Designation: Founder and Senior Managing Partner Organization: The Difference Makers
Dr. Christa M. Bonnet is the founder and Senior Managing Partner of The Difference Makers. Christa’s career boasts business experience that spans more than 20 years across various industries. Christa’s time at the South African Diversity Council (SASDC) as acting CEO in 2011 and consulting work with other corporates gave her a deep understanding of Enterprise and Supplier Development, Targeted Procurement, Skills Development and Social Economic Development. Christa is a Facilitator on Best Practice Solutions for Enterprise and Supplier
Development (ESD) at the annual Conferences held by Smart Procurement. She has been the preferred service provider on Enterprise and Supplier Development and Preferential Procurement for Commerce Edge for the past four years. She is also the first to offer a Workshop in 2021 to Western Cape Government on Ethical Intelligence: Anti-Corruption Measures against Procurement.
Christa has extensive knowledge on the measurement of social impact, social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship, leadership development, curriculum design, and group dynamics. Christa trained in Australia as a
Social-Return-on-Investment Practitioner (SROI), with SAICA as a G.R.I. Certified Practitioner in Integrated Reporting and Sustainability, at All-About Learning as a Certified 4MAT Methodology Practitioner (U.S.A) and
is an S.Q. (Spiritual Intelligence) and Quantum Leadership Master Trainer (UK). Christa is also a certified Level Enneagram Practitioner, Team Facilitator and Skills Professional. She is a registered H.R. Professional in two categories with the SABPP (Mentoring and Coaching and Learning and Development) and is the national Chair of the SABPP Citizens Committee. Christa a part-time faculty and moderator for the I.M.M. (Institute of Marketing Management) for Applied Marketing. She holds other qualifications such as a Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of
Commerce (Honours) in Accounting, a Master of Commerce in Financial Management (MCom); a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.); and is a Master N.L.P. (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Practitioner and Coach. Christa graduated in 2020 with her Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership at Regent University in Virginia Beach (U.S.A). She has been a full-time consultant on 21st Century Program Design and Development for Leaders (on various programs) for Wits Business School (Executive Education) in 2015 and S.A. Business School in 2016 as a consultant for a 5-month leadership development project for Total S.A. She was instrumental in the design and delivery of the Women Leadership Academy for the GIZ in 2018/9 held in Dakar (Senegal), Bonn (Germany) and South Africa. Christa has completed her a MDP for B-BBEE at Unisa in September 2021. Christa is currently enrolled or her Doctorate in Ministry at North-eastern Seminary (Rochester, New York) and for her final
two modules towards her ICF ACC accreditation.
PhD Candidate(Wits), MSc International Business Management (University of Liverpool),AdvDip in Life, Business & Executive
Coaching – LECI (Ireland)
Elona Hlatshwayo is an expert at identifying and developing potential in individuals. As an Executive coach, Elona equips and empowers her clients to develop personalised strategies to drive their career and business growth. She believes in purpose, planning and legacy building and she actively supports business leaders, executives, and professionals to achieve their goals and grow their legacy. She is a lead lecturer Wits Business School in the master’s in management (Business and Executive Coaching Program) She is a Master Coach (ABCCCP) and Registered Coach (COMENSA) where she sits on the board of directors as the chairperson for the Research Portfolio Committee. She is also a member of the board of directors for Dinaledi Educational Coaching.
Elona is currently a PhD Candidate at Wits Business School (WBS), with a focus on Business Coaching and Entrepreneurship. She holds a Master’s degree in International Business Management from Liverpool University (UK), and she has an Advanced Diploma in Life, Executive and Business coaching. Elona’s qualifications are paired with over 15 years of developing and supporting business executives, senior managers and entrepreneurs across all business sectors in Africa, the UK, Ireland, Canada & the USA. In South Africa, she has coached leaders from various organisations including ABSA, FNB, Engen, AGSA, Prodigy Finance, Dept of Health, GEMS, PWC, Western Cape Government, The Foschini Group, Get Smarter and Wits Business School, UNISA, University of Johannesburg and TUT.
Founder of House of Indiza. A brand rooted in indigenous knowledge of South Africa. Kgaladi Thema is a philanthropist, author, social entrepreneur, and classifies herself as a woke African who’s conscious about Africa, her indigenous knowledge and her people.
Kgaladi registered her first business at the age of 23 and never looked back since then. She draws most of her inspiration from her creative childhood, where her abilities to create and innovate were first spotted by her peers, and later on nourished by her education. She holds several degrees, including both science and business. She worked at the CSIR for many years in the science field. She is passionate about community engagement, and entrepreneurship particularly with rural women. Identifying herself as a rural entrepreneur, Kgaladi took more than just the occupancy of a continent as her identity, she borrows most of her ideologies of normal day to day life, business and wellness from Africa and its indigenous ways of healing. She travels extensively across Southern Africa and relishes the country’s rich and diverse heritage. Some bespoke highlights include:
Currently, Brand Ambassador for the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA)
Kgaladi has received three awards:
• Brand Champion for SEDA
• SEDA Brand Star: Brand Ambassador
• CSIR Strategic Initiatives Implementation Group: Excellency Award
Every year Kgaladi is the convenor of the Indigenous Foods of Africa Festival in partnership with the and the Department of Arts and Culture. Books – She is an author of three books
• Namely “A Culinary Journey of South African Indigenous Foods”, “Indigenous Foods od SA” and Epicurean Archive of South African foods” The books are a collection of recipes of Indigenous Foods, prepared by generations of women and South African Indigenous Foods: A Collection of Recipes of Indigenous Foods, Prepared by Generations of Women of the Region. These books are her contribution to the preserving and sharing this heritage, and a platform to showcase the skills of rural women.
Designation: Managing Director Organization: Omni HR Consulting
Lize is at the helm of Omni, having formed the company with founding members in 2009; the organisation continues to grow under her entrepreneurial leadership
With more than two decades working in the Learning and Development landscape with a specific focus on occupational and workplace learning, Lize heads up a both Omni HR Consulting and Omni Academy for ETD in her capacity as Managing Director and fulfills the role of trustee in The Women and Youth Empowerment Trust, which she joined in 2018.
Part of many industry bodies, Lize plays an active role in contributing to forums and is an advocate for public-private partnerships which she believes are the conduit to grow and improve education in the broader context of South Africa and particularly unemployed youth.
A passionate leader, Lize lives by the motto: Learn from the past, Live in the present and Pay attention to the future.
I have a passion for people, storytelling, and multicultural exchange. Known for my enthusiasm to empower others to reach their full professional and personal potential with confidence and dignity, I enjoy utilising digital tools, creating learning journeys, and developing start-up ecosystems.
One of my career highlights is when I worked for the Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO in Maseru alongside the Nelson Mandela University in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth). During this time, I held several pitching workshops and organised an Entrepreneurship Summer School called InterACTION with five universities in four countries that created mentorship and networking opportunities for more than 400 young entrepreneurs.
My academic background in International Management, Social Science, and Economic Education has given me the confidence to speak in front of large audiences, share insightful knowledge, and conduct qualitative and quantitative research studies. Thanks to my positive philanthropic nature, drive, and commitment; my clients and co-workers receive high-quality services from my extensive experience in the areas of business development, financial empowerment, and digital education.
My specialisation in Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management and having worked in this field for more than five years intrigued me to start my own business Kamvalethu Consulting in 2017 so as to share my entrepreneurial energy with others.
Designation: Chief Executive Officer Organization: Mind Switch
Mbali Bhengu is an esteemed serial entrepreneur, Marketer and Author. She has a business called Mind Switch – A creative design thinking and people development agency specialising in coachings, brand conceptualisation and corporate and SME development.
She began her early career steps at prominent retail banks in South Africa in numerous roles and she was introduced to marketing during this time. In 2016, she leaped into her entrepreneurial career and opened her marketing consultancy called MindSwitch where she went to serve well recognised clients such as Durban Tourism, Ethekwini Municipality, Regent School of Business and government stakeholders for marketing consultations, below the line promotional campaigns and training and development initiatives.
During this time, she graduated with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the Graduate School of Business and Leadership at the University of Kwazulu – Natal. In 2017, She was nominated as a SAB kickstart Top 9 National Finalist in Business where she received top mentorship from industry experts and in 2018 she was awarded the KwaZulu Natal Young Achiever Award in Business. Recently, she was shortlisted as a Top 26 Standard Bank Business Award Finalist 2021.
Mbali has trained more than 400 entrepreneurs during her consultancy career in rural, township and urban settings and has been a key note speaker for numerous business and thought leadership seminars in the country. She has appeared on numerous publications as well as spoken on radio platforms on entrepreneurship and personal branding insights for entrepreneurs. She has also trained corporate departments on leadership and inter departmental collaboration. Mbali is also an author having written her first book for entrepreneurs called, SELF – ISH: Mastering self in a selfish business world – a book that details the hidden truths and controversies surrounding business for start ups.
Ms Chimene Chetty
Consultant Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education
Designation: Consultant Organization: Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education
Chimene Chetty has been an independent consultant for the last three years during which time she has worked on, among other projects, with the African Union to advise member states on youth entrepreneurship development policy and with their Algerian Pan African University designing entrepreneurship curriculum and supporting the development of their entrepreneurial hub. More recently she was the researcher who led the South African portion on EDHE’s project with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa on Advancing Entrepreneurial Universities in Africa. In addition to entrepreneurship, she also recently led the immersion phase of the pilot of a diversity management framework to build social cohesion in 12 schools in Gauteng.
Her last full-time job was the Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the Wits Business School (WBS). She joined the WBS after 20 years in the NGO and socio-economic development sector where she specialized in the design, development and implementation of programmes in various fields. Her experience in entrepreneurship started through social entrepreneurship, since 2004, during her time as Regional Director of Ashoka Southern Africa, a global NGO.
Chimene’s work is informed by the belief that entrepreneurship is a method and mindset which is a critical skill for a 21st century global economy. Her work focuses on the development of entrepreneurial skills which contribute to the innovative business, solutions generation, and competitive and agile organizational cultures which are able to thrive in a VUCA context.
Chimene is an entrepreneur in her own right and an entrepreneurial practitioner who has worked extensively with other entrepreneurs which offer her a 360-degree understanding of the sector. Added to this are her personal insights and experience of being a female African entrepreneur. She is committed to developing strong, successful, sustainable and responsible entrepreneurs and businesses based on African inclusive growth and a shared value approach. She is actively involved in supporting the personal development of others as she believes that having the tools and understanding for optimal self-actualization is critical to personal growth, success and successful entrepreneurship.
Chimene has founded various small businesses, social initiatives and is on several committees, boards and working groups. She views entrepreneurship as a critical lever in delivering on the socio-economic rights and economic freedom of citizens.
The spiritual tenant that informs her life is that she is a soul having a human experience. She has two young adult children and identifies herself as an African womanist, mother, and change maker dedicated to the development of community, country and continent.
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