Rural WomeninGreenBusinessWorkshopsWomen SME entrepreneurs in Knysna and Tulbagh took part in a day-long workshop in August  2014 on business empowerment and development  with  a focus on growing with the Green Economy.

Held as part of Women’s Month, the workshops were run by specialist consultancy GreenEdge together with Flowfinders International on behalf of the sustainability Directorate  of the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.

“The Green Economy is growing steadily,”  says Hugh Tyrrell, director of GreenEdge. “More people are wanting to buy goods and services that they know do less harm to the environment and are healthier for themselves. This is creating a market for entrepreneurs and SMEs in rural areas in eco-tourism, natural medicines, organic foods and similar fields.”

The rural women  entrepreneurs  were  given an understanding of  the Green Economy, what it is and why it has come to the fore. They were taken through the qualities that make up a green product or service, how to green one’s own business, and how positioning it as authentically green presents a  strong competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Khuthala Swanepoel of the Sustainability Directorate said, “The workshops were inspiring and brought useful business tools to ordinary women in our country who are often overlooked. They also emphasised the value of our diverse environment.”