Ms. Zoë Dean-Smith is the Managing Director of Visionary Growth & Development Consultants. She currently works as Senior Director of the Vital Voices Global Partnership Entrepreneurs in Handcrafts Program and with TechnoServe Swaziland, mentoring a number of emerging handcraft organisations and helping to develop the country’s handcraft sector.
Her recent activities include working with IFC in Africa and SE Asia on handcraft development; Initiating a Mentorship Program for school-leaving Young Swazi Women and she is an Africa Jury member of the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards.
In 2009, Zoë joined Vital Voices Global Partnership as Senior Director of their Global Women Entrepreneurs in Handicrafts Leadership & Business Development Program.
During 8 years, in Management position at Gone Rural, Zoë was working with over 700 women artisans in Swaziland, exporting hand-crafted products worldwide. In 2007, she launched the company’s non-profit sister-organisation to facilitate social upliftment programs for the artisans.
In 2005, Ms. Dean-Smith received a Pan African Business Woman Award for Capacity Building. In addition, she was also nominated for Swaziland Business Woman of the Year 2005, and leaded Gone Rural to the achievement of World Bank Development Marketplace Award in 2004. She has been active in public speaking both regionally and internationally, talking about the benefits and challenges of holistic business models and the importance of commitment to socially responsible business practice.
Ms. Zoë Dean-Smith is a member of the Vital Voices’ Africa Advisory Board and their Global Advisory Board of Women Leaders.