giant Snow Globe is a place where children can “romp and roll and enjoy the feeling of a truly white Christmas.” The Globe measures 4 x 4 meters and will be set up (on a scheduled basis) in all Hirsch stores around the country from early November. Families can have their photos taken in the globe and will be given to them free of charge, and they also stand a chance to win a R20,000 travel voucher.
If you would like to have the true Giant Snow Globe experience, dates for when it will be in your nearest Hirsch Store will be on the Hirsch web site www.hirschs.co.za or visit your nearest Hirsch store and speak to the PRO to find out more !