This is a quick overview of the RLabs Women components.
An event where we will be welcoming over 60 female entrepreneurs to laugh, engage and network. It’s going to be an evening with lots of fun activities thats going to motivate, inspire and get like minded women to connect.
We will also be launching our invest fund called Junk Fund.
Are you excited because WE ARE!…. 😀
Pin this page for a follow up post of the entire event.
Our purpose is to unleash the unrealized greatness in women so that they can dominate the entrepreneurship and technology domains.
In working towards this goal, we’ve set out to break new ground, starting with our first ever, Start Up Women Autumn Bootcamp.
This bootcamp will be aimed at female entrepreneurs who desire to grow, inspire and expand the work that they’re currently doing. The entrepreneurs would participate in sessions covering the following topics: Skills Development, Capacity Building and Tenacity Training.
On Tuesday evening, 02 April 2019, we invited all the entrepreneurs who’ve been selected based on their application for the bootcamp, to attend an information session. At this session, we took them through what to expect before, during and after the bootcamp. We will continue to offer support to these entrepreneurs even after they’ve completed the Autumn Bootcamp cycle.
Jodi Biggs, one of the participants shared her thoughts with us regarding the evening, “It was very formal, calm and relaxed. There being a few people, it was very quiet. However, there was a nice time to socialize over a wonderful meal. The presentation was clear and informative and we even received a pamphlet with all the information on it which was great! I had a wonderful time in that environment and being surrounded by business women, I didn’t feel intimidated as I normally would. “
We are very excited to be able to give women this memorable experience and we look forward to the upcoming sessions which will allow them to go through the Golden Circle activity as well as take a closer look at their Business Model Canvas’.
“Expect the unexpected, and whenever possible, be the unexpected.”
– Lynda Barry
A date night is a prearranged occasion where people go out together in order to bridge communication gaps, discover new and interesting things about one-another, de-stress, light a spark and keep it alive. The RLabs women accomplished this and more on the evening of the 20 November 2018.
In true RLabs fashion we started out the evening with a check-in but for the purpose of it being a date night, we shall refer to it as a “hook-up”. During a hook-up, you discover new intimate details about the next person, like how they would react and their feelings on certain situations. That is exactly what we did, we were asked a series of “would you rather” questions and even though there were only two possible answers, it sparked so many different conversations and we received a chance to celebrate our similarities, learn so much more about the next person and see sides to them that you do not generally see in a working environment.
As we all know date nights are all about relationships so once we were all settled in and our serotonin levels were skyrocketing, we had to select three relationship experts in the room – these experts had to answer some questions on issues that people generally face with regards to their day to day relationships. This is where we got insight as to who we should let into our lives and who are just energy vampires, there to suck and feed off our last little bit of energy we have and leave us feeling drained and tired and not giving that energy to those in our lives that deserve it – like those that refresh us, that help us grow, feel lighter and happier. This gave us a chance to reflect on the type of people we keep in our lives and called us out on sometimes being those toxic people that let us into their lives.
Now that we were “woke” about life around us, we were challenged once more. At the beginning of the evening, we all randomly drew a word from a jar and were told to think about the word on the piece of paper – like what our definition for the word was, how it related to our lives in particular, etc. We made a circle in a peaceful, safe space because this is where we had to share our thoughts on the word we received. This was the part of the evening where we saw the deep, raw, vulnerable parts of all the women, they showed true courage by willingly sharing their scars. It was a beautiful experience because personally as women, we are seen as the more emotional sex and in order to be taken seriously – we need to be stern, firm and put up a front so it was amazing to see them unleash their true selves not only to the ones around them but to themselves also.
It was something very new to me, being the youngest and most unfamiliar in the room, it was a lot to adjust to in the start but as the night went on it only got increasingly more comfortable. The hook up brought me a sense of belonging because I got to see how similar I was to those around me. The relationship experts really taught me a few things and made me realise just how much I give my time to the wrong people. The safe space helped me express myself and see why I am the way I am. It was truly an unwinding experience for the books.
Fatima Alimohamed said,“ If there is no more seats around the table, bring your own seat and sit down. Stop wanting to fit in” .
Rhulani Matshidze said ,“None of us are better than all of us”.
So in the two days, I have attended the conference that was the one quote that stood out the most for me because she basically tells you to stop trying so hard to go for what you want, you should basically just get up and go get it.
Also, one highlight was when one of the women said: “Aim to do business the right way”. What I basically took out of that is that you should never really do as you were given you should try to think differently and do something to the best of your ability.
“As women, we need to be unapologetic about the field we decide to go into, say what we need and share our stories”. What was amazing for me was when one of the women said that 4000 articles were published just by women, the main aim AWIEF was trying to get across to everyone was to GET WOMEN INVOLVED.
When starting your own business you should also rethink the word INNOVATION it has so many different meanings but if you think differently you would have a fruitful business and everything would run swiftly. I also never really knew that the Government plays a huge role in everything and that they build with you in order for you to move.
“If you have trained women, you have a trained nation”. I also realized that if I look at things differently I would gain more out of something I would assume would never really work out.
Lastly, another thing that stood out was “We need to be remarkable, we don’t know who’s watching us”. Always make sure that you do things in an ethical way in order to prosper.
Meeting: “an assembly of people for a particular purpose, especially for formal discussion.”
That’s exactly what today was. A group of women from Cape Town got together in one place for one purpose: To empower themselves.
Through self-empowerment we realize that our families and communities are dependent on us to be strong and impactful women. Women without rival. Women without limits. We were designed to work together and to make a difference in the lives of those around us.
Start-up: “the action or process of setting something in motion.”
The Start-up Women course was designed to ensure that women get to know their true value and potential. As the of South African quote says, “when you strike a women, you strike a rock.” Many times we don’t understand the power that we have inside of us and we limit ourselves based on the opinions of an uninformed society.
We believe that once the potential of a women is unleashed, it has the power to remove all barriers that previously held us back, and once there are no more barriers, we step into a realm of infinite possibilities.
So, I’m sure by now you’re thinking, “How do we make this work?”. Well, it’s actually quite simple. The first step is to understand that we all have a role to play. Whether big or small, we all have certain gifts and talents that hs been given to us for a bigger purpose than just pleasure. It’s been given to us with a responsibility attached to it. A responsibility that requires us to action. Actioning your gift doesn’t only do something for you. It does something for those who experiences your gift too.
When we action our gift we allow those around us to be ignited with hope. Hope that their dreams and desires can become a reality too, if they take a step of faith.
So our question to you today is: “Are you going remain silent? Are you going to keep it all for yourself? Or do you believe that the world needs your gift? Do you believe that the world needs you?”
We know they do… So why not believe?
After, The first successful “Inter-generational Dialogue between youth and seniors” with MomAfrica, we were approached to do a second one!, This time around we partnered with “The University of the Third Age in Athlone”, known as “The Athlone U3A” and MomiAfrica once again to bring Our Future Leaders “The Youth” & Our Senior Citizens together to discuss and solve complex problems that our seniors and young people have to face on a day to day basis.
The Inter-generational Dialogue created an opportunity for voluntary partnership between youth and seniors with a focus for Community Service. We had 34 seniors and 34 youth join us for this event. When the seniors and youth arrived we had them separated into groups having an even spread of the two per group. Before the programme had started, a natural flow of conversation had taken place between these individuals with vastly different walks of life.
To kick off the Dialogue, we started with a check-in allowing everyone to get better acquainted. We then went on to the first activity “Me now, Me later” having them create a persona of who the individual is now in their youth and who the individual will be as a senior. The second activity was “Let’s chat” having them converse about the services the youth could provide for the seniors and how seniors could provide support that the youth may need. The third activity was “Take action” where they’d select one of the services that youth could provide and have them explain what that process would look like. Once they’ve completed the third activity they went on to build a prototype of what that process would look like.
The objective of this Dialogue was to have these individuals with different perspectives come together, express their needs and how they could potentially assist each other in certain developmental areas namely, skills training and community service
This month, August 2017, RLabs Women decided to celebrate all the special women from our communities through upliftment.
As part of our goals for this month, which was to honour, recognize and help women find their purpose and identity, we designed a special programme for women that would do just that.
We kicked off the month with an interview on Bush Radio’s Ladies Night show. Suzanne Smith (head of RLabs Women) and Yvonne Mentoor (Graduate of our Moms 9.0 1st Semester 2017 course) were interviewed on their experience at RLabs.
Suzanne’s journey with RLabs began in 2010 when she was a graduate in our Moms class. Ever since, she has played an integral role in the upliftment of the women in and around South Africa.
Yvonne, experienced a similar journey. Instead of keeping everything she learnt from the Moms class, she chose to help the women and children in her local community by teaching them “cool” things about the internet and technology.
The next stop for the RLabs Women team were our seniors. Impact Direct Ministries, referred to as IDM, played an important role in beginning phase of RLabs, and they still do today. Their involvement in the Athlone area has been extremely impactful over the past 12 years. The IDM Seniors Club meets every Monday morning to share and engage with fellow seniors. The RLabs Women felt that the best way to honour our seniors would be to pamper them (mini mani’s and snacks) and also to teach them how to move with the times. They were introduced to laptops and mobile phones, where they had the opportunity to search on Google, send emails, and sign up to the RLabs virtual currency, Zlto. They thoroughly enjoyed these sessions because they were now able to show their children and grandchildren a thing or two.
Images: The IDM Seniors exploring the internet with the assistance of the RLabs Women team.
RLabsU HQ, hosts a variety of RLabs Women courses, and because we wanted to expose more women to these opportunities, we visited various centres who focus on Women Empowerment to share these opportunities with them. Since our visits, we’ve had many women express an interest in these courses and because of the interest we will be rolling out these courses in their spaces over the next few months.
The last weeks of the month we focused on catching up with students from our previous semesters to find out what they’ve been up to and what their experience with RLabs has been like, and the responses were absolutely amazing:
“I’m not selfish with my skills. I want to teach my community what I’ve learnt at RLabs.” – Yvonne Mentoor
“My aim and goal for this year is grow more and more but also to be a blessing to those that needs my help. The help can be typing, creating gmail accounts or even sponsor someone with a course at RLABS.” – Sharon Jeftha
“I chose startup women because I want to empower myself to learn more and to help my husband start his own business.” – Safiyyah Ebrahim
In preparation for our 2nd Semester of 2017 the RLabs Women team has been looking at various in which we could make our content relevant for the women who come through our doors. We are excited to meet our new ladies and to take them on the journey of self-empowerment.