By Iminza Keboge
Published August 24, 2016
An initiative to encourage women across the continent to start their own businesses and help drive prosperity for their countries has ended in the British capital, London.
SheHive, a bootcamp programme of an African enterprise and women’s business-focused movement known as She Leads Africa and whose objective is “to help ensure female entrepreneurs and professionals across the world unlock their full potential”, ran August 18-21, 2016 at the headquarters of Facebook.
The event is said to have “featured some of the city’s leading African and diaspora entrepreneurs and business women, who shared insight and advice, as well as led workshops on building business skills for the future.”
“Facebook is where African consumers connect with African entrepreneurs, with millions of people across the continent using our platform to communicate with small businesses each month,” said Akua Gyekye, Public Policy Manager for Africa at Facebook. “Over 60 million businesses are using Facebook to help grow their business and connect with customers. While many of the owners and founders are African women, there should be more. That’s why we are delighted to support She Leads Africa as it enables young African women to connect, learn and share in a supportive and inspirational environment.”
Afua Osei, co-founder of She Leads Africa, said, “Men dominate the business and corporate landscape in Africa, but we have the opportunity to change things now by nurturing female African entrepreneurs on the continent and in the diaspora. As a company that empowers entrepreneurs with tools to tell their brand stories and grow their businesses, Facebook is a perfect partner for us.”
“We are eager to help more African women turn their businesses into realities because we believe that this will help their families, communities and countries to prosper,” said Gyekye. “Female-owned businesses lift up other women, create jobs and inspire other girls and women to start businesses of their own. We want to work with female entrepreneurs to use our mobile tools to communicate with their customers in a relevant and personalised way.”
SheHive London, an open event, gave access to more than 15 expert-led, training sessions covering the topics that young professional women need to know in order to succeed. This was also an opportunity for young women to re-engage with the continent and network with other young African women while building their professional skills.
She Leads Africa say they shall take the SheHive programme to South Africa’s and Nigeria’s commercial capitals, Johannesburg and Lagos, before the end of 2016.