It now feels like 2017 has well and truly got underway with the first two Lioness Lean In Breakfast events having taken place. The first in Cape Town on 21st February and the second in Johannesburg on 23rd February. At each event, women entrepreneurs representing all sectors and sizes of business gathered for a morning of inspirational startup story sharing and great networking.
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 at both venues, Workshop 17 in Cape Town, and the Standard Bank Business Incubator in Rosebank, Johannesburg, the attendees immediately got on with the main business of the morning, enjoying breakfast and of course, networking - lots of it!
At the first of the month’s Lioness Lean In Breakfast events in Cape Town, the morning’s programme was launched by Lionesses of Africa founder and ceo, Melanie Hawken, who got the event underway by recapping on some of the highlights of the previous year and informing attendees of great new initiatives to look forward to this year. The first speaker to be welcomed to share her startup story was Amanta Hooman, founder of Flavour Union, a unique specialist food company harnessing nature’s wonderful luxury food, the truffle, and combining it with South African ingredients to make something truly special. Next up was Yolanda Methvin, founder of Litha Flora, a proudly African company creating luxury herbal teas and specialist skin and body care products all celebrating the unique flora of the Western Cape. Yolanda gave everyone the opportunity to sample her brand at first hand with a special herbal tea-tasting. Wrapping up the event was a familiar face to the Lioness Lean In Breakfast series, Nomusa Ndwandwe, Senior Manager Small Enterprise at Standard Bank, and a passionate supporter of women entrepreneurs across the African continent. Nomusa shared valuable insights into what the bank is doing through its Incubator to empower and support women entrepreneurs
At the second of the month’s Lioness Lean In Breakfast events in Johannesburg on 23rd February, Lionesses of Africa founder and ceo, Melanie Hawken, got the event underway by encouraging every woman entrepreneur in the room to make at least one new business connection during the morning. She then shared some of the highlights of her recent visit to the US where she met with the inspirational serial entrepreneur and author, Julia Pimsleur, whose new book Million Dollar Women is a best seller. Julia kindly gave a signed copy of her book for one lucky draw winner at the event, Tumie Letsoenyo, Managing Director of 7Crowns Group who accepted her prize from Melanie. The first guest speaker to be welcomed to share her startup story on the morning was Vere Shaba, founder of Shaba and Ramplin Green Building Solutions and the recent winner of the inaugural GE Lionesses of Africa Innovation Challenge competition. Vere gave a really insightful presentation on what it means to build a sustainable green energy company from scratch and shared the challenges along the way. Next up was Vicki Bain, co-founder of Chocoloza, a unique luxury handmade chocolate company based in Johannesburg and combining the finest Belgian chocolate with wonderful South African ingredients. Her presentation was both entertaining and highly insightful, and to round off a great story sharing session Vicki generously gave a luxury presentation box of chocolates to the lucky ticket winner, Bonini Botle Kusano, founder of Bonini Inc, a specialist coaching and personal growth consultancy. Vicki also presented five lucky prize draw winners with tickets to attend a special chocolate making workshop at her Chocoloza store in 44 Stanley Avenue, Johannesburg. The winners were Sharon Sao of Odd Wine Out; Lynette Warfield of Arete of Hair; Jolly Mokorosi Asili of Asili Natural; Winile Nzalo of Diana Gordon Consulting; and Martie Cronje of Complete VA. The lucky winners will all get the opportunity to experience the art of handmade luxury chocolate making at Vicki’s March workshops. The last guest speaker to head to the podium was Tashmeen Authar, co-founder of Rollasoles Africa, the African distributor of the unique roll-up shoes in a can concept. Tashmeen shared her unique startup story and gave the women attendees in the audience the opportunity to experience this unique retail footwear concept. Finally, to round off the proceedings, Nomusa Ndwandwe, Senior Manager Small Enterprise at Standard Bank, once again shared valuable insights into what the bank is doing through its Incubator to empower and support women entrepreneurs. The event was brought to a close by the final giveaway of the day, presented by Margie Kienast of A1 Yellow, who gave away a wonderful online advertising package to lucky winner Debbie Botha of APSO.
Lionesses of Africa founder and ceo, Melanie Hawken, said of the success of these latest Lioness Lean In Breakfast events:
“Each of the Lioness Lean In Breakfast events we host has a different personality, due to the women entrepreneurs who attend and their businesses which are all unique and cover a myriad of business and industry sectors. This makes for an incredible dynamic as these women entrepreneurs not only look for inspiration and motivation in their own businesses, but also use the event as a means of meeting potential collaborators, customers and mentors.”
The next series of Lioness Lean In Breakfast events in South Africa are taking place in Durban on Tuesday 28th March and Johannesburg on 30th March. For more information and to book a place, click on http://www.lionessesofafrica.com/events/