Melanie Hawken, founder and CEO of a women entrepreneur community across Africa named Lionesses of Africa, teamed together with Standard Bank and the Standard Bank Incubator run by Mrs Jayshree Naidoo, to host a Lean in Breakfast event at Mancosa [GSB] on the morning of June 8th 2016. The event was attended by aspiring and established women entrepreneurs in the effort to create a line of communication, inspiration and a sharing of knowledge for the women entrepreneurs across the African continent.
Guest speaker, Mrs Indrani Govender of Ricinz Construction, gave an emotional account of her struggle to become the confident entrepreneur she is today. Her advice to the women in her audience was to keep pushing through and not give up, for “the best is yet to come”.
Victoria Verbaan, founder of Victoria Verbaan and the Smoking Daxi displayed her beautiful artistic creations, and recounted the journey of her rise to her entrepreneurial dream.
“Without doing, you will never know. Ride through the rough patches like a cowboy!” – Victoria Verbaan
Jabulani Jewellery founder, Paula Goosen, spoke passionately about the trials and tribulations she has faced in fulfilling her dream of becoming a woman entrepreneur through helping other women. She has hired families of beaders to work in the design and production of her elegant African jewellery creations, and continues to support and educate these women despite the lack of external funding.
“If it can stand still long enough, you can bead it!” – Paula Goosen
Jayshree Naidoo, manager of the Standard Bank Incubator, stated that the main objective of the incubator is to essentially de-risk entrepreneurs by providing them with access to resources, market linkages and funding. They educate their incubator industrialists on branding, strategy, and provide them with opportunities for business development and growth.
The networking opportunities for the women that attend these events are invaluable, as well as the support, guidance and assistance they receive from strangers who know what it’s like to walk in their shoes. Lionesses of Africa is an incredible female centred initiative, and will host their next Durban Lean in Breakfast event in August 2016.