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Showcasing Game-Changing Women Entrepreneurs

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

By overlooking women-owned businesses, many corporations are missing an opportunity to expand their global markets, diversify their supply chains, and grow the economy, while simultaneously improving the lives of women and girls around the globe. The challenge is to connect women business owners with potential corporate buyers.

Melanie Hawken, Lionesses of Africa founder and CEO
Melanie Hawken, Lionesses of Africa founder and CEO

Against this backdrop, the Absa Lionesses Xpo has been developed to showcase a diverse array of products and services from over 100 of South Africa’s exciting women-owned businesses on a sophisticated virtual platform that will be launched with a dynamic, interactive event on Thursday, 29 October.

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 Xpo is designed to connect corporate buyers and decision-makers with successful women-owned businesses on a user-friendly and professional platform that will deliver high-level exhibition features and benefits, including live access to the Lioness exhibitors. The Xpo will open with presentation sessions in a virtual auditorium setting by Melanie Hawken, Lionesses of Africa founder and CEO, senior executives from Absa as the impact partner and various Lionesses.

The Xpo will follow, opening an easy-to-navigate world of opportunity for buyers and decision-makers to explore the exhibition, selecting and visiting the ‘stands’ of interest, engaging with the product and service ranges, and interacting with the owner-Lionesses on the networking feature.

The event on 29 October will be the only day that all the lionesses will be present at their virtual stands for discussion and engagement, although the platform will remain live to give buyers access to their products and information for a limited period thereafter. Melanie explains that this virtual exhibition will give corporate participants free-of-charge access to a visual experience of products and services on offer from the Lionesses.

Tina Playne, Absa’s 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

Tina Playne, Absa’s Managing Executive, Sectors & Segments at Absa Private Wealth and Business Bank, says Absa has long been wholly committed to harnessing the power of women entrepreneurs because of their innate ability to unlock economic growth. “One of our key strategies is to engage, empower and serve entrepreneurs – women in particular.”

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.

Register to attend

Corporate procurement managers and directors, senior management, CEOs and business owners are invited to register their interest in participating in the Xpo for an opportunity to source a vast array of products and services through this interactive and engaging digital platform. To register your interest in attending, visit

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