Put the Veuve on ice – the Bold Women Award arrives in SA

We toast to a good life, pop bottles at the club, and order Champagne service in an effort to add glamour and (secretly) let everyone know our lives are worthy of a celebration.

These days Champagne is associated with being ostentatious, but what many don’t know however, is that your fave bubbles came from adversity. Madame Clicquot, the powerful woman who catapulted Veuve Clicquot into international success, became a pioneer out of sheer necessity.

Widowed at 27, Madame Clicquot took over the reins at a time when women could neither work nor hold a bank account and became one of the first businesswomen of modern times. Before earning the respected title of “Grande Dame of Champagne”, she had to face countless obstacles. 

A bold woman with big dreams, she dreamt of her maison transcending borders: “I wish my brand to rank first in New York as in Saint Petersburg.” (Madame Clicquot, 1831).

Her creations and innovations were manifold, inventing the first known blended rosé champagne. Not only did she create an identity for champagne outside of France, she also bottled the first recorded vintage champagne in 1810.

It is fitting then that an organisation that was led to global success by such a pioneering woman would establish the first and longest-running international award of its kind. The Bold Women Award was founded in 1972 to celebrate Veuve Clicquot’s 200th anniversary and recognise women who capture the enterprising spirit of the grande dame of champagne — Madame Clicquot, as well as her values of innovation, audacity, fearlessness and drive. 

The award is aimed at identifying the role models of today and tomorrow. 

South Africa has hosted the award ceremony in previous years (formally known as the Business Women Award). The global event name is now ‘’Bold Woman Award’’ to correspond with Bold by Veuve Clicquot, a global programme to increase female entrepreneurs’ visibility. 

Successful entrepreneur and author Amanda Dambuza was named overall winner in 2017 of the Business Women Award. Dambuza, born in eSikhawini, a town in King Cetshwayo District Municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal, faced a turbulent and impoverished upbringing filled with abuse and neglect. 

Fuelled by a need to create a better life, she persevered. Now the chief executive officer  of Uyandiswa Project Management Services, author and host, Dambuza exemplifies the spirit of an inspirational woman with a tenacious, entrepreneurial drive. 

When asked about plans Veuve Clicquot has for South Africa, GBC Champagne portfolio manager of Veuve Clicquot Patrick Leslie said, “We have several audacious projects before we close out 2022. We will launch a new exciting product in South Africa soon. 

“We celebrate our Solaire house by opening an iconic Veuve Clicquot coastal location. Next year we are planning to host an international exhibition that celebrates 250 years of our iconic maison,” explains Leslie.

For the first time in South Africa entries are now open for the internationally recognised Bold Women Awards. Taking place on 21 July 2022, the awards are aimed at highlighting female entrepreneurs who are leaders and innovators in their field, by increasing their visibility on a global scale. 

In their mission to amplify inclusion, impact and visibility, Veuve Clicquot understands the importance of including South African women in the global conversation about leadership and entrepreneurship. 

The awards will identify winners in two categories; the Bold Future Award and the Bold Women Award. To enter, candidates must have been the founder or chief executive officer of a company for more than three years.

To qualify for the Bold Future Award, candidates must be founders or chief executives of a company that has been in existence for less than three years. Three finalists in each category will be selected by an esteemed jury and invited to attend the ceremony. 

The overall winner will travel to Reims, France for an immersion in the history, tradition and luxury of Maison Veuve Clicquot.

To have more impact and sustainable change means engaging men to challenge society’s limits so that daring women are more visible and able to fully realise their projects. With this in mind, the maison launched the Bold Champion Award in 2019, an honorary prize created to award a man whose actions promote better representation and consideration of women in society.
If you embody the spirit of tenacity and creativity, join the illustrious list of female pioneers by completing a simple form via the Veuve Clicquot website. Entries close on 31 May 2022, applicants must be an official resident of South Africa and the business must be based in or operating in South Africa. Finalists will be selected by an independent panel of judges.  

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Gugu Tshabalala
Gugulethu Tshabalala, is a multi-talented creative and jewellery designer with a background in public relations. She believes there is an artist in all of us and hopes to evoke emotion utilising different mediums

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