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Nominations for the Businesswoman of the Year Award – South Africa''s most prestigious recognition for female achievers in business – have been extended to June 11 from the original deadline of May 15.

Hosted by the Businesswomen''s Association of South Africa and supported by Nedbank and Telkom SA, the award has been presented annually since 1980 and is now in its 33rd consecutive year.

Nominees in both the corporate section and the entrepreneur section need to be South African citizens or residents who are involved in business in South Africa.

In the corporate sector, nominees must be in control of an annual budget in excess of R75 million while in the entrepreneur sector nominees must be involved in enterprises with annual turnover above R35 million.

Other stipulations for nominations are that the nominee must have been with the business entity for at least three years, must have demonstrated the ability to achieve business success, and must be a role model. In the entrepreneur category, the nominee must own at least 25% of the business.

Importantly, the objective of the award is to recognize the success of women in business and inspire others to raise their sights and achieve their goals.

“We see the award as an important mechanism to applaud and celebrate women''s contribution to the economy,” said BWA president Ms Kunyalala Maphisa.

The award ceremony will take place on Tuesday, 28 August in Sandton Convention Centre at 19h00, with proceeds from the event going towards the BWA''s fund that finances bursaries for women looking to further their studies in business. Since 1988, more than R500, 000 has been channeled into this programme.

Last year''s winner of the corporate category was Philisiwe Buthelezi, CEO of the National Empowerment Fund while the winner of the entrepreneur category was Dr Nondumiso Mzizana, founder of Sikelela Medical, Dental and Pharmaceutical.

Well-known previous winners of the annual Businesswoman of the Year Award include: Carol Scott, Pam Golding, Irene Charnley, Maria Ramos, Gloria Serobe, Santie Botha, Nicky Newton-King and Monhla Hlahla.

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