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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

Lesson 24: It Pays To Reward Staff

The Queen of Hearts: The Confessions of An ‘Accidental’ Leader It Pays To Reward Your Staff 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 24: It Pays To Reward Staff A story is told of a farmer who decided to breed his 3 female pigs. He loaded the sows into Continue Reading

Trade Tuesday For Women In Business: The Payoff Of Going Global

Creating more opportunities for women in trade is the right thing to do. Gender inequality is more than a moral or social issue, it is a critical economic challenge. Women account for half the world’s working-age population and if they do not achieve their full economic potential, the global economy will suffer. A McKinsey Global Institute report finds that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality (McKinsey Global Institute, 2015) Economic evidence shows that giving women the same opportunities as men improves a country’s competitiveness and productivity, which in turn has a positive impact on economic growth and poverty reduction. Globally, the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women could raise per capita productivity by 40 per cent, according to the World Bank (Doing Business Report, 2017). Women play a significant role Continue Reading

Lesson No 23: Work Smart

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 No 23: Work Smart “Working hard and working smart sometimes can be two different things.” Byron Dorgan You have undoubtedly heard the age-old adage, ‘working smarter, not harder’. I have learned that Continue Reading

Lesson 22: Chart Your Course

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 22: Chart Your Course  “Many women live like it’s a dress rehearsal. Ladies, the curtain is up and you’re on.” – Mikki Taylor, Essense Magazine The research is clear. It makes good business sense to have Continue Reading

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 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