LIONESS TODAY. OUR LATEST STORIES.
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.”
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AVANI Lesotho Hotel | Hilton Road | Maseru | Lesotho
Friday 16 November 2018 | 08:00 – 12:30
BY INVITATION ONLY
In sub-Saharan Africa, the financial inclusion gender gap is still a major challenge, and the region still has the second highest gender disparity of any emerging market region. It is estimated that around 35 million women in sub-Saharan Africa have difficulty accessing financial services. Although some banks are making efforts to address barriers to entry for women, what is clear is that Africa’s banks need to create specific banking products and services for women, and in particular women entrepreneurs, to improve this situation. And, it’s in the banks’ best interests from a business perspective. Women owned businesses represent a third of all SMEs on the African continent, and it is accepted that SMEs are the real job creators in Africa. That means women entrepreneurs are a major source of untapped economic potential, as without access to the right financial support and advice, they cannot grow. If more banks in Africa looked to proactively close the credit gap and provide real financial access to women entrepreneurs, then the continent would thrive. Banking on women entrepreneurs in Africa makes sense on every level. It represents access to a vast untapped business pipeline for the banks worth billions of dollars. It also provides the financial boost that women entrepreneurs need to really build high growth potential businesses on the continent.
It’s that time of year when big and small companies alike look to acknowledge the hard work done over the past 12 months by their valued employees. And that’s when thoughts turn to buying corporate gifts. But let’s think about the potential impact that could be made if those companies sourced and bought their corporate gifts from Africa’s women entrepreneurs, instead of from corporate gifting companies whose mass produced products are sourced from China or other parts of the world. Across the African continent, women entrepreneurs are creating world-class products ideal for corporate gifting, from luxury home decor items, to award-winning leathergoods, jewellery and textiles. Women entrepreneurs are great at creating experiential gifts that excite and entertain stressed out employees, from artisanal chocolate and bread-making sessions, to gin and wine-making educational tours - to name but a few. The added value comes with the unique, impact-driven back-story that comes with every corporate gift produced by Africa’s women entrepreneurs, adding to the feel-good factor. So to all those corporate gifting decision-makers out there, why not think outside of the traditional box and take a look at buying this year’s gifts from Africa’s women entrepreneurs. Your employees and those women owned businesses will thank you for it!
Have yourself an inspired entrepreneurial day! - Melanie