This week, on Thursday 21 March, the hugely popular Lioness Lean In events are heading to Eswatini for the first time, giving women entrepreneurs in the country the opportunity to share their business building stories, inspire one another, and connect for greater business success. The Lioness Lean In Eswatini events are being hosted in partnership with Standard Bank. True to the bank’s Brand Philosophy in the country - “Eswatini is our Home, We Drive Her Growth” - Standard Bank is encouraging the leading women entrepreneurs in its network to connect with fellow women in business from the Lionesses of Africa community at this first Lioness Lean In event to be held at the Royal Villas.
The morning’s agenda will commence 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 will then formally get underway with opening remarks and a welcome address from Lionesses of Africa’s Lean In Ambassador for Southern Africa Region, Ms Hlubi Mboya Arnold, and Standard Bank Head of Business Banking, Nomfundo Myeni.
Presenting an overview of the work of Lionesses of Africa to empower and support 1 million women entrepreneurs across the African continent, Hlubi Mboya Arnold will share some of the major initiatives currently being rolled out by Lionesses of Africa and also plans for the remainder of the year ahead in Eswatini and beyond.
Speaking in advance of the event, Lionesses of Africa founder and ceo, Melanie Hawken, commented:
Eswatini is a growing centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here. The event allows them to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all - and 'got the T-shirt’ in the world of business and brand building. It also provides an excellent opportunity for networking with speakers and participants who all share a passion for advancing women entrepreneurs in Eswatini.”
Other highlights on the programme include the showcase of leading business women entrepreneurs from Eswatini who will each be given the opportunity to share their start up stories with the audience, to showcase their products and services, and importantly, to talk about their personal experiences of building their businesses. Women entrepreneurs to be showcased include: Swane Meyburgh, founder of Alpha; Busisiwe Ndlela, managing director of BBX Pty Ltd; Sylvia Mthethwa, founder of Progress Stationery; and Thokozile Vilakati-Jele, Ocean Basket Franchisee, Eswatini.
A new element in the event programme is the Lioness Launch session, introducing women entrepreneurs who are launching exciting new products and services across the continent and the Diaspora during the month of March. As part of Lioness Launch, Hlubi will also offer the opportunity to 5 women entrepreneurs in the audience to pitch their own new products, services and businesses to the rest of the gathering, giving them important exposure and access to new markets. Hlubi will then return to the speaker podium to announce some exciting new initiatives that will benefit the women entrepreneurs of Eswatini over the coming weeks.
The event will 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 Standard Bank, The Head of Business Banking, Nomfundo Myeni said they are excited to host this event for the first time in an effort to leverage on the opportunity to speak to the entrepreneurs in attendance about the Bank’s product service offering in line with offering support for the start of Small and Medium enterprises across the country. Nomfundo encouraged women in business not to miss out on an opportunity to engage with other local business women who are making an impact in the world of business saying this is an opportunity for women to rediscover their passion and work towards starting up business ventures in line with the local and regional market needs. Lastly she mentioned that updates regarding the event and speaker profiles will be shared with the local media and the Bank’s social media pages.
For more information on Lionesses of Africa and the Lioness Lean In programme, visit the website www.lionessesofafrica.com