The Lioness Lean In roadshow across the African continent continued at a pace this month, with Lusaka in Zambia experiencing its first event on 10th May. Once again, Stanbic Bank partnered with Lionesses of Africa to host the latest in a series of highly popular Lioness Lean In Breakfast events to showcase and empower women entrepreneurs. Lionesses of Africa is a rapidly growing network of over 360,000 women entrepreneurs in 49 African countries and across the Diaspora.
The hugely popular Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led startups. The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format that is highly popular with women entrepreneurs in Africa, and which has been organized in different city locations across South Africa and the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa in partnership with Standard Bank Group.
The event kicked off with a unique startup story from the MC for the morning, the vivacious Rosemary Sibisi, an entrepreneur in her own right and host of the TV chat show Style with Roses in Lusaka. She shared her personal journey to building not just a personality led business, but also a media brand that is now poised to grow. Representing the event hosts, Stanbic Bank, country chief executive, Mr Charles Mudiwa gave the opening welcome and talked about the importance of women entrepreneurs building substantial and sustainable businesses that could help to move the country and the continent forward. Next on the programme was the founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa, Melanie Hawken. She gave an introduction to the mission and vision for Lionesses of Africa to empower and support 1 million women on the African continent by 2018, and shared some highly personal stories of women entrepreneurs around the African continent who are part of the network and currently taking the world by storm with their businesses.
One of the highlights of the morning’s events were the two guest speakers, both women entrepreneurs, who came along to share their inspirational startup stories of how they built their multiple businesses over time, and how they overcame the challenges in their lives and in their businesses. First up to the speaker platform was Ruth Mbewe, a serial entrepreneur and the founder of RM Farms, a highly successful poultry business, and also the Mag Codrington Institute of Education and Hospitality, her education and training business. She was followed by Beatrice Simuusa, founder of Mercari Enterprises, and a highly experienced serial entrepreneur who shared her very personal story of building multiple businesses throughout her career in many diverse sectors.
The final highlight of a packed programme came from the Honourable Victoria Kalima, the Minister of Gender, Government of Zambia, who took the opportunity to not only speak about the support from the government for women entrepreneurs, but also to share her own experience of being a successful entrepreneur and business builder in her own right. This approach was really well received by the women entrepreneurs in the audience who were able to relate to the Minister’s experiences and insights.
Commenting on the event, Melanie Hawken said: “This was a great Lioness Lean In Breakfast event, providing a chance for women entrepreneurs in Lusaka to come together and network, to inspire on another, and hopefully build friendships and business relationships for the long term. It provided a wonderful opportunity for everyone to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses in their own country. It allowed 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 provided an excellent opportunity for networking with speakers and participants who all share a passion for advancing women entrepreneurs in Zambia; and it offered the chance to ask questions and get advice that can help take women entrepreneurs to the next level in the country.”
Lionesses of Africa is rolling out its popular Lioness Lean In Breakfast Event Series for women entrepreneurs in 20 different locations across the African continent this year, all in partnership with Standard Bank Group.
For more information on the Lioness Lean In Breakfast Event series in Africa, contact Melanie Hawken via email firstname.lastname@example.org