Entrepreneur. Leadership

Based: Johannesburg

Wendy Luhabe considers herself a social entrepreneur and is regarded as one of South Africa’s most visionary and pioneering women. She spent 10 years in marketing before venturing on her own. Her first enterprise was in human resources and she is most known for her role in the founding of Women Investment Portfolio Holdings – an initiative that revolutionised the participation of women in the economic landscape of South Africa. She launched a R120 million Private Equity Fund for women – South Africa’s first fund to provide capital to women-owned businesses. Ms Luhabe considers herself a champion for women’s economic and financial independence.

Ms Luhabe is an author of Defining Moments on the experiences of black executives in South Africa’s workplace over 30 years. She is an accomplished social entrepreneur with business interests in Alliance Capital, a pension fund and asset management company, in the Private Equity Fund for women-owned enterprises and Ogilvy and Mather, an advertising and communications company. Ms Luhabe was invited in 2003 to become an International Trustee for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award International Foundation for young people.

She is non-executive Chairman of Vodacom, Industrial Development Corporation, Alliance Capital Management, Vendome SA, Women Private Equity Fund 1 and a Director of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange. Ms Luhabe has received various recognition awards for her pioneering and leadership roles.

Ms Luhabe chairs the International Marketing Council to repair and revitalise the social fabric and essence of South Africa. She is married to the Premier of Gauteng, Mbhazima Shilowa, they have two sons and a grandson. Ms Luhabe plays golf occasionally, is the editor of African Leader and is learning to play a harp.

Recognition Awards

Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum, Geneva
The Outstanding Young Person by the Junior Chamber of Commerce, Osaka, Japan
Leadership in Practise Awards by Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership, South Africa
One of 50 Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World by the STAR Group, Los Angeles, USA