The potential for greater collaboration and trade between Germany and the African continent has never been more exciting, and particularly for women entrepreneurs. That’s why the 2nd Startup Night Africa event which is taking place on 20 March in Berlin, hosted by the BMWi in partnership with Lionesses of Africa and championed by Minister Brigitte Zypries, comes at exactly the right time.
Following hot on the heels of last year’s hugely successful Startup Night Africa event in Berlin, Lionesses of Africa is kickstarting the year’s global women’s entrepreneur showcase event programme back in this exciting city. On the evening of 20 March, Lionesses of Africa founder and CEO, Melanie Hawken, will be joining Minister Brigitte Zypries and other leading entrepreneurial eco-system players, to showcase and celebrate digital entrepreneurs from both Germany and Africa. Lionesses of Africa has selected 2 leading women entrepreneurs to pitch their innovative digital platforms, apps and solutions to big business, government, investors and influencers at the event.
The first of these women entrepreneurs to pitch will be Dorcas Muthoni, founder of Open World in Kenya, who has developed a game-changing new app called Open Business, which is an affordable point of sale app giving micro-entrepreneurs the tools to run and grow their businesses by keeping track of sales and inventory in real time. Also pitching will be Jacqueline Rogers, founder of My Pregnancy Journey, and the creator of a new life-changing app for Africa’s expectant moms. It provides relevant, local content on a wide range of subjects relevant to those women who need a wealth of information on their pregnancy, but often can’t access it when they need it.
Commenting on the partnership between Lionesses of Africa and the BMWi for the Startup Night Africa Berlin event, Melanie Hawken said:
“For many women entrepreneurs in Africa, getting access to key global markets is a real challenge. There is a need to provide powerful platforms where established and up-and-coming women entrepreneurs on the continent who are developing innovative solutions and products can showcase their businesses to the world’s buyers, influencers and decision-makers. Such a platform is the Startup Night Africa event in Berlin, and its track record in giving exposure to some of the most innovative women digital entrepreneurs on the African continent speaks for itself. Thanks to such key global champions as Minister Brigitte Zypries who had the vision to launch such an initiative in the first place, Africa’s women entrepreneurs are getting the attention of important global markets which is key to their future growth.”
A great example of this impact can be seen in the five inspirational women who participated in last year’s event and who are really taking their businesses to the next level, following their showcase and exposure in Germany. These included Vere Shaba, founder and Director at Shaba & Ramplin Green Building Solutions in South Africa; Brenda Katwesigye, founder of WaziVision in Uganda; Josephine Marie Godwyll, founder of Young At Heart GH in Ghana; Benji Coetezee, founder and ceo of EmptyTrips in South Africa; and Temie Giwa-Tubosun, founder of LifeBank in Nigeria.
The programme for the Startup-Night Africa event, which will be held once again at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Berlin, will be opened by Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy in Germany. She will provide the official welcome and also give an overview to what the Ministry is doing to support German-African economic development collaboration and partnerships, particularly in the field of digitization and innovation. Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa, has been invited to be part of a keynote speech panel, talking about the growth of women’s entrepreneurship on the African continent and some of the game changing businesses that are emerging. The highlight of the event will be the pitching sessions. The first round will focus on African startup enterprises creating innovative digital solutions for the African and German markets. The second round will be for German startup enterprises that have developed interesting business models for Africa. The third round will see well-established German enterprises willing to collaborate with African startups on new digital developments. The event will close with a poster session featuring many of the participants and networking.