On a beautiful sunshine filled day on 10th November, in the shadow of Table Mountain, 100 women entrepreneurs from across the Western Cape gathered together for the last Lioness Lean In Breakfast event of the year in the city. The venue was once again Workshop 17 in Cape Town’s bustling V&A Waterfront area. In prospect was a morning filled with inspirational startup story sharing from successful women business owners, and great business networking.
As with every Lioness Lean In event across the African continent, the aim of this latest event in Cape Town was to bring women entrepreneurs together from all business sectors and backgrounds to share their personal startup stories, to hear inspirational women entrepreneurs speaking about their personal business journeys to success, to connect with each other for future business and collaboration, and to do some serious networking. And, given the incredible energy and noise levels of women deep in conversation from the minute they arrived, the whole concept of ‘leaning in’ to share ideas, swop stories, and do business, was absolutely understood by everyone.
The event kicked off with a great buffet breakfast, immediate networking, and lots of entrepreneurial story and business card swopping. The main programme got underway with a welcome from Melanie Hawken, Lionesses of Africa founder and ceo, who spoke about the critical role women entrepreneurs are playing in shaping a new and dynamic business environment in the country and on the African continent as a whole. She said: “At every Lioness Lean In event we host across Africa, we see women who are building truly game changing businesses in their countries. They are creating great products that celebrate the continent’s raw materials and resources, they are generating employment for the people in their communities, and they are helping to put Africa on the global map as they take their world class product and service offerings to the world.”
The theme for the morning was on brand building, and the first guest speaker to share her story was Jesslyn Schlamm, founder of the growing natural skincare brand, Lulu and Marula. She talked about the journey of building her brand organically for the first three years, to the point where it could take off and expand nationally and globally. Next up was Simone Musgrave, the inspirational founder of Musgrave Gin, a fast growing, hugely popular brand and the home of a unique pink gin that is exciting the world’s tastebuds right now. She shared her experiences of what it takes to build a new brand in a highly competitive marketplace and how to stand out in it. The last speaker
Vicki Bain, founder of Chocoloza, not only shared her wonderful story of creating her unique brand of lovingly handcrafted, African flavour infused chocolates, but also gave everyone attending the opportunity to sample them for themselves. This was one sure fire way of winning over new friends and customers on the morning. Finally, to talk banking and financial support offerings to women entrepreneurs, was Kgotso Masekwameng, manager, small enterprise, Standard Bank Western Cape, and her team of women banking specialists.
The morning’s formal proceedings ended with lots more networking, business connecting, and of course, sharing of entrepreneurial experiences. It was another great event in a vibrant city that celebrates entrepreneurship.
To find out more about the Lioness Lean In events, go to our website www.lionessesofafria.com/events