By Melanie Hawken, founder & editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa
This is a great time to be a woman entrepreneur in Africa. It is a time for the world to sit up and take notice of the millions of women entrepreneurs who are building successful businesses and brands, empowering and uplifting communities, and inspiring others through their efforts across the African continent. The 2nd Women’s Entrepreneurship Day on 19th November 2015, held at the United Nations headquarters in New York as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, will provide an unprecedented opportunity for Africa’s incredible women entrepreneurs to get the world talking.
The aim of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is to celebrate and raise awareness of the extraordinary women entrepreneurs who are changing the face of business in cities and communities around the world. It also hopes to encourage and empower more women to be brave, take the initiative, and realise their own entrepreneurial dreams. Africa’s women entrepreneurs can be real beacons of hope and inspiration in this regard, with millions of women taking their destinies into their own hands and building game-changing companies, social enterprises and award-winning brands in the process.
In developing parts of the world such as on the African continent, empowering women to be more entrepreneurial can lead to greater economic opportunities emerging for women, giving them the direct means with which to reduce poverty in their families, communities and countries. More needs to be done, however, to provide the on-the-ground infrastructure and mind-change necessary to ensure the growth and success of these women entrepreneurs in each country across the continent. Global campaigns such as #ChooseArtisan are playing their part in raising the profile of the incredible artisan entrepreneurs in Africa, those women who are creating beautiful, innovative and world-class products that are capturing the imagination of buyers across the world.
“We will celebrate the unwavering positives that women entrepreneurs bring to the global economy, as well as empower and support future generations.”
— Wendy Diamond – CEO and Founder of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day
Africa has the potential to be a real inspiration to the rest of the world, and with a great story to tell, when it comes to successful women entrepreneurs on the continent. They are fast becoming global game changers with their business enterprises. Take for example Ethiopian entrepreneur, Bethlehem Tilamun Alemu, the founder and inspiration behind the rapidly rising global shoe brand, Sole Rebels, currently taking the world and its feet by storm. Or Tabitha Karanja, founder and CEO of Keroche Breweries, who took on the might of an entrenched, male-dominated beer brewing monopoly in Kenya, and created one of the most successful woman-owned brewing concerns. Or perhaps Victoria Kisyombe, the pioneering microcredit entrepreneur in Tanzania who is empowering thousands of women to become entrepreneurs in their own right, changing the future economic prosperity of families and communities. There are thousands of success stories just like these where women entrepreneurs in Africa are showing the rest of the world how to beat the odds and build a business, no matter what the hurdles or challenges in life. At Lionesses of Africa, we are committed to sharing these inspirational stories and raising the profile of women entrepreneurs who are showing the world that Africa can achieve anything if a new positive culture of entrepreneurship thrives.
“As Africa unites with the rest of the world in commemorating the 2nd Women’s Entrepreneurship Day on 19th November, it is a time to celebrate all those women entrepreneurs who are making Africa proud.”
— Melanie Hawken, Founder and Editor in Chief, Lionesses of Africa
As Africa unites with the rest of the world in commemorating the 2nd Women’s Entrepreneurship Day on 19th November, it is a time to celebrate all those women entrepreneurs who are making Africa proud. They are a true inspiration to the many young aspirant women entrepreneurs of the future who are looking to change the face of African business and make their own mark in the world. It is also a time to support and nurture women’s entrepreneurship in every country across the African continent, at both a government and private sector level. Such support makes good economic sense, as women entrepreneurs and their business ventures have the potential to generate much-needed jobs and revenues, whilst at the same time uplifting families and communities, and contributing exponentially to economic growth and development.
So, this month, let’s all join together in celebration of the 2nd Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, and use it as a source of inspiration for the creation of many more successful women-owned businesses and social enterprises in Africa.