Building a strong network through relationships and promoting MOWE, South Africa

August 2009

The WEDGE South Africa project had been seeking press avenues with project partners to promote the MOWE. One of their partners, a Women's Entrepreneurship Association, Women in Finance (WIF), suggested contacting The Businesswoman magazine, a national monthly business publication. What began with an initial referral from WIF and an email to the magazine editor from Carmen Armstrong, the South African NPC, was followed by a lengthy email and telephonic discussion about the project and the outcomes of WEDGE. In response to the last communication from Ms. Armstrong, Lance Whatmore, the magazine’s editor responded with the following email: “I must tell you that for the team at The Businesswoman Magazine to even contemplate charging you guys for editorial would be unacceptable! In fact, we'd prefer to swing in the opposite direction and in all good conscience, not only publish whatever articles you send through at no charge, but to also invite ILO to become a regular contributor to our publication”

The space in the magazine was secured by identifying and building onrelationships with strategic project partners and aligning the project needs with the readership requirements of the publication. The editorial space can now be used to promote MOWE events, WED activities and contribute to a strong network of women entrepreneurs.

The Businesswoman is the magazine of South Africa that focuses on everyday women who are achieving exceptional success, designed to serve as a voice for business women in South Africa. The magazine has a monthly circulation of 25, 000 and reaches over 75, 000 professional decision makers across South Africa.

In the August issue of The Businesswoman, Ms. Armstrong writes about women entrepreneurs' differential impact from the economic crisis, their resiliency and proven capacity to serve as a mechanism for job creation and economic recovery. Within this, she writes about ILO-WEDGE in the South African region and the importance of supporting networks for women entrepreneurs, especially during times of crisis, as they provide access to business-related services, lobbying and policy-making.

Read the article and look forward to future articles in The Businesswoman from the South Africa WEDGE project.