Women in Business, a flagship programme presented by the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) in partnership with the City of Cape Town, supports female entrepreneurs to develop a technology strategy for their business and adopt the latest available technology resources to improve and grow their business.
Entrepreneur Awonke Dyantyi, the founder and sole director of Dyantyi Accountants is a former participant of the Women in Business Programme and shared her journey with us.
“We offer real-time digital accounting and control services at a click of a button, friendly to the resources and budgets of individuals, startups and large businesses,” explains the entrepreneur whose accounting firm was started in August 2018.
An accountant by profession, Awonke came up with the idea for her business during her early days of employment when she recognised that there is a need in the market.
“I encountered a lot of challenges when it came to collecting financial documents from suppliers. For example, when a supplier is requesting payment, instead of submitting a valid tax invoice (document), they would draft an email demanding payment, some business owners would come to me during my working hours and ask for help with regards to SARS reports. I saw the problem and I had to solve it.
“Our vision is to enhance the growth, profitability and financial functions of startups, medium and large enterprises.”
Awonke’s passion for business peaked her interest in personal finance, and she started a blog.
“I create monthly posts for it. It’s been fun to use my own content and marketing skills on something that is really different from my day job, and I have had a chance to learn a lot more about SEO, too.”
As most entrepreneurs, Awonke experienced some challenges on her journey since starting a business.
”Yes, challenges are always there. The important thing is to analyse them and take time to solve them. When challenges are addressed effectively and efficiently the results can be very rewarding.
“COVID-19, for example, has many lessons for small businesses. It has taught business owners to prepare for similar events in the future. It is important to have a business model that could be adapted especially e-commerce. During this tough time, we have pivoted to assist SME’s deal with COVID-19 by helping them access the funding options that were announced by President Cyril Ramaposa earlier this year. We offer everything that SME’s need to know so they can remain happy and stable on level 3 and beyond.”
In Awonke’s journey, the highlights far outweigh the challenges.
“In August 2019, I received a fully paid scholarship with Dream Girls Academy, partnered with the US Embassy. This programme is a White House initiative aimed at developing female entrepreneurs and this is where I started gaining information about the world of tech. In November 2019, a few weeks after being successfully accepted into the Women in Business programme and getting high scores for my interview, we launched an online store that’s been trending on South Africa Twitter since it’s registration. In 2020 February, we were selected as a host organisation by UK-South Africa Tech hub where we train and equip IT graduates with work experience. We are excited to announce that we will be launching our very own Accounting app later this year.”
The name of the trending online store is SBWL.
“There are 3 founders. I am a co-founder. SBWL store is an online clothing store boasting high-quality clothing and other fashionable accessories since 2019. We are exciting and innovative and offer customers the fashion they want. We are based in Cape Town and the most important thing is that our store is safe and clothing items are guaranteed.
“A lot of people ask what SBWL means. The phrase ‘sbwl‘ is a local slang term from the isiXhosa language, originating from the word “sabaweli” meaning crave, desire, yearn or want and is normally used for things that one cannot have.”
Awonke shares that her experience in the Women in Business programme has helped her business “a great deal”. “Not only is my business communicating with customers better, but we are also managing their expectations by being completely digital, and our social media has also improved too.
“We attended a 10-week programme where we were coached and mentored by professionals exactly in our line of space. The best part is that the only requirement is for you to commit and learn to absorb everything. Not only are there growth opportunities for your business but network opportunities too. The programme inspires you to be passionate and innovative – women should not miss out on this space, it’s beautiful.”
If you are a female founder/CEO and would like to participate in the Women in Business Programme for 2020, apply now.