Personality-led brands and businesses connect with audiences because of precisely that - they are created by women entrepreneurs who are big on passion and personality. Rose Sibisi is an entrepreneur who has both of these traits in huge quantities, and her passion for what she does is infectious. Her popular Talk Show, StylewithRoseS, is must-watch television.Read More
You need a game plan to handle success and money....
“I don’t think there is anything more difficult to handle than success. I think success is harder to handle than failure. In failure you wallow, you just cry and life goes on. Success has to be sustained and it is harder to sustain than to get it. So when you get your money, what is your game plan?”
– Joanne Mwangi founded Professional Marketing Services Group in Kenya in 1996. Today her company has five subsidiaries and a presence across East Africa. Joanne has steered the PMS Group from a small agency to a leading full service marketing and communications group. In 2010, PMS was voted number one in the Top 100 SME competition in Kenya. Joanne also won the Lady Entrepreneur of the Year award at the same competition sponsored by the Nation Media Group and KPMG. She is also the chairperson of the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs Associations (FEWA), an organisation that seeks to create an enabling business environment for women.Read More
"Keep things simple. That way, they work!"
- Edith Venter is the doyenne of event management in South Africa. She is the founder of Edith Unlimited, taking the world of prestigious and glamorous event management to a whole new level, in keeping with the style and elegance she is well known for. Today, she is also a highly sought after motivational speaker, a role model to millions of South African women, and a tireless campaigner and fundraiser for the causes she is passionate about.Read More
"Our challenge is to create collaborative enterprises that can scale much faster than an individual entity. By collaborating with others, we build teams of smart entrepreneurs with diverse expertise, working together to solve problems."
- Tumi Frazier is a South African entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, TV personality, consultant, and founder of Tumi Frazier International, Tumi Leadership Academy, and Tumi Foundation. She is an internationally acclaimed Leadership and Change Management expert who has worked with high profile clients and organizations across Africa, United States and Europe. Tumi has authored 4 books: Courageous Stories of Inspiration; In the Midst of the Storm; Stepping Stones to Success; and Your Moment.Read More
Get the ball rolling immediately....
"Set a concrete deadline for when to start and begin working toward that deadline. We tend to keep procrastinating because we think we are not yet ready, but it’s very rare to get to that point where you feel you are 100% ready. So just plan well and start with what you’ve got."
- Teta Isibo is the creative mind behind Inzuki a dynamic young Rwandan brand specializing in jewelry, accessories and interior decor hand-made primarily from local materials. With no background in fashion or business, Teta quit her job as an urban planner with the city of Kigali to start her own business. Today Inzuki (bees in the local language) is part of a wider Rwandan cultural Renaissance. The company’s product design philosophy is a fusion of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary style, which has helped Teta gain a pool of clients from South Africa to the USA.Read More
Never fail on your vision....
"Look beyond your competition and never fail on the vision you aspire to for your brand and yourself! Eventually someone will believe in you….and your product!"
- Brenda Wilkinson is the co-owner and Marketing Manager of Rio Largo Olive Estate, a multi-award winning estate, situated in the Scherpenheuwel valley between Worcester and Robertson in South Africa. The Estate comprises olive orchards, vines, an olive specific nursery and a state of the art OLIOMIO olive processing and bottling plant. Brenda is a never say no, serial entrepreneur and marketing specialist who has previously created Leisure Seekers Guide to Hotels and Lodges in Zambia, run her own school, and produced wicker and wrought iron furniture in Malawi. A natural collaborator, Brenda is also currently working with Sarah Taylor and Zikhona Tefu, two women entrepreneurs who are using olive oil to build their own beauty and skincare brands.Read More
“Morocco is at the top of Africa. Until I reach Morocco with Summit (one of Keroche’s beer brands) and go all the way down to South Africa, I am not stopping. I will never say I am tired because there is still more ahead.”
- Tabitha Karanja is founder and CEO of Keroche Breweries. She is one of Kenya's leading entrepreneurs, a remarkable trailblazer and an example of a woman made good against all the odds. Tabitha chose to venture where none before her had dared. She took on an 87-year-old business monopoly and entered an industry with a deeply entrenched male gender stereotype. Tabitha broke the mould to become Kenya’s first home-grown beer and alcoholic drink manufacturer. Today, her company's state-of-the-art production facility is targeting 20% of the Kenyan market.Read More
"Never listen to anybody who tells you, you can’t do it. You know you can so just get on with it.”
- 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
It's not easy, but stay focused on your dream....
“It’s not an easy road. You will get people who will disappoint you… but you need to stay focused on your dream. We all learn and become better through our mistakes and challenges.”
– Lilly Alfonso is a Malawian fashion designer who founded a fashion design label that bears her name, evolving over the years to become one of the top fashion brands in Malawi. The whole phenomenon was born out of Lilly’s pure passion as a fashion designer, having discovered her passion at an early age. Today, Lilly Alfonso is an internationally known brand and she has showcased her designs on international runways at the Africa Fashion week London 2012 and 2013, Barcelona Africa fashion week, and the Africa fashion reception Paris .Read More
“Women are the corner stone of African economic development and are currently under represented. I think it’s time for a balance in the business arena throughout the continent. Women hold dynamic and valuable characteristics which are an asset to the business terrain.”
– Banke Kuku is founder and CEO of Banke Kuku Textiles, a company she started in 2011. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Banke moved to the United Kingdom at age eight giving her the innate ability to cross-pollinate traditional African and Western culture to create unique, luxurious fabrics for the interior and fashion industries. Anointed by leading commentators as the ‘Queen of Colour’, Banke promotes African tradition and culture through her exquisite textiles sold in the major capitals of the world and supports and promotes local textile mills in Nigeria. Her interiors range can be been found in major retailers like Selfridges London, and her fashion fabric designs have graced the catwalks of London, Paris and New York.Read More
Passion will carry you through....
"If you plan to go into business, choose something that you are absolutely passionate about. The passion will carry you through when the going gets tough. I still get joy from sitting behind the machine and making a special piece as I do designing the special pieces."
- Narcissi Madisha is the founder of Kameo Kids in South Africa, a company that manufactures and sells girls wear, from ages 2-12 years. All of Narcissi's clothing items are produced locally in South Africa. Inspired by her own daughter, Narcissi is passionate about creating stylish, comfortable and unique children's fashion. She has a strong business and retail background with 13 years’ experience in Retail Buying in both Fashion and FMCG with some of the biggest retailers in the country.Read More
Lorna Rutto is a Kenyan eco-preneur, and the inspiring founder of EcoPost, a social enterprise created in response to the need to find alternative waste management solutions to Kenya's huge plastic waste problem. In 2009 she founded her company, which collects plastic waste and manufactures commercially viable, highly durable, and importantly environmentally friendly fencing posts, used widely across Kenya. In 2011, Lorna was recognised by the prestigious Cartier Women's Initiative Awards as their laureate for sub-Saharan Africa.Read More
A Success mindset = success outcomes in business, that’s according to Loren Fogelman, author of The Success Solution. She believes that focusing on what’s do-able helps you succeed. She asserts that anyone can be a success — high performance isn’t the trademark of talented entrepreneurs alone. She says thatmindset colors everything you do, in and on your business. Mastering your thoughts and harnessing your energy for high performance is critical to success in every area of your life. Strategically tap into your highest potential and soar to the top.Read More
Like in ballet, let’s assume 3 positions to sum up what compels and sustains the entrepreneur. First position, the power of a well-developed idea and executed plan gives you the opportunity to audition. Second position gives you access to contracts which provides further opportunity to prove your ability and credibility to deliver. As your offering is selected and you deliver to high standards, a time may come to expand which gives you the third position.Read More
I have followed the subject of Performance Appraisals closely for the past few years. Many people feel that the standard appraisal is a thing of the past, but even with the changes in the industry it has been said that employee engagement levels have not improved over the last ten years. So what can be done about this situation, particularly for small businesses.Read More
When you sign an agreement, the general rule is that you are bound by what you sign – this is why it is very important that you read your contracts before entering into them and, whenever possible, appoint an attorney to assist you.Read More
As far as the accounting of your business is concerned, there are a few key reports that share vital information about your business with relevant stakeholders, these statements can also be used by the entrepreneur as an indicator of the financial health of their business. One of these reports being the statement of cash flows.Read More
Moms and daughters alike know what fun fashion and shopping for great clothes can be, and Narcissi Madisha, founder of Kameo Kids, has just the brand for them. She is creating fashionable yet comfortable clothes for young girls who want to express their own individual style from a young age.Read More
The ability to see possibility in what others see as simply waste is a real talent, and that is something that Innovative Waste Design (IWD) founder, Colleen Deetlefs has in large quantities. She has a creative eye, combined with the business acumen to turn waste into beautiful and practical new products that have a great back story and a positive environmental footprint.Read More
"Something small can create an impact, .... You don’t have to have a lot of money to start a business. You can start small, but you must have a passion for what you’re doing."
- Joy Ndungutse and Janet Nkubana, co-founded Gahaya Links Cooperatives shortly after the Rwandan genocide ended in 1994. These inspiring sisters had a vision to turn ancient basket weaving skills into a source of livelihood for thousands of rural women. Many of the women, like Janet and Joy themselves, were returning refugees or survivors of the genocide. The women started weaving baskets in exchange for food. Initially bringing together about twenty women, the sisters taught them how to weave and how to enhance their weaving skills with new design techniques. Today Gahaya Links has grown to include over 5,000 women weavers in 52 different cooperatives across Rwanda, providing much needed income and stability. The sisters have successfully opened the business to international markets, partnering with the likes of Macy’s, Walmart, Oprah Magazine, and Kate Spade. Today, Gahaya Links "Peace Baskets” are sold and admired the world over.Read More