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”.


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