Business women’s group inspires professionals at networking event

18 April 2018 | Web Article Number: ME20189470

SMME Development & Support
Social Development

“FALL asleep with a dream and wake up with a purpose,” is the motto of East Coast Radio General Manager Boni Mchunu, who spoke recently at a meeting of the KwaZulu-Natal chapter of the Women’s Property Network (WPN).

Queen Mjwara, KZN Chairperson of the Women’s Property Network said that women who were carving careers for themselves in commercial property benefitted from sharing the experiences and views of leading businesswomen in the province.    “WPN is dedicated to advancing the success of women in the commercial property industry. We were established in 2000 to act as a catalyst for change within the industry by providing our members and sponsors with opportunities to network and do business together,” Mjwara said.

“In many ways, the property sector is unique – but in many ways it is also very like the general corporate world with similar challenges. Even though she is in a different industry from ours, we are grateful to Boni for sharing her story of grit and determination. I am sure that many of our members were inspired to continue to work hard to develop their own careers after hearing her speak,” she said.   

Mchunu, who is in her second year as head of the province’s largest radio station, advised WPN members to define their own success. “Everyone is different. Be yourself, everyone (else) is taken.  Successful people travel the road less travelled,“ she said.   

The youngest of five girls, Mchunu was born in Imbali in Pietermaritzburg.  She lost her mother when she was just two and her father while she was writing matric. In addition to being a successful executive, Mchunu is also the proud mother of two sons and a daughter. 

She is a strong believer that education is the key to success, a message that meshes well with WPN’s approach. The network offers a number of educational programmes promoting economic self-sufficiency as well as skills training development.

The WPN Educational Trust has awarded around 70 bursaries worth more than R800 000 to previously disadvantaged female students studying towards property related degrees or diplomas.

Following Mchunu’s address, Mjwara asked various committee members to update KZN chapter members on important projects that were underway under the WPN banner. 

 
The UKZN Student Chapter was launched in March 2018 to create opportunities for students through mentorship, leadership, networking support and growth. WPN is looking to partner with corporate sponsors to help fund speed mentoring events, where students can ask experts for advice as well as workshops to assist students with time management and help them to prepare for interviews.  
 
“The WPN is also working in collaboration with eThekwini Architectural and Urban Management Department and the KZN Department of Education and UKZN. We’re looking to launch a competition that will offer a prize for converting an existing commercial property into a school for the Inner-City Schools Demonstration project that was identified in the Inner City Local Area Plan and Regeneration Strategy (project Number 8 on the priority list). WPN is looking for corporate sponsors to ensure progression of the project,” said.
 
She added that WPN was keen to partner with corporate sponsors for its Mandela Day event. This will raise funds to buy food to provide breakfasts for vulnerable schoolchildren. The budget for this initiative is R30 000 and will provide 45 children with five meals a day for a year.

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