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FNB Women in Business Conference – 22 October 2008 – Hilton Hotel Sandton

Our Group CEO, Suzanne Ravenall, was invited for an on-the-couch discussion at a FNB Conference for Women in Business “Empowering Women is Smart Economics”. The premise of the discussion was based around FNB’s Commercial Banking who recognised that many women need a financial partner that views them and their business as equal to those of male businesses. That FNB and companies like The Effectiveness Company, understand women entrepreneurs and business owners face added pressures of balancing their businesses to ensure success and managing their family lives.

FNB Commercial Banking is determined to drive the success of women-owned businesses as well as contributing to the development of women in the broader economy,” says Iris Dempsey, CEO of FNB Commercial Banking.

Research conducted states that what women in business want to have more networking platforms, to share and exchange ideas with likeminded women. A part of the FNB Women in Business programme was the national seminar that FNB Commercial Banking organised to help women personally and in their businesses to face the day-to-day issues and find the solutions for success with the assistance of corporate such as The Effectiveness Company.

The conference brought together speakers of the highest calibre and standing in the South African business community in order to share their extensive knowledge and advice with women business owners.

The following interesting topics were discussed:

  • Opening by FNB Commercial Banking CEO – Iris Dempsey
  • Women in the economy – Cheryl Carolus
  • Brand YOU – Julia Raphaely
  • Financial fitness – Bryon Hirsch
  • The role of the DTI – Mmabatho Matiwane
  • Entrepreneurship – Angela Dick and Suzanne Ravenall
  • Empowerment of women and gender equality – Jenna Clifford and Sarah-Jane Truter

The conference was attended by 297 delegates at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton, and live-feed broadcasts to 89 people attended Cape Town and 106 in DBN. Bronwyn Nielsen, the anchor for the day, interviewed the guests on behalf of FNB Commercial Bank.

Where to from here – All delegates will be informed about relevant topics in the industry related to Women in Business and potential future events are in discussion.

Feedback from the conference delegates:

“Hi Suzanne It was wonderful meeting with you yesterday; listening to you was motivating and inspiring. As I had briefly discussed with you, my business has been in existence for 5 years now. Through many external and internal factors business is not doing very well to a point of me considering taking on a job. I am passionate about my work and have always added value to my clients. I find developing and growing people rewarding. I would really appreciate time with you to chat about the future of my business. When I heard you repeatedly saying” don’t give up on your business” almost felt like you were talking to me.”

“Good day Suzanne
Being one of the participants at the Women in Business Forum being held yesterday by FNB, I have to congratulate you on inspiring and motivating us women of today. It was an ultimate pleasure meeting with you. The event did strike a platform for women to conquer the world by using the power we possess. Speaking from all the women that were present at the event, your motivational story of success – did make a positive difference in our lives which I intend to implement both in my career and personal life.”

“Suzanne, Getting a chance to chat to you at the FNB seminar yesterday was fantastic. I am the lady who wanted to know when things would stop being so tough. I felt really inspired by your story and my key take out was that your success had been built on discipline, putting the right habits in place and consistently thinking about the future and planning for it. This is actionable advise and I will certainly use it. I also felt genuineness about you to encourage others who were also navigating these often treacherous waters. That was great to see.”

“Dear Ms. Ravenall, I would like to thank you for your Inspirational talk at the FNB – “Empowering Woman in Smart Economics” Conference. Especially the words you and Mrs. Dick were mentioning “never give up” are still in my head and giving me a lot of support!! I still have the FNB folder on my desk and I remember the Good and Rejuvenated feeling which I had after the conference.
Many Thanks again.”