As International Women’s Day celebrations finally came to a close, Lionesses of Africa and Facebook collaborated on a very special Changemakers Breakfast event in Hyde Park, Johannesburg on the morning of 11 March. The event brought together around 100 leading women entrepreneurs from the city to network and to hear from inspirational fellow women business and brand builders. The highlight of the morning was hearing from Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Marketing Solutions, who flew into the city as a very special guest speaker for the morning. It was a truly inspirational, change-making morning for everyone there.
The morning event started out with welcome remarks from Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa, and from Tetlanyo Lekalake, Facebook Country Marketing Lead (Africa, Middle East & Turkey).
“Women entrepreneurs can be incredibly positive Changemakers in our community, our city, our country, across Africa, and across the World — and this is at the heart of why I launched our Lionesses of Africa project back in 2014. I truly believe in the power of a community of women entrepreneurs to come together to make real change happen and this belief is at the heart of our ethos. In fact, the belief in Changemakers is in the DNA of Lionesses of Africa.”
— Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo, Lionesses of Africa
Every woman entrepreneur needs inspiration along their business journeys and where better to get that inspiration than from fellow women who are building successful businesses and brands. So what could be more inspirational as a means of celebrating International Women’s Day this year than by bringing together a room full of South Africa’s leading and up-and-coming women entrepreneurs to celebrate, to share experiences, and to hear the stories of those who are successful navigating the world of entrepreneurship in the country. Lionesses of Africa and Facebook came together to collaborate on a special event that celebrated Africa’s Women Changemakers and to showcase women entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their business and industry sectors, and to the lives of others through their businesses.
After setting the scene for the morning’s event, the programme highlight came in the form of a fireside chat led by Facebook Africa CEO, Nunu Ntshingila and Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Marketing Solutions who was visiting South Africa. The two chatted about the challenges and opportunities for women entrepreneurs, and shared personal experiences of juggling both business and personal life. It made for a fascinating conversation.
Other highlights include a Panel Discussion featuring some of South Africa’s entrepreneurial women changemakers. The session was moderated by Tetlanyo Lekalake, and featured Phuti Mahanyele, Executive Chairman, Sigma Capital, and former CEO of the Shanduka Group; Vika Shipalana, Founder & CEO of VBS Luxury Group; Gugu Nkabinde, Founder & CEO of Gugu Intimates - Africa's first skin coloured underwear range; and Linda Mabhena-Olagunju, Founder & CEO of DLO Energy Resources (Pty) Ltd a wholly black female owned energy investment and advisory company. It was a powerful and fascinating end to a great International Women’s Day celebration by Lionesses of Africa and Facebook this year.