Women taking the lead in technopreneurship


Technology, innovation and entrepreneurship are vital for boosting economic growth and reducing social inequality. The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) is responsible for driving the government's innovation programme, and for promoting technological innovation and entrepreneurship among young girls and women.


Given the key role that women play in society, particularly as breadwinners, supporting women in this sector will not only improve its inclusivity profile, but will also have a potentially significant impact on the performance of South Africa's economy.


The DSI's third webinar in the South African Women in Science Awards (SAWiSA) series will take place on Wednesday, 20 October under the theme, "Women Technopreneurs: Gender Relationships and Dynamics".


As part of fulfilling SAWiSA's objectives of recognising women in science and celebrating their achievements, the webinar will explore issues around the cultivation and nurturing of appropriate ecosystems and value chains in support of women innovators and technopreneurs in South Africa.


Among the phenomenal women participating in the event will be the first black South African woman to fly a helicopter, and the first black woman to fly for the South African Police Service, Refilwe Ledwaba. A social entrepreneur, TechWomen fellow, Obama Foundation Africa leader, and member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Ledwaba is a passionate advocate of empowering girls through education in science and technology.


Former SAWiSA winner, Dr Tozama Qwebani-Ogunleye, will also participate, talking  about her journey in the sciences and her work as Project Manager at Dihlare, a start‑up company that focuses on traditional knowledge and medicine.


Other panelists include Dr Babongile Mkhize, Director for Innovation Priorities and Instruments at the DSI, and Dr Anitha Ramsuran from the Technology Innovation Agency, a public entity that works to bridge the innovation chasm between research, development and commercialisation.


The media are invited as follows:


Date:  20 October 2021

Time: 14:00 – 16:00

To attend, please register here: 



Issued by the Department of Science and Innovation


For enquiries, please contact Veronica Mohapeloa at 083 400 5750


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