Wendy Luhabe

Languages

  • English

Wendy Luhabe

One of the most powerful businesswomen in Africa

Wendy holds a portfolio of activities, which is increasingly becoming a phenomenon of the 21st century for a generation of people who wish to live a life comprising of diverse experiences that make a difference and have meaning.

Her activities ranged from corporate employment to social entrepreneurship and the boardrooms, with bridging the gap between women and the economy being a common thread in all her endeavours. Wendy holds a portfolio of interests and has been a social entrepreneur since 1991… 

Wendy holds a portfolio of activities, which is increasingly becoming a phenomenon of the 21st century for a generation of people who wish to live a life comprising of diverse experiences that make a difference and have meaning.

Her activities ranged from corporate employment to social entrepreneurship and the boardrooms, with bridging the gap between women and the economy being a common thread in all her endeavours. Wendy holds a portfolio of interests and has been a social entrepreneur since 1991 after 10 years in corporate marketing of a luxury brand.

Wendy recently stepped down as Chairman of Vendome SA, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the International Marketing Council (IMC) responsible for Brand South Africa and as director of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange. She is a Trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award International Foundation to equip young people for life, a Patron for Junior Achievement South Africa to develop entrepreneurial capacity, a member of the founding board of Patrons for Student Sponsorship Program which has enabled more than 500 academically distinguished students from low income families in South Africa to access private school education, a Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, on the board of the International Institute of Management Development Business School in Switzerland and also sits on the International Advisory Board of Essec Business School in France.

Wendy is a recipient of two Honorary Doctorates in commerce for her pioneering contribution to the economic empowerment of women. She is currently assisting an entrepreneur to start a Global movement of Entrepreneurship which will be launched during 2012, called The Big Break Legacy.

Over the past 15 years Wendy has received international recognition from the World Economic Forum in Switzerland as a Global Leader for Tomorrow, the Osaka Junior Chamber in Japan as an Outstanding Young Person, Leadership in Practise by Unisa Business School in South Africa, Woman of Worth from the Jewish Achievers Awards in South Africa and Woman of Substance by AWCA (African Women Chartered Accountants).

She is featured regularly in various media (Sunday Times, Financial Mail) as one of South Africa’s most powerful women. Wendy was recently invited by Ms. Hilary Clinton to join the International Council of Women Business Leaders, a new initiative by the U S State Department.

Her vision is for Africa to grow up, to take her rightful place in the world, to be responsible, to think of future generations and to change the image of poverty, war, genocide, poor leadership and corruption. Africa must cultivate a culture of social entrepreneurship and dedicate resources to single mindedly pursue this vision. Research has shown that entrepreneurs create employment opportunities, pioneer new industries , leapfrog economies, transform the quality of life and lead to a competitive national mindset. We cannot build our respective countries whilst we depend on aid on the one hand and create welfare states to buy political patronage on the other hand. I am convinced that Africa must let the women lead and we will witness a miracle that will astound the world. Democracy without responsible and accountable leadership is not sufficient to improve the quality of life for those who were previously excluded, exploited and marginalised. Africa must take responsibility for her destiny. It’s in their hands, they can and they must.

Show More
Close
View our Global Network