Two outstanding Cape Town business women will travel to Shanghai in China in September this year to receive awards from the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge.

They are Jill Bysshe and Jaqueline Naughton and both run businesses with an annual turnover of more than R20m, one of the IWEC criteria. They were nominated by the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Jill Bysshe is Managing Director of Neo Trading, a holistic distributor of natural, ethical and organic branded products to health and wellness conscious consumers through health shops, supermarkets, delicatessens, farm stalls and pharmacies. She bought the company six years ago when it was essentially a “one-man” operation representing only 12 brands. Since then the company has grown to the point where it now distributes 50 brands with a turnover of more than 20 times the original volume and is poised for even greater growth as the products are now going into some chain stores.

2018 IWEC Awardee Jill Byssche

Jill Bysshe

2018 IWEC Awardee Jackie-Naughtonheadshot

Jackie Naughton

Jackie Naughton is CEO and Founder of BYC Group of Companies. Jackie is responsible for the ongoing development of the groups products, people and value to businesses around the world. As an outsourced quality, coaching and software provider, BYC operates and serves South Africa, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and Indonesia. BYC has grown to a team of 130 during the past 17 years.

It’s inspiring to see these women building successful businesses in a difficult economic climate. They embody the spirit of enterprise that we so desperately need in this country and they set an outstanding example for others.

Ms Janine Myburgh, President of the Chamber and an IWEC board member, will be leading a delegation of 10 Cape Town women who have won recent IWEC awards or taken part in the IWEC mentoring programme to the meeting in Shanghai. “This will give past and present winners of the award a chance to meet other winners from different parts of the world, exchange ideas and develop new aspects of their businesses.

In the past the IWEC conferences have proved to be stimulating and have encouraged the winners to take on fresh challenges, and the Chamber is proud of the role it had played in bringing South African women into this prestige platform.