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Trade Tuesday For Women In Business: Africa Rising

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” African Proverb I spent my birthday week in Capetown – at the World Economic Forum, Africa.  It was great to be back in my favourite African city, and even more exciting to participate in the Forum For Africa. I led a focus group discussion as part of a session – “Innovate, Integrate & Empower for Inclusive Trade In Africa” – organised by the Global Alliance For Trade Facilitation.  We explored the challenges that women traders in Africa face when accessing foreign markets and worked as a team to identify possible solutions that the Alliance can utilise across the continent. A common thread ran through the entire week, a discussion about the African Continental Free Trade Area, and with it was a constant refrain – Continue Reading

Lesson No 34: Make A Splash!

The Queen of Hearts: The Confessions of An ‘Accidental’ Leader I didn’t purpose to be in the space that I find myself in.  God plucked me from the path that I had set out for myself & set me on an alternative journey. At the start it all appeared somewhat ‘accidental’ but I know now that it was no accident, rather His design, His purpose for my life… So now that I am here, these are my confessions…the lessons I am learning about being a woman in business, building an empire, one brick at a time… “Never underestimate the valuable and important difference you make in every life you touch. For the impact you make today has a powerful rippling effect on every tomorrow.” ~ Anonymous You are the first thing others see & research shows that you have less Continue Reading

Trade Tuesday For Women In Business: Thriving Businesses’

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” — Jim Rohn At OWIT Nairobi, we have a vision to empower women to transform communities through global trade. We are committed to creating opportunities for women to connect to global markets. As a Business Support Organisation, we work closely with our members to ensure access to the necessary tools to build businesses that can go global. The theme for our July Business Meeting was ‘Thriving Processes For Thriving Businesses’ & the session was facilitated by Rosslyn Mutahi of Top Tier Ltd and Ruth Tabbu, Director at Maersk. Systems and processes play a significant role in building and growing a business – particularly for women going global. In a bid to build a global brand, Women Owned Businesses’ must put in Continue Reading

Lesson No 33: It’s up to you

The Queen of Hearts: The Confessions of An ‘Accidental’ Leader I didn’t purpose to be in the space that I find myself in.  God plucked me from the path that I had set out for myself & set me on an alternative journey. At the start it all appeared somewhat ‘accidental’ but I know now that it was no accident, rather His design, His purpose for my life… So now that I am here, these are my confessions…the lessons I am learning about being a woman in business, building an empire, one brick at a time… “I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” ~ Frank Lloyd Wright I have learned that nothing in life happens by accident.  Success, however you may define it, doesn’t come by Continue Reading

Lesson No 32: Learning Doesn’t Happen By Osmosis

The Queen of Hearts: The Confessions of An ‘Accidental’ Leader I didn’t purpose to be in the space that I find myself in.  God plucked me from the path that I had set out for myself & set me on an alternative journey. At the start it all appeared somewhat ‘accidental’ but I know now that it was no accident, rather His design, His purpose for my life… So now that I am here, these are my confessions…the lessons I am learning about being a woman in business, building an empire, one brick at a time… “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” ― Abigail Adams It’s not enough to want to learn.  I have learned that I need to schedule time to invest in myself. I know from Continue Reading

Lesson No. 31: It’s a long game

The Queen of Hearts: The Confessions of An ‘Accidental’ Leader I didn’t purpose to be in the space that I find myself in – Founder & CEO, Passionate Entrepreneur, EQ Fanatic and OWIT Nairobi President.  God plucked me from the path that I had set out for myself & set me on an alternative journey. At the start it all appeared somewhat ‘accidental’ but I know now that it was no accident, rather His design, His purpose for my life… So now that I am here, these are my confessions…the lessons I am learning about being a woman in business, building an empire, one brick at a time… “All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” —Orison Swett Marden I have learned that Continue Reading

Lesson No. 30: It’s Hard To Say I Am Sorry

The Queen of Hearts: The Confessions of An ‘Accidental’ Leader I didn’t purpose to be in the space that I find myself in – Founder & CEO, Passionate Entrepreneur, EQ Fanatic and OWIT Nairobi President.  God plucked me from the path that I had set out for myself & set me on an alternative journey. At the start it all appeared somewhat ‘accidental’ but I know now that it was no accident, rather His design, His purpose for my life… So now that I am here, these are my confessions…the lessons I am learning about being a woman in business, building an empire, one brick at a time… “Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” ― Benjamin Franklin Many find it hard to say “I’m sorry” to customers, perhaps because they feel that an apology is an admission of wrongdoing.  And Continue Reading

Trade Tuesday For Women In Business: Banking On Women

Access to finance is particularly daunting. Women are significantly less likely to…access to financial services than men. The IFC estimates that the worldwide gap in financing for formal, women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) totals close to $300 billion. Arancha Gonzalez Women entrepreneurs often start businesses using less capital than men due to limitations in income and reserves as well as lack of knowledge about the availability of institutional funding. They are less likely to use bank loans to fund the commencement of operations and more likely to borrow from family, friends & ‘fools’ or use the more expensive option of non-traditional/non-institutional lenders. This inability to access funding manifests in the relatively smaller sizes of the businesses that women run. According to The World Bank’s Gender at Work report (2014); “On virtually every global measure, women are more economically excluded Continue Reading

Lesson No. 29: Getting What You ALL Want

The Queen of Hearts: The Confessions of An ‘Accidental’ Leader I didn’t purpose to be in the space that I find myself in – Founder & CEO, Passionate Entrepreneur, EQ Fanatic and OWIT Nairobi President.  God plucked me from the path that I had set out for myself & set me on an alternative journey. At the start it all appeared somewhat ‘accidental’ but I know now that it was no accident, rather His design, His purpose for my life… So now that I am here, these are my confessions…the lessons I am learning about being a woman in business, building an empire, one brick at a time…  “Negotiation is about knowing what you want, going after it, and respecting the other person in the process.” Adapted I have learned that it is not just salespeople who negotiate, everyone does – Continue Reading

Trade Tuesday For Women In Business: Facilitating Trade For Women

“Growth and comfort do not coexist.” ~ Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM The ability to move goods and services across borders efficiently and predictably, can mean the difference between success & failure for women trading across borders. Unfortunately, across the African continent, women face discriminatory biases that hinder their full participation in global trade. Since 2016, World Bank’s Doing Business country rankings included gender indicators, which highlighted the regulatory biases faced by women. When the written standards are exactly the same, more female-owned exporting firms report procedural obstacles to trade than do male-owned firms, including “information and transparency issues,” “informal or high payments” and “discriminatory behaviour.” In order to ensure that ‘no-one is left behind’ – trade policy initiatives must address the challenges that are unique to women in trade. Reforms should be based on a thorough understanding of their impact Continue Reading