Don't try to be a perfectionist....
"When you are starting out, grow organically and take it slow. Don’t fall into the trap of taking out high interest loans and getting into unmanageable debt. Another thing I learnt is not to be seduced by big turnover. If the bottom line is not worth it, it is often better to walk away."
Janet Rhys, co-founder of Charlotte Rhys (South Africa)Read More
Know your numbers….
"Many entrepreneurs do not know their numbers so when they pitch their businesses, the part where investors ask about numbers is always badly answered because entrepreneurs are excellent at what they do but most of them are not accountants."
Hlobisile Shoba, founder of Mafisa Chartered Accountants (South Africa)Read More
Find your path…
“Do not let anyone discourage you. Take time to learn. Spend as much time as possible in the field. You may face discrimination sometimes, but always remain professional and persevere. Know that you represent yourself and those women who will follow your path. Find your path, work hard and let the universe do the rest.”
Tiguidanke Camara, founder of Tigui Mining Group (TMG) (Guinea)Read More
You have to take yourself seriously....
"As women we are often taught to prioritize other people’s expectations and live up to other people’s perceptions of us, and that can be a very difficult space to navigate. So you have to take yourself seriously as an entrepreneur."
Anna Richerby, founder of Beloved Beadwork (South Africa)Read More
Don’t get lonely….
“Being an entrepreneur can be lonely, especially in the beginning. Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs, those who are eager to share their experiences and cheer you on; they don't even have to be in the same industry you are in, as long as they have passion and drive for what they do.”
Masana Sangweni, founder of Sanaandi Events & Hospitality (South Africa)Read More
Remember why you first started....
".... when things seem dire just remember why you first started, because you will get criticized, so just remember the core of your passion and that for me is the Namibian desert and the Himba people. I think of this and it reminds me of how far I have come."
Tammy Nott, founder of Mbiri Natural Skincare (Namibia)Read More
“Things change, sometimes overnight and often without warning – that’s the only thing you can be sure of - remain flexible and ready to adapt your strategies, but not your vision and goals - and get a good accountant right from the start to help you make informed financial decisions.”
Lorna Scott, founder of Inverroche Distillery (South Africa)Read More
Make your business hours work for you and your clients…
“When I started this business I tried to adhere to the rules of 9 to 5. It’s a lie. A whole scam. Your business hours are the ones that work in your business for you and your clients.”
Brigette Mashile, founder of Roka Roko (South Africa)Read More
"I would advise any woman out there to explore their ideas, I mean what is the worst that could happen? Fear is often a hindrance for many, but the greatest thing is that success lies on the other side of fear. Let it all go and just START."
Gloria Otieno, founder of Recours Four Kenya Consultants (Kenya)Read More
"... it is important to know yourself. Understand and believe in your dreams. Give yourself room to research and plan for whatever you are dreaming of venturing into. Giving up isn’t the only way if things get tough ahead. Challenges build you up, and so does criticism. Failures make you unique, so use them and turn them into positives."
Lilly Alfonso, founder of Lilly Alfonso (Malawi)Read More
Networking is vital....
“It can get you through all the right doors. You need to learn to make new connections all the time. They can help a new business in one way or the other. Be careful of people coming into your inner circle just trying to bring you down. Know who your friends are. Take advice from the right people too.”Read More
Start now, start right, start proud and don’t stop....
"Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most importantly, experiences to enjoy. All you need is a burning passion, an open mind and a compassionate heart. There will never be a perfect time to start a business. Start now, start right, start proud and don’t stop. I recommend reading People over Profit by Dale Partridge."
Adenike Akinsemolu, founder of the Green Campus Initiative (Nigeria)Read More
Pursue your dreams now....
"Maybe some of us think it is too late to take on our dreams. We fear that too much time has passed, or we worry what others may think. We scurry around daily to make ends meet and put off our wild dreams for later. How about pursuing them now? How about forgetting the birth pains and scars of our entrepreneurial battles and venturing into new, innovative ground?"
Lizl Naude, founder of Lilly Loompa (South Africa)Read More
Don’t be afraid….
“Don’t be afraid to be afraid, have the courage to face fear, and jump - there are lots of great things that happen when we decide to take risks. Take small steps and actions, instead of waiting for the right moment, you only make this walk learning by doing.”
Tania Tome is the founder of Ecokaya in Mozambique, an investment firm that aims to be a committed partner to identify and develop business opportunities located in Mozambique and Southern Africa with a focus on mineral resources business, real estate, energy, financial services, technologies, and green projects. Read Tania’s startup story.Read More
Take care of yourself....
"Take care of yourself, your health, and your relationships so that you don't lose yourself in the maze of start-up. Take the power - be responsive to the clients as you need them: be the best you can. Do not waste their time with false promises. Have a plan, just in case - for example a financial back-up for when things go wrong, as they likely will. Have structures in place and most of all, be passionate."
Fidelis Wanjiku, founder of Round Square Marketing Limited (Kenya)Read More