Ms Wendy Luhabe


Ms Luhabe is a graduate of the University of Lesotho. She gained 10 years of national and international corporate experience with Vanda Cosmetics and for the BMW Group. In 1991 she founded Bridging the Gap, her first exercise in social entrepreneurship. In 1994 she pioneered the founding of Women Investment Portfolio Holdings, which listed on the JSE in 1999. This initiative (it subsequently de-listed in 2003) revolutionised the participation of women in the South African economy. In 2002 she was responsible for another first in South Africa, namely the launch of a R120 million private equity fund for women-owned enterprises. She was, until quite recently, chairperson of Alliance Capital and the Vodacom Group. Currently she is chairperson of Vendome SA, the Industrial Development Corporation and the International Marketing Council and also serves on the Board of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange. She also holds a number of influential international appointments: She is an international trustee of the Duke’of Edinburgh’s Award International Foundation, she is a member of the Helsinki Process on Globalisation and Democracy and is also a member of the Club of Rome. Many awards have been bestowed on her. She holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Fort Hare. She was recognised as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in Switzerland and as an Outstanding Young Person by the Osaka Junior Chamber in Japan. The Unisa Business School recognised her contribution to Leadership in Practice. In 1999 she was honoured as one of the 50 Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World. She is married to Mbhazima Shilowa, the Premier of the Gauteng Province, and they have two adult sons. She has established the Wendy Luhabe Foundation, which uses the profits from her book, Defining Moments, to educate young disadvantaged black women, particularly from the rural areas. Ms Luhabe was inaugurated as Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg in September 2006.

Recent Submissions

  • Luhabe, Wendy (2006)
    So what should be the role, contribution and a vision of a modern university in a country that is in transition like South Africa is with challenges of poverty, poor education and unemployment, to become a global player ...

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