Dr Snowy Khoza, CEO of the Bigen Group and passionate development activist, was recognised for her extraordinary contribution to business and people development by the 67CEOs Foundation recently. During a “Fireside Chat” with 67CEOs on 28 February 2020, she was presented with the Excellent Leadership Recognition Award for excellent leadership in business and people development.
The non-profit 67CEOs Foundation contributes to the development of young people, start-up entrepreneurs and SMMEs through convening CEOs to mentor, educate, inspire and invest in them. The purpose is to achieve massive inclusion of young entrepreneurs in the mainstream economy through mentorship, entrepreneurship, education and enterprise development programmes.
Doing good while doing business
During the interview, Dr Khoza confirmed her personal commitment to sponsoring two start-up mentorships at R67 000 each. She has a history of supporting disadvantaged groups both in her personal capacity and as CEO of Bigen. During her time, the Group has successfully evolved from a basic engineering firm into a socio-economic development company driving socio-economic change through innovative infrastructure development solutions.
With its purpose of “doing good while doing business”, Bigen is today committed to creating development impact for current and future generations that create benefit for the disadvantaged communities in proximity to the infrastructure delivered. This includes a focus on partnering with local entrepreneurs – men, women and working-age youth – wherever projects are undertaken to strengthen their businesses, rendering them competitive and sustainable.
Upon joining Bigen 10 years ago, Dr Khoza had a clear vision of the Group expanding its capabilities to create prosperity for the people and the future of our continent. Having herself been subjected to crippling infrastructure deficits during her childhood in the apartheid years, she had a passionate desire to improve the lives of other disadvantaged people through the provision of essential infrastructure such as built roads, water and electricity. She recognised these needs not only in South Africa, but across the whole of the continent.
“I went to a school where there were no electricity, no water and no toilets, so we had holes for toilets,” she remembers. “A lot of children fell into those toilets, as is happening today. I envisaged Bigen providing water, sanitation, energy, housing and roads, because I used to walk on dusty roads to school.”
Bigen, as a Group, has fully responded to this call and is today a truly African infrastructure solutions group servicing both the public and private sectors in South Africa, as well as a host of other African countries, assisting governments in meeting their national developmental goals.
Bigen recognises that socio-economic development is the key enabler in human development, poverty reduction, improved livelihoods and socio-economic well-being. In every project Bigen participates in, localisation and inclusivity are integral to addressing inequality, unemployment and poverty.
“In line with Bigen’s purpose of ‘doing good while doing business’, this means creating jobs, reducing poverty, empowering women and youth, building entrepreneurs and educating communities,” says Dr Khoza.
With offices in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Ghana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania, Bigen adds value for governments in 19 countries across Africa through providing a broad spectrum of socio-economic, financial, technical, environmental and institutional services in the agriculture, water, real estate, transportation, energy and health sectors.
Source: Bigen Group