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Trade Tuesday For Women In Business: Financing Growth

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 and friends and use non-traditional/non-institutional lenders. This manifests in the relatively smaller sizes of the businesses that they run. On Tues 2nd April, OWIT Nairobi hosted a seminar – ‘Financing Growth’ – in partnership with Gulf Africa Bank.  It was an insightful conversation.  In addition to the presentation made by GAB, the OWIT members & guests took it as an opportunity to ask everything & anything about raising capital to finance growth. The key takeaways for me were; Build a relationship with your Banker.  An Account Manager who has a Continue Reading

Lesson 21: We Are Moving

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… Lesson No. 21: We are moving! “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on” ~ Exodus 14:15 I have learned the growth can be terrifying – but true leadership is about moving forward anyway, regardless Continue Reading

International Women’s Day: Celebrating Women!

International Women’s Day: Celebrating Women! #BalanceForBetter From empowerment seminars to pop-up festivals, business master classes and , female voices echoed across the globe last week on Friday with a resounding message: Women want balance. #BalanceforBetter is this years’ theme. The 2019 initiative is aimed at gender equality, a greater awareness of discrimination and a celebration of women’s achievements.  In line with my philosophy to #GoBigorGoHome, my IWD celebrations have lasted longer than a day & spanned continents – kicking off in Nairobi & concluding in DC! Kicked off at the monthly @OWITNairobi Business Meeting on Tuesday 5th March at our new home, Fairview Hotel in Nairobi. The theme was ‘Inclusive Trade as a Catalyst For Women In Economic Empowerment’ which is in line with our Vision – Empowering women to transform communities through global trade.  OWIT Nairobi is part of a global Continue Reading

Lesson 20: A Fierce Tribe of Sisters With Ciiru Waweru Waithaka

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… Lesson 20: A Fierce Tribe Of Sisters “Behind every successful woman, is a tribe of fierce & successful sisters that have her back and push her to be more, all the while keeping Continue Reading

Lesson 19: A Fierce Tribe Of Sisters With Sarah Richson

“Behind every successful woman, is a tribe of fierce & successful sisters that have her back and push her to be more, all the while keeping her grounded” – Mucha Mlingo, Adapted As I look back at the journey I have travelled, more particularly over the last 18 – 24 months, one thing is very clear.  There has been a tribe of fierce & fearless women who have mentored & inspired me, holding me accountable to the goals that I have set. I have learned that having a mentor is not a sign of weakness; rather – it shows you are smart enough and are driven enough to succeed. The reality is that the entrepreneurship journey is a tough one – a good mentor is a necessity! Why you might ask? Mentors believe in you – they have faith in Continue Reading

Lesson 18: A Fierce Tribe Of Sisters With Frida Owinga

As I look back at the journey I have traveled, more particularly over the last 18 – 24 months, one thing is very clear. There has been a tribe of fierce & fearless women who have mentored & inspired me, holding me accountable to the goals that I have set. I have learned that having a mentor is not a sign of weakness; rather – it shows you are smart enough and are driven enough to succeed. The reality is that the entrepreneurship journey is a tough one – a good mentor is a necessity! Why you might ask? Mentors believe in you – they have faith in you & push to be better. They also encourage you to keep moving when things get tough. Mentors are honest with you – they give out doses of ‘tough love’ & tell Continue Reading

Lesson 17 :A Conversation With My Mentors

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 “Behind every successful woman, is a tribe of fierce & successful sisters that have her back and push her to be more, all the while keeping her grounded” – Mucha Mlingo, Adapted As I look back at the journey I have traveled, more Continue Reading

Lesson 16: Optimism is Learned

A story is told of a very old lady who looked in the mirror one morning. She had three remaining hairs on her head, and being a positive soul, she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today.” So she braided her three hairs, and she had a great day. Some days later, looking in the mirror one morning, preparing for her day, she saw that she had only two hairs remaining. “Hmm, two hairs… I fancy a centre parting today.” She duly parted her two hairs, and as ever, she had a great day. A week or so later, she saw that she had just one hair left on her head. “One hair huh…,” she mused, “I know, a pony-tail will be perfect.” And again, she had a great day. A few weeks later, she looked in the mirror. Continue Reading

Lesson 15: What Goes Around Comes Around

“Networking is not about hunting. It is about farming. It’s about cultivating relationships. Don’t engage in ‘premature solicitation’. You’ll be a better networker if you remember that.”   Ivan Misner   In their book “Make Your Contacts Count”, Barber & Waymon describe networking as the deliberate process of exchanging information, resources, support and access in such a way as to create mutually beneficial relationships for professional and personal success. It’s easy to think about business networking as going out hunting. I have attended networking forums where you can clearly see those who are on the ‘prowl’. They are ready to fire off their 30 second elevator pitch, to thrust another business card in someone’s hands – clearly their goal is to ‘work’ the room. But business networking is more than just swapping business cards or working a room. At it’s Continue Reading

Lesson 14: Throw Off The Shackles Of Security

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller A story is told of a blind man who had been waiting a while at a busy road for someone to offer to guide him across, when he felt a tap on his shoulder. “Excuse me,” said the tapper, “I’m blind – would you mind guiding me across the road?” The first blind man took the arm of the second blind man, and they both crossed the road. When asked later, the first blind man, jazz pianist George Shearing, is quoted as saying, “What could I do? I took him across and it was the Continue Reading