Uyandiswa Project Management Services Founder and CEO, Amanda Dambuza was awarded the runner-up award at the coveted Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa’s, Regional Business Achiever Award for 2016 for the Entrepreneur Category. The awards ceremony was held on 28 July at a gala awards event in Johannesburg.
The Regional Business Achievers Awards are a set of annual events aimed at celebrating the success of women in business throughout South Africa. The awards actively seek to identify, acknowledge and cultivate entrepreneurs, corporate and professional women leaders in various regions. “The Businesswoman’s Association of South Africa has a proud history of advocating for and honouring remarkable women in business, and to be associated with such an organisation is a privilege,” notes Dambuza.
Dambuza founded Uyandiswa Project Management Services – an Adapt IT affiliated company in 2013 with the aim of creating an organisation that helps companies grow their maturity in project management while also educating them about the importance of the discipline. Uyandiswa is a Level 1 B-BBEE majority black women-owned company based in Johannesburg with operations across Southern Africa.
Dambuza says her desire to positively contribute towards people’s lives has been the backbone of her professional and personal life. “I wanted to build a platform from which people can fulfil their dreams and those of their children and families,” she adds. Whether it’s through driving initiatives such as the Uyandiswa Graduate Programme, or supporting organisations such as the Model C Foundation, Dambuza actively drives and supports initiatives that empower, develop and motivate individuals. She is also a Non-Executive Director of Donate-A-Piece, an NPO focusing on chess as a powerful educational tool. Donate-A-Piece encourages the participation in chess as a means to develop critical skills, particularly in disadvantaged schools and public spaces.
The effects of South Africa’s critical skills shortage are well documented with the unemployment rate, particularly among the youth, remaining one of the highest in the world. Dambuza says that part of the solution is acting on the belief that social responsibility isn’t just a box that a company has to tick off. “I mentor a number of people who are in big corporates and struggling to navigate the harsh dynamics. I also spend a lot of my time sharing my experiences and learnings with other entrepreneurs both men and women, young and old. I love doing this. It fuels my fire and makes me want to do more and more,” she says.
In 2014 when Uyandiswa was only a year old, Dambuza concluded an enterprise development partnership with JSE listed company, Adapt IT which employs over 800 people and provides services to customers across 38 countries globally. “This was a mutually beneficial agreement that has yielded wonderful results and continues to grow from strength to strength,” she explains.
Dambuza hopes that her journey and drive to create her own agenda while making a difference can inspire others to do the same. “In a short space of time I have been able to build a very successful and profitable business with over 40 people in its payroll. This company also supports other businesses, graduates, interns and contributes towards worthy causes.”
Despite a challenging economic climate Dambuza believes that women, and indeed all South Africans, should continue to feed the desire to leave a lasting positive legacy for their families and communities. “I’m fortunate that, through Uyandiswa, I have the resources to support really strong initiatives that seek to make a difference in our nation,” Dambuza concludes.