Johannesburg, 29 September 2020: Darlene Menzies, CEO of leading access to finance provider, Finfind, has been awarded the prestigious Special African Business Leadership Commendation Award. The award is in recognition of her outstanding achievements in Africa’s business landscape, and contributions to Africa’s economic development and post-COVID recovery.
The driving force behind Finfind’s mission to make funding accessible to SMEs, Darlene is a well-known advocate and champion for the SME sector on the continent. She is a seasoned technology innovator, local and international speaker, and serial entrepreneur. During lockdown, Darlene intensified Finfind’s efforts to assist business owners by building COVID-19 relief information and debt relief solutions into Finfind’s online portal. She also spearheaded the national COVID impact survey, supported by Government and big business, to provide crucial information to these stakeholders, to inform the recovery solutions needed for this vital sector during, and post, COVID-19.
The African Business Leadership Awards attracted over 220 000 nominations from across the continent. From this wealth of nominees, only 17 winners were chosen for their unique contributions to growing African business and affirming the continent’s position on the global stage as an economic powerhouse in its own right. The other South Africans short-listed as finalists included Maria Ramos, former CEO ABSA Group; Stephen Saad, CEO, Aspen Pharmacare Holdings; Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa, CEO, Naspers; and Patrice Motsepe, Executive Chairman, African Rainbow Minerals.
In response to receiving the award, Darlene said, “I am honoured to be named among such esteemed company and am humbled to receive this recognition. I share this award with the forward-thinking, hard-working businesspeople across the continent who are growing our economies in the trenches every day. Entrepreneurship and innovation are the keys to increased job creation and economic development on the continent. I believe African innovators possess unique insights and ground-breaking solutions that are able to address major global challenges in this digital age.”
As the CEO of Finfind and SMEasy, Darlene continues to offer valuable advice to business owners during lockdown, using webinars and thought-leadership articles as touchpoints for sharing valuable insights. Finfind Chairman, Gavin Reardon, congratulated Darlene on her well-deserved award, “Darlene is a champion for small business, and we look forward to her continuing to shape the access to finance ecosystem across the continent and other regions. Her expertise, thought-leadership and proactive approach to business growth is very much needed in order to help close the nearly $5 trillion credit gap that exists.”