The Women’s Property Network (WPN) was established in early 2000 to create a forum for women in a predominantly male industry to join together to exchange information, develop business contacts and enhance professional success. Since 2008 WPN has awarded bursaries to female students studying towards a property related degree or diploma.
This year has been no exception, and a total of 13 bursaries totalling in excess of R500 000 (tuition and learning material fees) have been awarded to the students studying at various institutions across the country.
All the applicants were deserving in terms of personal circumstances, had achieved in excess of 60% average and showed a passion for the property industry. The WPN did not have sufficient funds to award all of the bursaries, and embarked on a fund raising initiative in February to register the WPN as a charity entry into the Two Oceans Marathon, and friends of WPN ran to support the charity. Companies within the property industry were also challenged by Amelia Beattie, one of the Educational Trust’s Trustees to pledge support to WPN for the awarding of 2014 bursaries. The response was overwhelming and within 48 hours of the request having been made, over R200 000 had been pledged.
In addition to these pledges, Delta Property Fund also made a significant contribution of R500 000 to the Educational Trust, thereby ensuring that all thirteen bursaries could be awarded.
WPN Chair, Sanett Uys, says: “We have been overwhelmed by the generous support of companies in the industry and the WPN members who have contributed in their personal capacities. On behalf of the WPN Executive, I would like to thank contributors for their support. The WPN Educational Trust is a special initiative, and one which has been nurtured for many years so as to ensure that young female graduates take their place in the industry and are able to make a meaningful contribution.”
Of the bursaries awarded, responses from some of the students has been rewarding in itself:
I would like to thank all the funders for affording me the opportunity to study a Property related course and for the confidence they have in developing future female property leaders. It is an honour to be the recipient of a WPN bursary. You educate a Woman, You Educate the nation. Thank You Women's Property Network for the generosity extended to the future of this country.
I would like to thank the WPN team and the sponsors who made it possible for me to further my studies. It is from a happy heart that I say thank you and this really will encourage me to work harder so that I can also give back to the fellow sisters who are in the property industry.
I’d like to thank each and everyone who made this bursary possible. Words cannot describe what it means to me and how grateful I am to be given an opportunity to be part of the very few lucky ones who received this bursary. Not only does this mean that I can study in peace without worrying about funding but it also means that I have an incentive to work harder knowing that people went to a great deal of effort for me to be awarded this bursary.
What this means is that I am now able to pay for my tuition for my Honours year and purchase textbooks that I would have otherwise not been able to afford. This also means that I have a more peaceful semester and not have to worry about outstanding fees and not being allowed to graduate at the end of the year.
Receiving this bursary has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and has taken away a great deal of my stress. It is a huge relief and a huge help! All I want to do now is try my best and hope that in the future I may help other students too. A great thank you to all those involved.
The investment into my education is really an investment into my future and I hope an investment into the property sector. I was moved to know that some members took part in the marathon to raise these funds. I am truly grateful.
A bursary with WPN simply means my dreams can now be a reality.
Being awarded this bursary is a great honor for my family and me. Receiving the bursary is more than just about the money. It shows that I am seen as having the potential of leading a bright future for our society and myself. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to all the sponsors and everyone who has had a hand in making funding possible. At some point I had lost all hope in ever being able to complete my studies due to insufficient funds but all that hope has come rushing back and I am now, more than ever, excited to continue and finish studying within the expected time frame and also be able to give back in any way possible.
What the bursary has meant for me is that it has alleviated an enormous financial burden on my mother who is a single mom. The bursary was more of a prayer answered, opening a door that seemed hopelessly shut. I am so overjoyed and grateful, I would like to sincerely thank everyone that made this possible.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone involved in awarding this bursary to me. University is an expensive endeavor. However with your generosity, the financial burden upon my family and I has decreased drastically and will allow for me to pursue my dreams without too much stress. Thank you for recognising the need for bursaries around my chosen degree as they are very scarce. Thank you to Women’s Property Network and all donors’ contributions to the Educational Trust. I hope to be able to pay this kind act forward in the future.
I am very grateful to be given the opportunity to receive this bursary from the WPN. The property industry is a difficult industry to break into, due largely to the great financial cost of perusing qualifications in this field. The bursary will play a pivotal role in my goal realisation of being a property professional and a leader in the property field. The financial assistance will further expand my horizons and reduce the limitations that might have been caused by financial constraints.
Receiving a bursary from the Women’s Property Network has provided me with relief from financial strain and looming debt traps that are disguised in well packaged loan offers. The freedom that this bursary is offering me is immeasurable and its effects will be felt well after the completion of my post-graduate studies.In addition to this, I am grateful for the investment in me and my career, as well as the opportunity to be mentored by women who are successfully making a mark in the property industry.Education remains the most powerful tool we have to rebuild our country with and to ensure sustainable transformation. I am excited to be a part of the change and to play my part in the rebuilding process.
In addition to the awarding of the bursaries, the WPN through its regional chapters and committees will support these students by ensuring regular contact to discuss study material and any problem areas that may have arisen and will engage with the students at the networking events so that they have access to women active in the industry.