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ABOUT KZN WOMEN IN BUSINESS

KZN Women in Business is a support structure for women and a forum for fostering relationships, building networks, exchanging business knowledge and, ultimately, helping our members grow their businesses.

KZNWIB brings businesswomen together at monthly breakfast meetings, in a friendly, structured environment, to build business relationships and supportive friendships.

It’s not just about monthly meetings; it’s about creating a successful community of businesswomen to engage and connect with other committed, successful and inspiring women.

Members include established entrepreneurs, corporate executives and small business start-ups from a wide range of business sectors.

Formed in Durban in 1995, KZNWIB is the longest-standing businesswomen’s organization in KZN.

We’re a voluntary association, managed by a committee of volunteers and a part-time administrator.

What’s in it for you?

You get the perfect opportunity to network with like-minded businesswomen, sharing business ideas and experiences. KZNWIB provides a wonderful balance between motivational and business oriented speakers throughout the year. Speakers at the monthly meetings ensure that members can learn new skills and keep up to date with current business practice while developing business alliances and leads to grow their businesses.

KZNWIB promotes the interests of its women, advocates for women in business, and fosters the recognition of women in business.

With a database of 850 women that continues to grow monthly, KZNWIB is an extensive network of businesswomen and executive decision makers in the Durban area and throughout KwaZulu-Natal.

Giving back

Themba Lethu is our currently elected charity beneficiary of KZNWIB, with formal contributions by the organization, as well as individual contributions of time and expertise by members.

KZNWIB LEADERSHIP

The Chairmanship of KZNWIB changes after no more than three years, though two years is the usual term of office. This regular change of leadership is a particular strength of KZNWIB and has, no doubt, contributed to its longevity and continued freshness and relevance to our members. Over the last 19 years, each chairman has left her own unique mark on KZN Women in Business and infused it with freshness.

mel-gard

CURRENT CHAIRPERSON: MEL GARD

Mel Gard assumed the helm of the organisation in January 2016. Mel comes from a strong entrepreneurial and marketing background, and has been instrumental in forming the digital communication of KZNWIB. Her unique leadership style and can-do attitude should make for an energetic new era.
Tina Cartwright

2014-2015: TINA CARTWRIGHT

Tina Cartwright was elected Chair of KZNWIB for 2014 and 2015, bringing her considerable experience in sales and new business development to the committee. Highly energetic, Tina’s infectious enthusiasm and positive approach are evident in her favourite quote from Anne Frank: “How wonderful that no one need wait a moment longer to change the world”.
Emma Dunk

2012 – 2013: EMMA DUNK

Members happily reaped the benefits of Emma’s personal philosophy of “Work hard, play hard and live life to the fullest!”  Under Emma’s chairmanship, KZNWIB grew substantially, from meetings of about 50 ladies to 80 and upwards, a new Constitution was drawn up and implemented, a new website for the organization was launched & Sanlam was secured as the 2014 sponsor for the Organisation. As a testament to Emma’s fair-mindedness and commitment to inclusiveness, the 2014-2015 Committee, Vice-Chair and Chairperson were democratically elected by the membership for the first time in the organisations history.
Charmaine Schwenn

2010 – 2011: CHARMAINE SCHWENN

Charmaine has earned several accolades and awards in her legal career and was awarded first place in the legal category of South Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government Awards during her term of office as Chair of KZNWIB. Charmaine’s sharp mind and wonderful sense of humour brought a unique flavor to the meetings. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead
alice-leah

2008 – 2009 ALICE LEAH

“If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.” Lucille Ball Alice is a perfect illustration of her favourite saying above, as she accomplishes so much, and still has the energy to remain passionate. During her tenure she developed a lot of the meeting formats that are still used today.
Karen Brokensha

2005 - 2007 KAREN BROKENSHA

“I said, "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.” (Lily Tomlin) Karen remains the youngest serving Chair of KZNWIB to date. She served as Chair for three years and credits the knowledge she gained at KZNWIB meeting and the encouragement of other members for giving her the courage to start her own business after having been retrenched in 2004.
Belinda Davies

2002 – 2003 BELINDA DAVIES

Belinda’s interest and expertise in strategic leadership and organisational performance make it no surprise that she introduced a more professional structure within KZNWIB, which now has a structured committee with designated portfolios and a vice-chair.
Sharon Emmerich 1

1999- 2000 SHARON EMMERICH

Sharon led a small committee of only 6 women, and articulated very clearly a principle that is still true today: There is always room for new members at KZNWIB. Sharon’s legacy is evident in the KZNWIB logo that she introduced. Sharon firmly believes that “we are all women of substance and, like the Necklace Logo, there’s always room for another link”. Sharon credits KZNWIB with giving her the confidence to start her business, and thanks the organization for “giving me the life I have now.”
Bev Fink 1

1995 – 1998 BEVERLEY-ANN FINK

Founder member and first Chair of KZNWIB, Beverley-Ann remains an active member of the organization today. As the original Chair, Bev played a significant role in laying the foundation of KZNWIB and clearly remembers how she used to “beg, borrow and steal” venues in which to meet before corporate sponsorship of meetings allowed for a fixed schedule of meetings as we have today at the Tsogo Sun Maharani Hotel. Bev’s advice to all women is twofold: “Two things to remember: Take care of your thoughts when you are alone. Take care of your words when you are with people.”

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