On 15 September 2016, around 85 of Johannesburg’s women entrepreneurs representing all sectors of business and industry, and at all stages of their business journeys, gathered for a morning of inspirational startup story sharing and great networking at the latest in the highly successful series of Lioness Lean In Breakfast events. As always in this popular Lioness Lean In destination, the event took place in the city’s Rosebank district at the Standard Bank Business Incubator where the surroundings create a great entrepreneurial vibe for all those attending.
The Lioness Lean In Breakfast events are proving to be a huge hit with women entrepreneurs who come from across the country to listen to other successful women business brand builders share their stories and to network. On arrival, the attendees immediately got on with the main business of the morning, enjoying great coffee andbreakfast created by the ever popular entrepreneurial team at Roast Republic, and of course, networking - lots of it!
The morning’s programme was launched by Lionesses of Africa founder and ceo, Melanie Hawken, who after welcoming attendees and guest speakers, shared her own personal story of becoming a social entrepreneur and the inspiration behind the creation of Lionesses of Africa.
The first guest speaker to be welcomed to the podium was Johannesburg-based entrepreneur, Nikki Davies, founder of Orchard Foods, a unique company producing freshly made, organic baby and infant foods, all from natural ingredients with no additives. She shared her unique journey from producing small batch jars of baby food in her home kitchen, to where she is today building an ever growing business with a national distribution footprint across South Africa.
Continuing Lionesses of Africa’s support for the global #ChooseArtisan campaign, next to share her story was Sinoneliso Xaba, founder of Egoli Textile Designs. She told the audience where the inspiration came from for starting her company, sharing her desire to innovate African print textiles by offering a range of ethically produced African textiles and fashion, inspired by indigenous designs, infused with a new, fresh and modern approach.
The final guest speaker for the morning was Aleshia van der Ploeg, founder of VDP Legal Consulting, who gave an insightful talk about how she made the move from the world of working in law firms as an employee to an entrepreneurial life as a legal consulting firm. Today her company, VDP Legal Consulting, provides her with the opportunity to live her working life on her own terms whilst fulfilling her passion for providing expert legal advice to those SMEs and startups who need it.
Wrapping up the event was Jayshree Naidoo, Head of the Standard Bank Business Incubator and a passionate supporter of women entrepreneurs across the African continent and the work of Lionesses of Africa. She announced to the audience the launch of the Lionesses of Africa Business Accelerator, an exciting new initiative developed to help women entrepreneurs move their businesses to the next level and into major corporate supply chains.
Lionesses of Africa founder and ceo, Melanie Hawken, said of the success of this latest Lioness Lean In Breakfast event:
“What I love about every Lioness Lean In Breakfast event that we hold is that we are able to come together as women entrepreneurs in a wonderful spirit of sharing, collaboration and inspiration. The atmosphere created by such amazing entrepreneurial talent and passionate business owners at each highly individual event is simply electric.”
For more information on the Lioness Lean In Breakfast event series and to book a place at an event near you, click on http://www.lionessesofafrica.com/events/