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TODAY'S ENTREPRENEUR ADVICE
To survive over the long term, bigger is better…
“The reality is that to be a profitable, well-run business, it’s all about scale. I’ve never had an ambition to be a small business. I tell my staff they shouldn’t think like an SME. Don’t think you will always be a small business because then you will always be a small business.”
Monica Musonda is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Java Foods, a food processing company based in Zambia. Monica's vision is to revolutionize the eating habits of the youth market by offering them affordable and nutritious food options made from local products. Monica is a dual-qualified English solicitor and Zambian advocate with over 15 years of experience in legal practice and corporate management, including being corporate counsel at the International Finance Corporation and for Aliko Dangote of Dangote Industries Limited. Read Monica's 100 Lionesses profile.
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IN FOCUS THIS MONTH - AFRICA'S WOMEN ECO WARRIORS
100 LIONESSES PROJECT
The world’s environmental challenges are front and centre of global political, economic and social discussions and debates right now, with daily calls for innovative and sustainable solutions. And there is no doubt that major innovative thinking is needed if solutions to some of the biggest environmental challenges facing the world are to be found, such as how to combat climate change, how to lower global greenhouse gas emissions, how to deal with waste in an effective and environmentally friendly way, and how to preserve biodiversity in the environment. And it’s everyone’s problem and responsibility, to be part of the solution, not the continuing problem. Africa is undoubtedly feeling the impact of many of these environmental challenges, and that’s why a new generation of innovative women eco-preneurs is emerging from the continent with practical solutions. They are building sustainable recycling businesses to deal with waste management challenges in some of the continent’s biggest cities; they are building companies that create world-class products using recycled plastic as their base materials; and they are tackling invasive weed infested waterways by using them as a source of new materials for beautiful products that the world wants. This is the age of Africa’s women eco-preneurs who are making a real difference to the environment through their high impact sustainable business models.
When I travel around the African continent visiting our Lionesses communities in each country, I often speak about how women entrepreneurs can leverage the power of the network to open up business and collaborative opportunities in different countries. But just looking at our Lionesses of Africa network and seeing the increasingly large numbers of users in countries and cities around the world, it becomes clear that women entrepreneurs in the Diaspora are interested in contributing to the continent’s success. And there is an important role they can play. At our recent Start-up Night! Africa events in London and Berlin, meeting and talking to highly experienced and knowledgeable women from the African Diaspora opened up opportunities for collaboration, for business, for investment and mentoring. Such connections emphasized the important role women entrepreneurs in the African Diaspora can play in bringing their global business smarts to the table and helping to shape the future of the continent through great collaboration, business building, and information sharing.
Have yourself an inspired entrepreneurial day! - Melanie