In business, having a good source of legal advice is essential in order to deal effectively with all the challenges that present themselves along the journey. In Angola, one woman entrepreneur lawyer is creating a highly successful business that is helping businesses large and small with their legal needs. Itweva Nogueira, founder of law firm I. N sociedade de Advogados is just the legal advisor that entrepreneurs and business leaders need on their side.
LoA found out more about this expert entrepreneur who is making a real difference in the lives of other businesses.
What does your company do?
We are a Law Firm with a focus on commercial law. We support both established and new businesses, especially new entrepreneurs and startups. From their initial set-up to the daily business advice they need, we grow with our clients.
“We are not just lawyers, we match law and business in our minds, and having someone that understands what a company needs to succeed means it is more like having an ally, not just a service provider.”
What inspired you to start your company?
I love what I do, but sometimes, loving our work and having a family is a real struggle. So I left a top law firm to work on a smaller law firm closer to my daughter’s school. It was a great experience, but I didn’t fit in there. So I left and started working from home. But because I loved to have a career, I decided that I should start step-by-step my own law firm. The environment is very competitive, and difficult especially being a woman and not having a financial sponsor. However, I would not trade this experience for having a boss. Having a boss doesn’t bother me, but I love the adrenaline of experience leadership, growth, and investment.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
We are good at what we do; we listen to our clients, and being an entrepreneur myself helps. We are not just lawyers, we match law and business in our minds, and having someone that understands what a company needs to succeed means it is more like having an ally, not just a service provider.
“I want my company to become an inspiration and an example to other women. This type of business is not easy, especially for women, as they do not mix business and politics.”
Tell us a little about your team
We are a 100% African, women-owned company. My team has me (managing partner), a junior lawyer with large experience in corporate tax, two trainees, one business consultant and an internal accountant. We are efficient, and our size compared to other law firms does not scare or demotivate us.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I do not come from an entrepreneurial background. I’ve only started as an independent lawyer since 2013, and my diligence in having my books organized, and the love for working in compliance with the law, motivated me to start this company. Why continue working alone, when I could work with others that also wanted a better life, and one with better work life balance. I’ve been an entrepreneur for only 6 years, but I’ve learned so much, and can’t ever think that it’s enough. I have a passion for learning to grow.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
In 5 years I want my company to be in the top 10 in terms of law businesses in Angola. I want profitability, but also more knowledge for me and my team. I want my company to become an inspiration and an example to other women. This type of business is not easy, especially for women, as they do not mix business and politics. But it’s possible. I want to make this law firm a reference point for national and international companies operating in and with Angola.
“I want to make this law firm a reference point for national and international companies operating in and with Angola.”
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
To inspire others, to teach what I know, and to help others to succeed.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Don’t give up. Always learn from your mistakes. Be afraid, but continue anyway. Look back to avoid same mistakes, but don’t embrace shame. Always cry, and then get up and walk, do not stop!
Contact or follow I. N sociedade de Advogados
Why LoA loves it….
As women entrepreneurs there is always a challenge trying to get some kind of balance between life and work. And in the legal world, that challenge can be even greater. So it is wonderful to see inspirational women entrepreneurs like Itweva Nogueira prove that it is indeed possible to create businesses that provide both a successful personal career and a successful enterprise. This is definitely one legal firm to watch as it grows and thrives over the coming years in Angola. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa