Meet the 2024 Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award Finalists

Veuve Clicquot

Returning to South Africa for its third year to celebrate outstanding women in business, Veuve Clicquot has recognised six entrepreneurial women as finalists for its 2024 Bold Woman Award. Inspired by Madame Clicquot’s pioneering spirit, the award spotlights and empowers exceptional businesswomen. It echoes the Maison’s commitment to highlighting the achievements and contributions of women reshaping their local business landscape.

In France in 1805, women weren’t allowed to work or even have a bank account, yet at the age of 27, Madame Clicquot was widowed and boldly took over leadership of Veuve Clicquot, innovating industry firsts such as the riddling table, the first vintage champagne, and the very first blend of rosé champagne. Madame Clicquot transformed her name into a globally renowned brand, eventually becoming known as the “la grande dame of Champagne’’. In honour of Madame Clicquot’s audacious legacy, the Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award recognises fearless female entrepreneurs.

This year’s six finalists stand out as trailblazers in their respective fields, defying obstacles through innovation and transformation. These exceptional female entrepreneurs demonstrate that success and a clear vision can prevail, even in the face of adversity. The jury tasked with judging and mentoring the finalists include former winners Claire Blanckenberg (Founder and CEO of Reel Gardening) and Amanda Dambuza (Founder and CEO of Uyandiswa Group), industry stalwarts Erik Kruger (International Keynote Speaker, Author & Leadership Development Specialist), Happy Ralinala (Director of Palesa Mbali Group) and Timothy Maurice Webster (International Keynote Speaker, Author and NeuroLeadership Specialist), along with brand representatives Aimee Kellen (Head of Consumer Engagement at Moet Hennessy Africa and the Middle East) and Carole Bildé (Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of Veuve Clicquot)

The winners in each category — the Bold Woman Award and the Bold Future Award — will join an inspiring community of bold businesswomen, walking in the footsteps of Madame Clicquot, whose tenacity and creativity continues to define entrepreneurial success today.

BOLD WOMAN AWARD

This award recognises the trailblazing businesswomen of today, celebrating those with a proven track record of success, who have demonstrated evolution and transformation in their field. The 2024 finalists selected are:

Morongwe Mokone — Co-Founder, Mo’s Crib

Mo’s Crib is a home décor and design company that specialises in practical handmade items using recycled materials. Having begun as a side hustle, Mo’s Crib was co-founded by Morongwe Mokone, a self-taught artisan and designer who wanted to make a positive impact in the local community while promoting environmental awareness. They manufacture sustainable homeware for the global market and are currently the biggest exporter of African crafts in Africa. Deeply passionate about sustainability, the company has turned Mo’s love for handcrafted design into a multi-national business with award-winning products in department stores around the world.

While studying in England, Mo first learnt the art of origami at age 18 from her Japanese roommate. Today, she acts as Creative Director and Head of Business Development, where she has worked to secure partnerships with leading global brands like Crate & Barrel and Target.

Why is it important to have bold women in business and around you?

“Through the stories of other bold businesswomen, you can find courage and inspiration. If she can make it, then so can I.”

Tshegofatso Molefi — Co-Founder & Director, Moli & Mela Group

Moli & Mela provides eco-friendly and sustainable waste management solutions to households and businesses. Their mission is to provide innovative and sustainable recycling solutions to reduce waste in landfills and promote environmental stewardship. The company is 100% female and black-run, based in the North West, prioritising the creation of employment opportunities in local communities.

With a background in media and journalism, Tshego left her job to pursue entrepreneurship, eventually co-founding Moli & Mela with her best friend after identifying a gap in the market. The business now owns 8 trucks and employs over 60 permanent staff members.

What does being a bold woman mean to you?

“Being bold means having unshakable faith backed up with action. Faith is the evidence of things not seen; therefore, you need boldness to manifest your vision and chase after your goals. Being bold means having the courage and grit to maintain consistency even when you don’t see results.”

Ndiambani Magadagela — CEO & Co-Founder of Everlectric

Everlectric is an electric vehicle leasing business, and the first South African company of its kind to package leading international electric vehicles, charging infrastructure and innovative finance solutions. By removing the hurdles to adopting a cleaner and more efficient future, Everlectric is leading the nation’s logistics and fleet industry’s transition to environmentally responsible, operationally efficient, and commercially attractive electric vehicles.

Having started her career at Deloitte Pretoria, Ndia moved to development finance where she worked as a Senior Deal Maker at IDC, conducting due diligence and structuring transactions in various industries. Later, she became a Principal in Mergers and Acquisitions at a top South African financial services group. She became interested in electric vehicles and wondered what an EV solution would look like for South Africa, eventually leaving corporate to start her business with her co-founders.

Why is it important to have bold women in business and around you?

“It’s important for us to see others that have gone before us. There’s something to be said about having the opportunity to see yourself in someone else. It makes the impossible feel not just possible, but also within reach.”

BOLD FUTURE AWARD

This award celebrates the female leaders of tomorrow, honouring those with a growing track record of success who have demonstrated transformation and evolution in their field. The 2024 finalists selected are:

Refilwe Sebothoma — Founder, Hakem Energies

Hakem Energies is making liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) accessible to marginalised communities as a safer and cleaner energy solution for cooking and heating. They produce LPG in small portable 5kg cylinders while offering “pay-as-you-use” refills. They have partnered with local businesses as part of their business model.

Refilwe is an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker and strategist. In her 12 years of entrepreneurial experience, she has founded 7 companies in related service areas. Her focus is on uplifting the lives of ordinary people through her work because she believes that when women are empowered and self-sufficient, they are able to return to their communities and have a positive impact. Through Hakem Energies, Refilwe is determined to change the world — one life, one family, and one community at a time.

Why is it important to have bold women in business and around you?

“Entrepreneurship is a tool to change the lives of others. I have seen first-hand that when women are positively impacted in their careers, they return to their communities to replicate that impact.”

Rapelang Ramatlhodi — Founder & CEO, Solarev Solutions

Solarev Solutions is an operations and maintenance company specialising in solar panel cleaning and maintenance within the renewable energy industry. They service residential, commercial and industrial Solar PV Systems across South Africa.

Rapelang started a window cleaning company during COVID-19, eventually diversifying to Solar PV cleaning after noticing dirty solar panels on clients’ roofs; and so, Solarev Solutions was born. Their innovative idea involves maintenance services and cleaning solar PV’s using deionised water instead of rain or tap water. The filtered water and specialised solar cleaning equipment ensure the solar panels are clean, protected, and function at optimal efficiency. They help solar owners realise their return on investment by reducing maintenance costs by 30% and increasing system performance by up to 60%, guaranteeing savings.

Why is it important to have bold women in business and around you?

“As a young black woman in business, you tend to have a fear of success because, in the community where you come from, you rarely see success for women. You see hardworking women who are making a living to survive, but they’re not making it to the top. It’s important to have bold women in business and in your community because they are an example of what success looks like. You can mirror that.”

Lufuno Rasoesoe — Founder & Managing Director, Tosh Detergents

A passionate advocate for sustainable manufacturing, Lufuno’s venture into detergents began in March 2021 when she identified a gap in the market for eco-friendly cleaning products. Driven by a desire to create solutions that are both effective and environmentally responsible, she founded Tosh Detergents with a clear mission: to revolutionise the cleaning industry with sustainable, high-quality products.

With a background in mineral resource management and vast detergent manufacturing skills Lufuno used a soap recipe handed down by her mother and a secret indigenous plant extract and has created a range of detergents that are gentle on users and the environment. Under her leadership, Tosh Detergents Manufacturing has become known for sustainability and excellence.

What does being a bold woman mean to you?

“To me, being a bold woman means being fearless, resilient, and adaptable.”

The Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award ceremony takes place on 17 July 2024 in Johannesburg and will reveal one winner in each of the two categories. The Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award winner will have the opportunity to travel to Reims, France for an immersion in the history, tradition, and luxury of Maison Veuve Clicquot. The laureates will join the ranks of an illustrious list of over 450 winners in 27 countries who have been elevated by this coveted global award.

Please drink responsibly.

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