duchesssussexcapetown

Meghan meets female entrepreneurs during solo trip in Cape Town

The Duchess of Sussex spoke of enjoying the pressures of being a working mum as she met a dozen inspiring female entrepreneurs at an event in Cape Town today.

Meghan said she found juggling being a royal and looking after baby Archie “a lot” but added “it’s all so exciting”.

The former actress met several women who have set up their own businesses in industries such as technology, conservation and fashion and praised them for “empowering the next generation”  of creative minds.

Speaking to mum-of-two Lara Rosmarin, CEO of Cape Innovation and Technology, Meghan said: “It must be a lot to juggle. We're only five months in right now. Being a working mum and travelling as well with a baby, my goodness it's a lot, but it's all so exciting.

“There are days when it’s a lot to juggle but then you meet someone and you have an impact on them and you say ‘ah-ha’, and it’s so rewarding.”

Lara said: “I think the Duchess really understood to pressures on working women which was so appreciated.

“She is a working mother herself and mixing that in with all the travelling and projects she has, it’s inspiring for other women and young people to see that she is making such a success out of her life and helping others with her charitably endeavours.”

The Duchess, 38, said she found the concept of a company called Relate, founded by Lauren Gills “fascinating”.

The non-profit NGO which employs women from disadvantaged backgrounds across South Africa to make bracelets for good causes was inspired by the Lance Armstrong cancer awareness armband and how it connected people both to a cause and each other.

Mrs Gills said: “We started off with an idea and from that initial crowdfunding we have now raised £3.5million from the sale of 3.5million bracelets that we put back into communities empowering women from disadvantaged communities.

“The work they do is reflected right back into their own community and that really is the difference to helping alleviate their struggles.”

Meghan said: “I find that so fascinating, it’s such an interesting concept, by empowering these women from those backgrounds they are changing the focus of their communities and empowering the next generation.”

The ‘Ladies Who Launch’ event at the Woodstock Exchange, a technology hub that The Tech Hub, focussed on highlighting the skills and mentorship of the female entrepreneurs changing the landscape of employment in South Africa.

The programme brings together a cross-section of female entrepreneurs, investors and corporate decision makers, to help start-ups tap into a network of successful female entrepreneurs and successful role model women to help their businesses flourish.

In March 2019, The Duchess of Sussex joined a panel discussion convened by The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust to mark International Women’s Day, featuring female business and charity leaders, the panellists discussed the obstacles that still affect female empowerment across the world today, and the positive opportunities that come when women are given wider access.

After the discussion Meghan posed for pictures and accepted a Relate bracelet which she put on before leaving and accepted a smaller one for Archie.

She chatted enthusiastically with women as she arrived at the Woodstock Exchange in Cape Town to meet female entrepreneurs.

Wearing a back jumpsuit, she was greeted at the organisation by Shirley Gilbey, director of the UK-SA Tech Hub, and inside she was introduced to 12 other women taking part in the initiative.

The duchess was shown around the organisation, which acts as a virtual hub working to develop strong digital economic growth.

She met with female entrepreneurs, who gathered around a table for a discussion, sharing their experiences.

Meghan was told about the Ladies Who Launch conversation series the hub offers, which brings together a cross-section of female entrepreneurs and investors.

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