On the morning of Wednesday 3 October, leading women entrepreneurs from Lusaka in Zambia gathered together at the Radisson Blu Hotel to be inspired and to connect with their fellow women business and brand builders at the latest Lioness Lean In breakfast event in the country. And it lived up to its promise of a great occasion! The event was cohosted by Lionesses of Africa and NATSAVE (National Savings and Credit Bank).
The Lioness Lean In Breakfast event in Lusaka welcomed over 100 leading women entrepreneurs for a morning of sharing, inspiring and connecting for greater business success. The morning’s agenda commenced with breakfast and networking, with women entrepreneurs getting the opportunity to meet one another, make important connections, and open up new business opportunities. The event programme then formally got under way with a welcome from event MC Paxina. The official opening remarks came in the form of an address by NATSAVE Chief Executive Officer, Mukwandi Chibesakunda, which received enthusiastic applause from the audience.
Next to the speaker podium to present an overview of the work of Lionesses of Africa to empower and support 1 million women entrepreneurs across the African continent was founder and ceo, Melanie Hawken. She shared some of the major initiatives currently being rolled out by Lionesses of Africa and also plans for the remainder of the year ahead.
Speaking in advance of the event, Melanie Hawken commented:
“It’s wonderful to be back in Lusaka and to have the opportunity of connecting with and building our community of women entrepreneurs in the city. It will be good to share news of the various initiatives that Lionesses of Africa is rolling out for these women business builders, and also to showcase their stories and their businesses all this month on all the Lionesses of Africa platforms.”
Other highlights on the programme included the showcase of leading women entrepreneurs from three important industry sectors in Zambia - Crafts, Agriculture and Mining. Three fascinating videos were shown to the audience sharing the story of leading women entrepreneurs making a real difference with their businesses in each of these sectors. Featured entrepreneurs included Janey Fredman and Martha Zulu (Woman Entrepreneurs in Crafts video), Bupe Mulapesi Chipili (Woman Entrepreneur in Agriculture video) and Mary Mphande Lubemba (Woman Entrepreneur in Amethyst Mining video).
Guest of honour at the morning’s event, and giving a keynote address, was Zambia’s Minister of Gender, the Hon. Elizabeth Phiri. She spoke about the importance of empowering Zambia’s women through entrepreneurship and the contribution they can make to the growth and development of the country’s economy.
Lionesses of Africa Founder and CEO, Melanie Hawken, then returned to the speaker podium to announce some exciting new initiatives that will benefit the women entrepreneurs of Zambia.
The event then come to a formal close with a speed networking session, with women entrepreneurs encouraged to introduce and pitch their businesses to one another in one minute. This highly effective way of making new business connections is very popular with women entrepreneurs attending each Lioness Lean In event around the African continent.
Speaking on behalf of NATSAVE, CEO Mukwandi Chibesakunda said:
“This event reaffirms the commitment the bank places on growing and supporting the Zambian entrepreneurs who are key in driving the economy of our country. We are optimistic that this partnership will bring a lot more opportunities and knowledge to Zambia and beyond.”
For more information on Lionesses of Africa and the Lioness Lean In events, go to www.lionessesofafrica.com and to find out more about what NATSAVE is doing to support women entrepreneurs in Zambia, visit their website www.natsave.co.zm