Guest Blog by Clare Kagimu, interior architect and designer and founder of Phoenix Designs
This week, I wish to expand on the urgency of keeping our tabs on all things African, as interest for this market is generating worldwide buzz. I cannot emphasise the need to have shared vision and to stand together in order to see Africa become a viable destination for all things trend-setting.
These people rise up like a lioness;
like a majestic lion they stand.
Hello my fellow Lionesses let me hear you Roar!
It has been another exciting month and what a development the awesome platform Lioness of Africa has become. I for one, I am thoroughly enjoying the new, 'Good Morning Lionesses!' newsletter that we get in our e-mail inboxes every morning. Hugely encouraging and uplifting, I am so encouraged that each new email is a doorway to see more and more talented women and their businesses from across the African continent. Thank you Melanie, truly yet another avenue to help us celebrate a new entrepreneurial day, with tons of inspirational Women at the fore front of this wave of progression.
It is time that women everywhere come together and become a vehicle of Change. Ladies sad to say, but it begins with us. If we are to birth a new era in business, we will have to work together, learn from our strengths and weaknesses, and sponsor and support each other. The power of a shared vision, however independent your own personal entrepreneurial vision may be, is that together it is possible to build a network of women entrepreneurs, deeply passionate in cause, and with a desire to build a new generation of entrepreneurial thinking.
Imagine supporting and funding one another, to see all girls in Africa become women with realised dreams. How? Of that, I am not yet sure, but perhaps someone reading this will have the next step to pave a way. Get in touch with me and we can brain storm.
Though I am fully focused on building my own entrepreneurial venture, my design company @ Phoenix Designs, I cannot help but keep up with the constant publication of new and exciting companies, fashion houses, jewellery and technical start-ups, PA and marketing solution providers, all women-led and all within Africa. The sudden opening of these doors to showcase these amazing new entrepreneurial ventures provides people like me, members of the African diaspora, an opportunity to network and collaborate.
The time is now to connect the best of Africa with a global marketplace. We have moved forward from the dark days of a trade route monopoly that was taken by the west for years. The tide is turning in Africa’s favour, as we have now become the next big business venture destination, according to the likes of Forbes who are forecasting Africa to be the FINAL FRONTER - all eyes are on us now, it’s a fact!
The stage has been set! A new breed of young, super creatives has been birthed in Africa and they are making truly bold statements with their innovative companies. They are giving a voice to the authenticity of their uniquely African skills-sets, products and services, and they are winning global credibility and fans through their work. Africa’s entrepreneurial future lies with them.
It is with such a momentum that we in the Diaspora need to both cross-franchise with these women-led African businesses and brands, and also get them on the global high street. The room here in Western Europe is available for Pop-up shops and street promos. The advantage of proactive media, well-established events and companies who want to collaborate, will make the transition to these new marketplaces quicker, and will get proudly African products into our hands here in Europe that much faster. This window must be taken advantage of now and the time has never been better for Africa’s women entrepreneurs to get in, get established and open up shop. Here in Europe, we need you, and we need your proudly African products.
Perhaps the next level of enhancing your brand lies in mixing the very best that Africa has to offer with the markets in Western Europe - this could be a great way forward.
To all my Lionesses, let us always remember...seasons change. Tomorrow is coming. Your future is unlike any yesterday you have ever known - let us build a global African market together.
Clare Kagimu is an interior architect and designer, originally from Uganda but now living and working in Glasgow in the UK. Her company Phoenix Designs is a branding solutions company, and her portfolio of creative work has included such unique projects as the designing of some of the eye-catching and highly specialised Velodrome suits worn at the prestigious Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, UK. Clare comes from a creative background, her late father Paul Archie Kagimu was one of the pioneering architects of Uganda. Learn more about Clare - read her Startup Story here.
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