Johnson and Johnson South Africa (J&J) and WEConnect International in South Africa partnered to host one-day Collaboration Workshops in Johannesburg and Cape Town on October 27 and November 10, respectively. The workshops were opened to self-registered women business owners (WBOs) and invited guests.
The objective of the workshops was to provide space to review opportunities and market gaps where WBOs could work together. Critical aspects of the discussion were understanding collaboration principles, establishing rules of engagement, cultivating a collaborative culture and fostering collaborative leadership. In addition, examples of existing collaboration among the attendees were highlighted, which led to discussion groups forming around areas of opportunities.
These workshops gave WOBs encourage and foster a climate of collaboration, allowing WBOs to use their strengths of working together to create business opportunities. During the Johannesburg event, targeted industries included agriculture, agro-processing, construction, facilities management and the ICT sector. In Cape Town, the WBOs focus was on construction, facilities management, manufacturing, strategic consulting and ICT.
The programme for both events included the morning session spent sharing current business focuses, reviewing potential opportunities and understanding collaboration. The afternoon sessions were spent in team discussions with attendees divided into three focus groups. The discussions were successful in sharing ideas to help build sustainable, growth-oriented business ideas.
Jacob Pretorius, Procurement Manager at Johnson & Johnson Medical and Janssen said, “Women owned businesses (WBEs) have to take a deeper look at scalability. When corporates speak to WBEs, WBEs should not only meet the criteria of the RFP but also consider collaboration possibilities for more innovative solutions.”
The feedback from the attending WBOs showed the need for this collaboration workshop. The women business owners who attended the event found it informative, providing a fresh perspective to corporate market opportunities as well as helpful in understanding how collaboration can help their businesses.
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