Meet our team

Colleen Larsen

F. Inst. D – CEO Business Engage


Colleen Larsen, CE of Business Engage, has a career spanning 28 years within the financial services market. She is best known, however, for her work in gender mainstreaming, having won recognition as one of the leading voices for the sustainable advancement of women in the corporate and entrepreneurial space in South Africa today.

She founded Business Engage (previously Women in Finance) in 2005, an exciting and inventive organisation at the forefront of strategic thinking on gender mainstreaming in the private sector.

Colleen is President of the 30% Club Southern and East Africa and drives the vision of 30% Club Southern and East Africa. The 30% Club is a global organisation of chairpersons and other senior business leaders publicly committed to achieving a more representation of women on boards, because it makes business sense.

As a gender mainstreaming expert, Colleen has represented Business Unity South Africa at Nedlac in negotiating the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill,and was a representative on the steering committee for the International Labour Organisation (ILO) programme on gender.

Colleen is;

  • a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.
  • a member of the International Women’s Forum of South Africa.
  • the founding Chair of the South African Women Entrepreneurs Network, a DTI initiative.
  • since 2008, through Colleen, Business Engage are the representatives of the Cherie Blair Foundation, a global online women entrepreneur mentorship programme.
  • a founding member of Graca Michel’s New Faces – New Voices.

Colleen is the author of two books;

  • Gender Matters
  • The Board MasterClass Series – Guidelines for Mastering Effective Corporate Decision-Making, Compliance and Strategy at Board level


2005 - Founder

Founded Business Engage in 2005

2013 - Founder

Started the Gender Mainstreaming Awards

2016 - Finalist

Finalist in SA’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government Awards 2016

2018 - Winner

Winner of the Director’s Award in the Woman of Stature Awards 2018

2019 - Top 10 Finalist

Top 10 Finalist in the Conscious Companies Awards 2019

2020 - Top 3 Finalist

Top 3 Finalist in the Conscious Companies Awards 2020


Online sevices
3 years
Finance management
5 years
10 years
12 years


tel. 1-001-234-5678

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