It’s always a special occasion when Lionesses of Africa visits a new city to host a Lioness Lean in event, and that was certainly the case on 9 August when Maun in Botswana was the host location. 100 women entrepreneurs gathered to share, inspire and connect for business success in the latest Lioness Lean In event in the country.
The sun came out, spirits were high, and women entrepreneurs came out in their numbers to attend the second Lioness Lean In event of the year to be held in Botswana. Once again, Lionesses of Africa partnered with Stanbic Bank and Liberty Life Botswana in the country to create a powerful morning of business networking, startup story sharing, and product browsing (and shopping) at the women entrepreneur exhibition running alongside the main event.
The programme for the morning was launched by Nomalanga Sitole, Lioness Lean In Enterprise Ambassador. Nomalanga formally got proceedings underway when she shared Lionesses of Africa’s major focus for the next 3 years at Lionesses of Africa which is supporting women entrepreneurs who are the job creators that this continent so badly needs. It is estimated that Africa needs 50,000 jobs to be created each day, just to stay still. She shared that the top four job creating sectors for women entrepreneurs in Africa are Agri - an important sector in Botswana; Artisan Enterprise; Fashion; and Beauty & Wellness. Nomalanga outlined that these sectors provide an exciting and growing opportunity for women entrepreneurs to create world class products, businesses and brands that are starting to gain market appeal at home and abroad.
Next to the speaker podium to provide a warm welcome on behalf of co-host Stanbic Bank was Omphemetse Dube, Head of Personal Markets in Botswana. She spoke about the range of products and services that the bank has developed specifically to support women entrepreneurs and their businesses.
The programme for the morning then formally got underway with what is always the highlight of the morning - the startup story sharing from successful women entrepreneurs in Botswana. First up was Hannah Bontle Lecha, ceo of the Leadershift Institute. Hannah, a certified coach, speaker and trainer, and a “tell-it-as-it” transformational thought leader, talked about her role as a meaningful disruptor, who is passionate about helping people to reach their full potential. Hannah, a serial entrepreneur and business owner involved in several business ventures, amongst them human potential development, hospitality and the real estate industry, shared her personal entrepreneurial journey with the audience.
The second guest speaker was Ncini Moitsadi, founder of Kwa Ga Ncinci and a leading entrepreneur in the food industry in Botwsana. Ncinci talked about how her 10 years experience has turned her passion for food into a thriving and sustainable business. She spoke about her ambition to take her business to other countries, and to inspire other chefs to fulfill their own dreams in the food industry.
The third guest speaker of the morning proved to be a big hit. Nonny Wright, founder of Lopey Inc which is better known by its trading name Sereledi, is a young female dairy farmer in Maun and a member of the Executive Committee of the Botswana National Dairy Association. In 2015, she launched her dairy brand, Sereledi, which today offers 2 flavours of drinking yogurt, madila and fresh milk, all of which are currently sold in Maun. Nonny shared her own personal journey to becoming a successful agripreneur in Botswana and her aspirations for the future of her business and brand.
Next on the programme was a constant favourite feature at Lioness Lean In events - the Lioness Launch platform. Nomalanga firstly showcased several women entrepreneurs from around the African continent launching new products and services during the month. These included Dorothy Mofomme, fouder of Nalydia Foods in South Africa, who was launching a new, natural food solution for the young, elderly and sick consumer; Malawian fashion entrepreneur, Lilly Alfonso, well known around the world for her couture designerwear, launching her new designer sports and leisure wear brand LaSport; Natasha Buchler and Annie Rudnick, founders of Akojo Market, launching a new pan African digital marketplace for Africa’s design entrepreneurs; Debbie Ncube, founder of Eden All Natural, expanding her food processing business with the launch of a new, proudly South African peanut butter range with exciting taste sensations; and finally from Botswana, Mavis Nduchwa, founder of Chabana Farms, recently launching the country’s first honey processing factory, to produce a range of beautiful local honey including the rare white honey, yellow honey and black honey.
Nomalanga then invited five local women entrepreneurs from Maun to the stage to present their new businesses, products and services in 1 minute each. This is always a great opportunity for women entrepreneurs to get much needed exposure for their businesses and brands.
Closing remarks for the morning came from Lulu Rasebotsa, Managing Director of Liberty Life Botswana, the other co-impact partner for the Lioness Lean In series in Botswana. Lulu shared her knowledge and business insight gained over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry.
Nomalanga wrapped up a successful morning’s programme by sharing how women entrepreneurs in Botswana can join the Lionesses of Africa and start accessing all the tools and resources available including getting copies of Good Morning Lionesses daily newsletter and The Mix weekly digital magazine, plus links to the Lioness Radio Show. She ended the formal programme by extending a big thank you to both impact partners, Stanbic Bank and Liberty Life Botswana, for their support for the growth and development of women entrepreneurs in the country. The event formally ended with more networking at the exhibition.