November was an exciting month for Lionesses of Africa, a rapidly growing network of 250,000 women entrepreneurs on the African continent, as it officially launched in Maputo, Mozambique with the first Lioness Lean In Breakfast Event in the country. The event, which was held on the morning of 17 November 2016, was powered by Standard Bank in partnership with Shell and held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the city.
The hugely popular Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led startups. The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format that is highly popular with women entrepreneurs in Africa, and which has been organized in different city locations across South Africa for the past year by Lionesses of Africa in partnership with Standard Bank.
The two-and-a-half hour event, commenced with breakfast and networking, followed by an introduction by Lionesses of Africa founder and ceo, Melanie Hawken, who said:
“This was truly a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in Maputo as it gave them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses in the country; it allowed them to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all - and 'got the T-shirt’ in the world of business and brand building; it provided an excellent opportunity for networking with speakers and participants who all share a passion for advancing women entrepreneurs in Mozambique; and it offered the chance to ask questions and get advice that can help take women entrepreneurs to the next level in the country.”
The line-up of guest speakers at the Lioness Lean In Breakfast event in Maputo includes Melanie Hawken, Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa; Sasha Vieira, Responsável: Incubadora, Standard Bank Moçambique; Ana Alecia, founder and Managing Director of Bio Oleos; Garcia Sequeira, Executive Director of ITIS - Instituto de Technologica Inovacao e Servicos; and Sofia Cassimo, Serial Entrepreneur and Women’s Empowerment Specialist.
Commenting on their participation at the Lioness Lean In Breakfast event in Maputo, Ana Alecia, founder and Managing Director of Bio Oleos, said:
“I am thrilled to have the chance to connect with such a vibrant community. Lionesses celebrates and supports the real experiences of women in business, with all the hurdles and balancing acts that come with being an entrepreneur in a challenging climate. It can be easy to feel isolated in the intensity of my day-to-day work, but linking with this network represents opportunities that I know I can use to grow my capacity to make the changes I want to see.”
Alecia’s comments were echoed by her fellow speaker, serial entrepreneur Sofia Cassimo, who said:
"I am extremely happy to participate in this initiative for the first time. For me it is something that has a special value, because one of the things that I lacked most at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey was to have someone to talk to.There is a place where I could interact And share experiences with other entrepreneurs. What comes out of events and networks like this is special and above all relevant.”
Commenting on the unique atmosphere of the event and her experience of listening to the other women entrepreneurs participating, speakerand entrepreneur Gercia Sequeira said:
“It was unique to take part in listening to the life stories of women who, like me, give space for their dream and creativity to become a reality and a brand. More than a movement is a space where we feel connected by challenges, strength, failures, goals achieved, creative ideas. Participating has made me feel strong, unshakable, integrated into something much bigger, being part of this event and movement is the beginning of my journey towards internationalization.”
The inaugural Lioness Lean In Breakfast Event in Mozambique, represented a great partnership between Lionesses of Africa and Standard Bank, and their in-country partner, Shell. It is the first event in what will be a year-long roll-out of the Lionesses of Africa initiative in the country. The hugely popular Lioness Lean In Breakfast Event Series for women entrepreneurs will be rolling out in 20 different locations across the African continent over the coming year, all in partnership with Standard Bank.
For more information on future Lioness Lean In Breakfast Events in Maputo in 2017, or on the forthcoming Africa roll-out programme, contact Melanie Hawken via email firstname.lastname@example.org or Sasha Viera via email Sasha.Vieira@standardbank.co.mz