Virtual Networking Date Night – Take Up Space

Our first Virtual Date Night even took place on the 27th of May 2020. It was another first for us as a team and we’re happy to say we pulled off an awesome event.


Date Night was hosted by Christine Taphel of Hit@Thirty1. We had amazing speakers inspiring the ladies, Candy Willemse and Kristiina Lähde.

Our beneficiaries for the evening are as follows:

Yonela Khohloko – Inguquko – Equal and empower youth at the age of 12 years upwards. (@inguquko_female)


Tayane Lee Williams – Hair Talks By Tay – Empowering communities to embrace their natural hair in all shapes and forms. We do this by hosting intimate hair events, 1 on 1 hair consultation as well as 1 on 1 motivation sessions and sell hair accessories to care and style natural hair (@HairTalksByTay)


Musa Jakuja – Cooking Heals – Events and catering (@cookingheals01)


Adine Pietersen – Godsmacked – Christian Apparel & Art, Turning God’s words into art. Artistic, poetic and encouraging words placed on clothing, etc. (@godsmacked_)


The following is a recap of the event by Rene Parker.




Good afternoon to the RLabs Women Team and to all those that attended our Virtual Date Night last night. We have spent many weeks and late nights in preparation to host our first ever Virtual Date Night. We had many surprises planned for the women with great entertainment lined up and the announcement of our Junk.Fund May 2020 Winners.


The theme we chose was #TakeUpSpace #YourDigitalSpace and our esteemed Guest Speaker and Panelists were specifically invited to share with us how they are taking up space. As RLabs Women, our mission is to “Unleash the greatness in women and girls to fearlessly dominate the entrepreneurship and technology domains”. One of how we do this is by hosting a networking event every quarter called: Startup Women Date Night. We bring together women of all ages who are entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs and women who are on the ground being Change Makers. These events allow the women to make new connections and form new friendships while being: inspired, empowered, reminded to continue dreaming, aspiring for greatness in all they do by continuing to change their realities and to fearlessly dominate the technology and entrepreneurship domains.


Last night the women showed tenacity, bravery and were true examples of shaking off the dust and rising up. Our Zoom call was hacked half through our first Virtual Date Night with explicit images and language popping up on everyone’s screen. After the shock wore off and we realized that it was a hack and not just one of our participants’ mic that was accidentally unmuted and sharing their screen, the RLabs Women and Media team tried to block and mute the hackers.


Unfortunately by this time, we were exposed to the explicit images and we decided to shut the call down. We immediately thought “do we just end Date Night”? Of course, the RLabs Women and Media teams are made of tougher stuff than this. Many of us have faced far greater enemies than hackers and we were not going to let all that was prepared for the women go to waste. We started another call on Google Meet and tried to share the new link as swiftly as possible to get as many women back online with us. We do apologize to those women who we might have missed and to those who were watching on Facebook Live since we had to terminate the Livestream. We started our Date Night #2 and had about 70% of the participants re-join us. We kicked it off with some music and got straight into an inspiring panel discussion by Kristiina from Finland and Candy from DRC. These women moved us at our core and when we share ourselves with each other it makes someone else’s struggles lighter. As entrepreneurs, we need to be reminded to not give up and not to be afraid to reinvent ourselves when we need to. We ended the night with our pitching competition and had 4 amazing May 2020 winners who received cash Cheques on the night.


Through this experience, it reminded me that women are not safe! It’s not safe for us to be outside, it is not safe in our homes, at our places of work, at our places of study, school, when we are online and even when we want to encourage and empower each other. Women all around the world face these challenges daily and many movements and groups are fighting this abuse and wanting it to be safer for women not just to have a chance to live, breath, create, explore and exist but to rise up, shake off the dust and be a contagious woman! We refuse to be trampled on by anyone.


The comments and encouragement from the women were streaming in and were extremely overwhelming for us. We thank you for showing us that as women, we are stronger together and that we will not stop talking, sharing, existing and taking up our place.


To quote a line from our previous Date Night #BOSSUp theme song:


“You can only BossUp if you shake it off, Rise Up Rise Up! Where my ladies at? .”


Who knew that we would be doing exactly that on our first Virtual Date Night.


Sending you all lots of love ❤️ Rene Parker

Startup Women Date Night – Boss Up

Our event was held on the 26th of February 2020 at the UCT Graduate School of Business. As the RLabs Women team, we want women to be able to connect with other like-minded women in a fun and open space. The theme of this event was Boss Up. We wanted to encourage women to be their own bosses. Whatever you feel like you need to do in your life right now, boss up and do it!

We kicked off the evening with a live broadcast on RLabs Radio (which you can listen to at hosted by our awesome Live team. We, of course, had to have the ladies do some networking and getting to know each other, make connections, and all those good things. You can scroll through the posts on Instagram by searching for the hashtag #RLabsWomen and #BossUp.

Before the evening began, we had Anna Biyana bring the buck with a krump dance! Later on she she received a contribution from to go towards her business, Anna B Graphics.

There was a quick karaoke session where we all sang Underdog by Alicia Keys. It’s a beautiful and uplifting song that really set the tone for the evening.

Our brilliant guest speaker, Anika Ebrahim, had the ladies hanging on her every word with an inspirational, powerful, and moving talk. Her talk centred around inclusivity and what it really means to be a woman of colour in the workplace in modern-day South Africa.

What is a Startup Women Date Night without some business pitching? As the ladies entered the venue, there was a fishbowl and some pitching cards. On these cards these ladies had to write down a few details about their business. Later in the evening, one card at a time would be randomly fished from the bowl. Whoever was chosen was given the opportunity to pitch their business to our billionaire. It always astounds us how eager and excited the ladies are to talk about their projects, businesses, ideas, hopes, and dreams. We love you for it!

We had spot prizes throughout the evening to keep the ladies on their toes. Tell us what boss up means to you and you could have won some Clicks Curls tickets. If you knew some history about RLabs Women you would have stood a chance to win a cool RLabs Women branded t-shirt or notebook if you answered our pop quiz correctly.

Rene Parker gave us some updates on what’s new in RLabs Women. Look out for RLabs Beauty in the near future!

Our beneficiaries and Zlto winners from the pitching cards were handed over their cheques towards the end of our Date Night. We know that we can expect great things from these amazing women. You can read more about this on our website

To close out the evening, we had our very own Lady G performing her latest song for us, Rise of the Contagious Woman. This song got the ladies so hyped and ended our event off with a bang! Such powerful lyrics, you can’t help but feel inspired and ready to Boss Up.

Thank you so much to our awesome ladies for always attending our events and for your continued support. Please stay in touch to make sure you hear about our future events and courses.

Design my Brain for Business: Pitch Perfect @ RLabsU

It’s been an enriching experience for both the entrepreneurs and the RLabs Women team as we conducted our final session on Saturday 2nd November 2019 for the Design my Brain for Business course.

The topics covered in Module 5: A deep-dive on the Business Model Canvas, The Power of Storytelling in Business, How to use existing Products to Build your Brand, Why Collaboration and Relationships are Important when starting your business, and Elevator Pitch.

We place great value on people. Yes, they are categorized according to their accomplishments, positions, entrepreneurs, investors, etc. They were regarded as ordinary people like you and I, once upon a time. One thing we all have in common is that all accomplishments start with a humble story copy-written. Ironically in this period, I was posed a question whats is the importance of collaboration and partnerships in my response to all entrepreneurs “The importance of collaboration and partnerships money is never the core driver, it is always to grow association”. To bring it all together we know that there are concepts and terminology in the sphere of business we cannot escape. In this regard, we had the ladies formalize all the knowledge they have obtained in a form of an Elevator Pitch.  

By the end of the module, the women had a good understanding of why they should own their story, the power of storytelling and the importance of seizing every opportunity at their disposal.

Here are a few highlights that the entrepreneurs were more than willing to share pertaining the 7 weeks with RLabs Women. 

“I loved the session on how to advertise my business”

“My new Friends” &“Social Media for Business ended too soon”

“Design my brand kit was a favorite learned a lot and the most fun” & @MarlonParker’s story was inspiring” 

“Excellent classes I personally feel I would like to do the classes again and again” Well done!!! May you go from strength to strength”

Design my Brain for Business: Social Media for Business @ RLabsU

Another one of our Design my Brain for Business modules! We decided to create this module because we believe every business needs to be on social media to have a presence, and to reach/engage a greater community for business exposure, thus we called it Social Media for Business.

Female Entrepreneurs got introduced and  exposed to two platforms that are called Facebook and Instagram, two top social media platforms that are widely recognised and has a huge active community.  It was encouraged that our female entrepreneurs do this course so that they may learn the following for themselves and their business:

  • To grow and build a business brand online from scratch.
  • Learn a wealth of valuable information that you can apply to a social media business account.
  • To learn how to use Facebook and Instagram marketing tools for business.

The ladies were happy and very excited to walk away with their very own business accounts on Facebook and Instagram.

Design my Brain for Business: Blueprint @ RLabsU

In this module of Design my Brain for Business, the ladies looked at their business blueprint and asked themselves the following questions:

  • What do I want people to see?
  • What do I want people to think when they hear of my business?


To get the creative juices flowing, the students played around with Lego blocks to build their business blueprint offline. Following this, they were tasked with transferring this to an online presentation. 

They learnt about the purpose of a presentation.

 “If you can say it in 5 words rather than 20 words, do so. Make your presentation more like a conversation with your audience. After all, isn’t that how you share ideas with your friends and convince others to do things? By having a conversation.”

The facilitators shared some tips with the ladies to help them easily create presentations, and to understand the do’s and don’ts in a presentations. When you are looking for investors, it helps to know how to create a professional presentation.  

They can now present their business ideas to investors or anyone interested in their projects. The female entrepreneurs now also understand what they need to sell and what they want people to know and buy into.


Design my Brain for Business: Design My Brand Kit @ RLabsU

RLabs Women had their second module of Design My Brain for Business from 28th  September – 5th October 2019. This module, Design My Brand Kit, was created by RLabs Women with the goal being to help women build their business brand and become successful entrepreneurs. 

The topics covered involved understanding your business and ideas, creating ideal logos, understanding colours with meaning, and creating the first iteration of business cards.

The ladies in this class had lots of fun during this module as they got to tap into their creativity. They touched on understanding colours, patterns, fonts, and styling. The ladies even went a step further in session 2 and covered colour theory and how it applies to creating logo designs.

Using everything discussed and learned in the sessions, they went into finding templates that suit the ideas that were sparked, keeping in mind colours, patterns, and styling. By the end of the module, the women had a good understanding of their business branding.

“  Some awesome lessons learnt and a great tool for my business. ” – Entrepreneur


Day One

We started our first session with a check in called “Charade your business” where each female had to act out how they are feeling from 1 feeling not so good and 10 feeling better than great, then acting their business function without using any words just actions and have the rest of the group try and guess what they are feeling and what their business function is .

Thereafter we jumped straight into activities around functionality, business problem solving, who are their business competitors & customers having group discussions to understand whether they are in the right “path” with that being done we also went into understanding colours, patterns, fonts & styling.

Day Two

Check in: Colours

This activity had 3 moves that consists of an action as well as sound one has to make. When making the initial move in which the person would so shout out “red!” and have their arms directed forward, it is sent to someone. When the person is on the receiving end they would then shout out “yellow!”, the people on the left and right of this individual would then shout out purple and direct their arms onto the “yellow” individual.

In this session we’ve covered the colour theory and how it applies when designing a logo. We’ve selected the colours red which represents focus, yellow which represents happiness and purple which represents creativity and youthfulness.

We then used everything we’ve discussed and learnt the week before and went into finding templates that suit the ideas that were sparked the week before keeping in mind colours, patterns & styling.

By the end of the module, the women had a good understanding of their Business Branding.

Design my Brain for Business: Business Modelling @ RLabsU

RLabs Women kicked off their brand new course on the 7th of September 2019. It’s called Design my Brain for Business, which is an 8-week course consisting of 5 modules. The course as a whole was created by RLabs Women with the goal to help women build their business from point A to point Z and become successful entrepreneurs.

Saturday, 14th September 2019 marked the end of module 1 of the course, Business Modelling.

The topics covered in Module 1 are Customer Persona, Empathy Map, The Golden Circle, and Business Model Canvas. 

“I have come to learn how to start my own business and which steps to follow and how to create our own plans.” – Entrepreneur

The feedback from the group was that the activities helped them to better strategize through participating in the activities. For many of the entrepreneurs, it was their first time thinking about these new concepts to enhance their businesses. Even for those with existing businesses, it gave them the opportunity to reimagine their business.  

By the end of the module, the women had a good understanding of their customers and business needs.

“This class has made me more confident in speaking about my business.” – Entrepreneur

Geeky Moms 2nd Semester at RLabs U

RLabs Women currently offers Geeky Moms under its Digi Women programme. This is the longest-running course within the RLabs Academy. It originally started out as “Mom 2.0” in September 2008 giving 20 moms a new experience to engage with technology for the first time with the belief that it was also the beginning of greater things in our community. Over the years it has evolved from Mom 2.0 – Mom 9.0 within the span of 8 years.  Because of the wealth of stories and life changing experiences evident on the blog, this has to be one of the most exciting courses within RLabs U. It continues to bring women from every walk of life and different cultures together every Saturday for at least 6 Saturdays to learn about the internet, emailing as well as Social Media. 

Overview of the course

In week one the Ladies are treated to a pampering session before their first encounter with the laptop. According to Statistic’s SA 2016 DHS indicate that on average, 1 in 5 South African women older than 18 has experienced physical violence; 4 in 10 divorced or separated women reported physical violence, as has 1 in 3 women in the poorest households. Therefore the objectives of the pampering session is to: experience a positive form of touch; rejuvenate their senses;  for the women to have some “me time” and get to know the facilitators via having a one-on-one chat. 

The extra benefit is that the pampering session boosts their confidence and makes the women more comfortable in front of the laptop and removes the initial fear and anxiety. 

 Week 2-6 is where the women explore the gateway to infinite possibilities providing the women with the following tools: Gmail, Google Apps, Blogger, Facebook and Zlto. Using these tools the women learned how to email; how to find a location and directions using online maps, how to use search engines to navigate the world wide web; accessing social networks as a means of communication and sharing information; how to write and publish stories; staying safe online and how to capture impact by learning or doing good.

Here is the link to the Blog Posts published since 2008.

“I got to know about RLabs through my children doing the IT course and Growing Leadership Academy course. I was very inspired and interested in what other courses they were offering.I applied for Geeky Moms course learning about emails, blogging, and social media  networks.” By Shirley Harris (Geeky Moms 2019)”


Startup Women Date Night – The African Women

RLabs Women hosts a Networking Date Night every quarter. Our event held on the 28th of August 2019 was our biggest RLabs Women event thus far, with over 75 women in attendance. As the RLabs Women team we want women to be able to connect with other like-minded women in a fun and open space. The theme of this event was celebrating the African Woman, preparing women for the future of work, and the 4th industrial revolution. This we have successfully set out to do by hosting a live broadcast, some networking, inspirational talks, giveaways, pitching and cash prizes handed over by our in-house billionaire.

We kickstarted the evening with a live broadcast on whereby we shared the success stories of our beneficiaries. The first interview we conducted was done with our very first beneficiary Justine Jooste (26) founder of Boujee, from Athlone, Cape Town.

Celebrating 1 Year of investments with

Our program for the evening encouraged all the ladies to interact with one another and this set the pace for an evening filled with different activities. A highlight for the evening was having the ladies engage on social media, capturing selfie moments, and moving their bodies to the funky beats.


We had our guest speaker, Genevieve Mannel, who was voted as one of the Inspiring Fifty women in tech, in South Africa in 2018. She has done so much over her 22 year career including  successfully implementing business intelligence reporting solutions across various platforms. She is extremely passionate about the dynamic that artificial intelligence brings to an already existing data world. Her talk on the evening inspired the ladies to upskill themselves and keep their skills relevant. She spoke about the lack of equality within schools especially how 4th generation classes are geared towards boys and not girls.

Guest Speaker, Genevieve Mannel – InspiringFifty 2018 Winner

Rene Parker, RLabs Director, a founding member of RLabs Women and our very own team leader  also took up the platform at Date Night to share some inspiring thoughts and attributes she believes every leading female should carry with them wherever they go. 

“We are not to be trampled on – in a relationship, in the workplace, anywhere! Although we ought to use our strengths to work with one another, not against. ”

To find out more about the many things she spoke about read Chante Classen’s  blog.

Guest Speaker, Rene Parker – RLabs Women Founder & InspiringFifty 2019 Winner

Billionaire quote: “The idea you find crazy, is often the one that can change another person’s life!”

It was a pleasure to have Chante Classen, the blogger at SisterGirl, share her view on our event. Read more about it on:



We would like to thank our amazing sponsors for contributing in making the event a success and for providing giveaways to our brave entrepreneurs.

StartUp Women Date Night – The African Women

A networking evening, hosting up to 100 aspiring and passionate business women. The theme is celebrating The African Women, preparing  women for the future of work and the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Catch an early live broadcast show leading up to the event. On the show we will be sharing the evolving stories of the Junk Fund and Giving with a Purpose beneficiaries. 

If you weren’t able to pre-book a seat at the event or you just not able to attend and you would love to join our network of Women Entrepreneurs, subscribe by completing the following sign up form so that  you can be the first to get notified of future events and activities.