A Reflection on 2023

Rose Mamabolo

In this fast-paced world of ours, having time to pause is a rare privilege. For all of us at WDBIH, this year has been a year of taking the time to reflect on our journey: where we have come from, and where we are going.

The cornerstone of our year has been the completion of our transition phase that began in 2022. This process compelled us to take a strategic time-out, re-evaluate our investment approach, and redefine our organisational mandate. Though challenging, this pause was a necessary evolution that required us to make tough decisions, re-assess all aspects of our business, and realign our mandate.


Though challenging, this pause was a necessary evolution that required us to make tough decisions, re-assess all aspects of our business, and realign our mandate.


It also gave us time to reflect on the original vision of the organisation, inspired by Mrs Zanele Mbeki and our founders: to make a difference in the lives of women (and children) through sound partnerships and investments.

Change is never easy, and at times it was difficult for our team to manage the anxiety of the unknown, with many of the challenges that faced us – being a much smaller team, with limited capacity. But we have emerged on the other side stronger, and with fresh outlook and renewed sense of purpose.

Our journey through this transition was marked by a commitment to open communication, ensuring every team member understood the “why” behind the changes. Together, we successfully weathered the challenges, laying the foundation for a more agile, responsive and cohesive organisation.

Impact Investments and our Commitment to Community

There have been many highlights during 2023: our investment portfolio has proven to be resilient, reaffirming our belief in the strength of our investment strategies and our ability to navigate even the most unpredictable market conditions.

Our social impact initiatives, including the university scholarship programme, our youth empowerment projects with PrimeStars (including their new and much-needed programme “What About The Boys”), and an expanded internship programme for graduates continue to thrive, reflecting our dedication to nurturing young talent. We are also proud of the interventions we provided to Makola Primary School.

Paving the Way for the Future

As we look ahead, a major milestone achieved this year was the approval of our new investment strategy by the board. This strategy places a significant emphasis on impact investing — a deliberate and intentional shift towards aligning financial returns with positive societal outcomes.

As we have always said about WDBIH, “We always punch way above our weight,” and I’m happy to say this continues to be the case. I am surrounded by feisty, talented colleagues who have weathered the storm and shown exceptional grace and fortitude when the going was tough.

A Year of Gratitude

For me, 2023 really is a year of gratitude. I am grateful for the unwavering support from my exceptional team (and my wonderful family), as well as the guidance from our board, shareholders and stakeholders. The synergy we have achieved in working towards common goals is truly remarkable.

As we bid farewell to 2023, we carry forward the lessons learnt, the strengths discovered, and the partnerships formed out of a common intention – to make a meaningful difference.

I wish everyone a blessed festive season, a Happy Christmas to those who celebrate. And to our large extended WDBIH family – may you rest well over the holidays, and I look forward to a prosperous, calm and peaceful 2024.


Kind Regards,

Rose Mamabolo

Acting CEO



Note that our offices will be closed from Monday the 18th of December 2023 and will re-open on Tuesday the 2nd of January 2024.


Watch Acting CEO, Rose Mamabolo's message to stakeholders