Know your purpose....
"Know your purpose and always stay focused on your passion. Many other thoughts and obsessions will come your way as you plan your great journey, but lean on your first love - PLAN A."
- Lilian Muhammed is the founder of LONDRÉ TAN, a company that designs and manufactures handcrafted leather bags, purses and precious stone jewellery in their studio in Johannesburg, South Africa. The brand was created with the aim of producing great quality, locally made fashion accessories with exceptional craftsmanship, and a modern look and feel.Read More
by Sylvia Walker, author of SmartWoman
Most of us will all need to apply for credit at some time in our lives, and as an entrepreneur, this is almost a certainty. By taking ownership and being pro-active in managing your credit, you can avoid any unpleasant surprises and make sure that financial support will be there when you need it most.Read More
We love mobile and have been fortunate enough to work on the initial versions of many of South Africa’s leading apps over the last 7 years. In some cases, we have continued working with these brands throughout the course of their app journeys and these are some of the fundamental (as well as subtler) learnings anyone looking to make a dent in the space can take from this experience.Read More
It happens often: we appear to be listening but in fact we are so distracted by other thoughts, other people, and other things we have to do, that we’re not really actively listening. Or we’re thinking about what we’re going to say next and how we can say it so that we sound fabulously articulate and intelligent. We don’t entirely hear what the person in front of us is saying. We’re not getting the whole message. In our careers, it’s critical that we are heard. But it’s just as critical that we hear, that we truly hear. Our ability to really listen to others is as vital to our overall presence.Read More
You need to learn to turn stress on its head....
"I believe stress is a figment of imagination; a way of thinking about what you don’t want to happen. You turn this around and think about what you do want to happen‚ and amazingly enough it actually happens.”
- Margaret Hirsch is one half of a dynamic husband and wife duo that founded Hirsch's Homestores. Back in 1979, as a secretary, together with her husband Allan, then an appliance repair man, they unwittingly became entrepreneurs who went on to build an appliance, electronics and furnishing retail empire. Today, Hirsch's Homestores is the largest independently owned appliance and electronics business in Southern Africa, with 18 Hirsch stores and four Samsung concept stores.Read More
Have you ever asked an entrepreneur how much they make? And they respond with a ‘million from last month’ but no smile coming with it? Or any triumphant fist in the air? Yep. It is because it is deeper than that. Revenue is the easiest part of operations; if you have built a good brand and something people want/need; you will have sales easily. The trick is ‘where are those sales going’?Read More
"There will always be 100 reasons not to, but we can’t let 'what ifs' or fear, or lack of funding keep us from getting started. Failures are just building blocks to success. Mistakes are lessons you learn from that can only help you improve and do better. We need to be champions of our own dreams and surround ourselves with positive people and supportive people that keep us on track."
- Sheila Afari is the founder of Sheila Afari Public Relations, a bespoke PR agency operating from Johannesburg, South Africa. Sheila is passionate about showcasing the best of African brands to the rest of the world, and is differentiating herself and her company in the marketplace as a result.Read More
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is founder and Managing Director of soleRebels, the world's fastest-growing African footwear brand and the only Fair Trade-certified footwear company in the world. Growing up in a poor suburb of Addis Ababa, Bethlehem decided that there was only one way to defeat poverty – use local craftsmanship to make products that can compete in the global marketplace. She decided on footwear and today 70,000 pairs of shoes leave her factory every year. soleRebels has been expanding rapidly and has 18 stores around the world, including in Silicon Valley (USA), Japan, Singapore, Austria, Greece, Spain and Switzerland, along with an aggressive e-commerce marketing strategy. in 2015, Bethlehem launched a new venture, Republic of Leather, offering bespoke, hand crafted Leather wear and accessories; and in 2016 she launched an equally ambitious new coffee venture called Garden of Coffee with the objective of taking Ethiopia's ancient coffee culture to the world.Read More
Whether you are staging a major conference or special event such a wedding, or you need to produce a video that tells your corporate story, it’s essential to bring in the specialists. In Mauritius, one passionate photographer, Roomila Roothoorodoo, founder of Focus Events, is bringing her creative talents to the table.Read More
The African Entrepreneurship Award, a $1million prize sponsored by BMCE Bank of Africa for African entrepreneurs with for-profit business ideas that create jobs and improve lives, has just announced the finalists for the 2017 awards. At the start of 2017, 5,349 entrepreneurs from all 54 countries in Africa, and 45 in the diaspora, applied for the Award. Now, one month before the winners are announced, a panel of mentors has selected 41 finalists from 19 African countries, and 39% are women entrepreneurs (15 in total).Read More
In the tradition of Kabul Beauty School and Start Something That Matters comes an inspiring story of social entrepreneurship from Jessica Jackley, the co-founder of Kiva, the first online microlending platform for the working poor. Featuring lessons learned from successful businesses in the world’s poorest countries, Jessica Jackley’s book, Clay Water Brick, will motivate readers to more deeply appreciate the incredible entrepreneurial potential that exists in every human being on this planet, especially themselves.Read More
On a beautiful sunshine filled day on 10th November, in the shadow of Table Mountain, 80 women entrepreneurs from across the Western Cape gathered together for the last Lioness Lean In Breakfast event of the year in the city. The venue was once again Workshop 17 in Cape Town’s bustling V&A Waterfront area. In prospect was a morning filled with inspirational startup story sharing from successful women business owners, and great business networking.Read More
by Tumi Frazier, founder of Tumi Frazier International
Do you feel the urge to quickly run to the office on your off days to make sure things are running smoothly? How often have you put off going on vacation or treating yourself, because you believed that you had too much work to do? Do you constantly check your emails or social media the minute you get up? The reality is that the world is getting louder and too many events fill our days leaving us completely exhausted.Read More
"I am an entrepreneur. I was born a free spirit and I cannot think of any other way to work or live."
- Johanna Mukoki, co-founder & CEO of Travel With Flair (South Africa)Read More
What are the biggest mistakes an entrepreneur needs to avoid making....
"There are three big mistakes in my opinion. One is failing to learn the job adequately. Second one is not having a strategic vision and thirdly, lacking financial discipline to distinguish personal funds from business funds thus stifling the business from growing."
- Divine Ndhlukula founded SECURICO Security Services from humble beginnings in Zimbabwe in 1998. Divine identified a need in the market for a quality oriented security company and she has driven SECURICO to become the market leader in Zimbabwe. She has tackled a previously male-dominated industry head on and her business success story is nothing short of remarkable - marking her as one of Africa's most tenacious and inspiring women entrepreneurs.Read More
Advice on friends as business partners....
"You can't say because you've known your friend since grade four, you'll work well together in business. No - you have known them since you decided to start a company together. So get to know your business partner as a business partner, not a friend, because business and friendship is a different ball game."
- Thato Kgatlhanye is a co-founder of Rethaka, a woman-owned South African business that is focused on improving the world around it. Through the company's green innovations such as the Repurpose Schoolbags, it is redefining societal problems and turning them into solutions. Thato is making it her business to uncover sustainable opportunities that create a far-reaching impact for low-income communities, with a particular focus on children and women.Read More