Industry News

The Township Economy is Unleashing the Power of Women

Roughly 17% of South Africa’s entire workforce is engaged in the informal economy, commonly referred to as the township economy and, for numerous families without access to formal employment, this informal sector serves as a crucial means of support.[1]

With statistics showing that there are around 30-40 businesses per 1,000 people in townships across South Africa[2], investment into the sector is crucial to ensure that economic growth is stimulated, leading to increased job opportunities, reduced unemployment, and enhanced income distribution.

In support of women entrepreneurs in the township economy, The African Association of Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) will be hosting their inaugural Sunrise Sessions, titled Unleashing the Power of Women in the Township Economy, which aims to bring together dynamic women entrepreneurs, business leaders, and visionaries for a day of inspiration, networking, and insightful discussions.

The Sunrise Sessions will take place on August 24, 2023, at the Spade Hotel in Cape Town and on August 25, 2023, at the SUD Restaurant in Johannesburg. The sessions will begin with busses departing from designated locations and will feature an engaging agenda designed to uplift and empower women in the township economy.

Event Program: Cape Town Session – August 24, 2023

7:00 am: Busses depart from CTICC

8:00 am: Arrival at Spade Hotel

8:15 am: Welcome Address by Vusi Vokwana – Chairperson of Township Economy Commission of South Africa

8:15 am: Introduction by Devi Paulsen-Abbott – Chairperson of AAXO

8:30 am: Breakfast Served

8:45 am: Inspirational Talk by Sindiswa Mzamo – Global President of Circle of Global Business Women

9:30 am: Q&A Session

9:45 am: Discussion and Networking

10:15 am: Return to Drop-off Point

Event Program: Johannesburg Session – August 25, 2023

7:00 am: Busses depart from GCC

8:00 am: Arrival at SUD Restaurant

8:15 am: Welcome Address by Bheki Twala – Township Economy Commission of South Africa

8:20 am: Introduction by Projeni Pather – AAXO Immediate Past-Chair and MD Exposure Marketing

8:45 am: Inspirational Talk by Tami Mase – Founder and CEO: Women in Power

9:30 am: Q&A Session

9:45 am: Discussion and Networking

10:15 am: Return to Drop-off Point

AAXO’s Sunrise Session is a unique opportunity for women in the township economy to connect, learn from industry leaders, and share their experiences. Attendees can look forward to gaining valuable insights into entrepreneurship, leadership, and business strategies, while also building meaningful connections with like-minded individuals. “We are thrilled to host our inaugural Sunrise Sessions, focused on empowering women in the township economy,” said Devi Paulsen-Abbott, Chairperson of AAXO. “We believe that by bringing together talented women entrepreneurs and providing them with a platform to learn, network, and inspire one another, we can drive positive change and growth in our communities.”

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