Female African entrepreneurs have been celebrated at a first of its kind event in London, supported by Jersey-based Standard Bank Wealth International.
The UK capital’s first Start-up Night! Africa showcased some of the continent’s most inspiring and gifted businesswomen, who have the drive and talent to turn their ideas into commercial success.
Held at the Oxo Tower on the South Bank, Start-up Night! Africa was organised by Lionesses of Africa, a social enterprise working to advance Africa’s women entrepreneurs by building and delivering entrepreneur development programmes, business tools, digital media channels, community platforms, networking events and information resources.
In a process reminiscent of the hit BBC show Dragon’s Den, the event saw nine women pitch their ideas to a panel of successful businesswomen, which was followed by a call to action to invited investors, retailers, influencers and media to meet with the pitchers to discuss opportunities.
The pitched products included luxury handbags, chocolates, coffee, jewellery, tea, olive oil, accessories, textiles and furniture.
Will Thorp, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Bank Wealth International, said: “Standard Bank has supported Lionesses of Africa in the continent that we both call home for a number of years. This has included sponsoring Start-up Nights and breakfast seminars, and we have even helped the inspirational social enterprise launch a radio show. For us, the partnership is a natural fit. For more than 150 years, Africa has been our home and we have driven her growth.
But when it comes to the world’s fastest-growing economy, I strongly believe that the best is yet to come. We have long known about its resources and natural beauty, but now it is time for Africa’s human potential to be realised.
The Lionesses of Africa ensure potential is recognised and celebrated, and the talent, ideas and drive of the continent’s female entrepreneurs is harnessed, honed and amplified. I am delighted that Standard Bank could help make this inspiring event come to life.”
Melanie Hawken, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lionesses of Africa, said: “By supporting the start-up dreams of women entrepreneurs, allowing them to create economic prosperity, helping them to build solutions to improve their communities, Lionesses of Africa believe they can become the game-changers needed to solve many of Africa’s most pressing problems. Our first event in London, and Standard Bank’s crucial support, means that we remain on target to meet the goal of empowering one million women entrepreneurs across Africa.”
For more information about Lionesses of Africa, visit www.lionessesofafrica.com
To see a video about Start-up Night! Africa, click here