In Her Shoes: Dorothy Ghettuba

I was utterly inspired after reading about Dorothy Ghettuba, a daring African entrepreneur who left her job at a venture capital firm in Canada , packed up and moved to Kenya to follow her dreams and  work toward the creation of a major African entertainment company, called Spielworks Media. Dorothy Ghettuba believed that there was a great need for local media, talent and stories that represent the people in African entertainment derived from racial pride and cultural heritage. Ghettuba provides an uplifting tale of her journey and urges African youth to continue to dream and remained empowered.

 In her interview with “How We Made it in Africa” Ghetttuba describes the challenges  and lessons she experienced during her journey to success as a “baptism in fire” but enriching her with lessons she will forever remember. One of the lessons Dorothy Ghettuba learned was:”Giving up cannot be an option. If you fall down, because we do, you get up and go again.” After almost having her dream destroyed before ever coming off the ground due to lack of financial resources, Ghettuba looked to her inner-circle for support. Her message is :”people don’t buy into an idea, they buy into people.” She believes that no matter how impossible her dream seemed, people that believed and cared for her were willing to support her.  I encourage everyone to read about her amazing story and how this amazing African entrepreneur is building her brand and empire in the continent.

Check out the full article: How We Made It in Africa

photo taken from: Dorothy Ghettuba Twitter

The Importance of Branding YOURSELF! What’s Your Gimmick?

Nunu Ntshingila, CEO of Ogilvy South Africa

Nunu Ntshingila, CEO of Ogilvy South Africa

I stumbled upon the topic of branding after watching an episode of America’s Next Top Model in which Tyra Bank’s competing models were taught a lesson on the importance of redefining themselves as a brand as a marketing technique to their targeted audience. But whether a top model, celebrity, company, or businessperson branding is a key necessity that can help  you to achieve success on a much greater scale.

As a businessperson it is also critical to market oneself to an intended audience and sell a quality to an employer, investor, or consumer that sets you a part from your competition.   Branding, gives you the opportunity to market yourself, solidifying all of the listed skills on your resume and prove to your target audience that you are both a memorable  force and an asset to your field.

So,what exactly is branding and why should you care?

Women, Success & Money blog define branding as ” when you give yourself a unique spin that differentiates you from others in your field, so you are seen as the only one who can provide a specific solution”.  A brand embodies who you are, what your mission is, what you stand for and what sets you apart from other competitors. Think of any business for example, Nike. We as an audience know exactly what we are getting when we buy Nike’s products.  Branding creates a sense of clarity to your audience and guarantees trust and consistency.

Here are some tips to help you build your brand in the business world:

1. Define your brand. And be an expert in your field! This is the time to do major digging and soul searching. Figure out who you are, how you would like to be perceived and what exactly your mission is. Then, establish an expertise that correlates with what you stand for both as an individual and as a business.

2. Be Memorable! When you walk into any room have a presence that makes you unforgettable.  No one likes to see the same old thing on repeat. The same thing applies to the business world. Don’t be like every other candidate or competitor on the market. Be different. If you represent a company, have a name or slogan that is simple and compelling to its audience. Offer a different quality than any other business or individual they have ever seen before.  Market yourself as though you ready from Day 1 for your dream position.

3. Network, Network, Network! Whether it is through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or face to face interactions, it is important to represent your brand everywhere. This is an opportunity to spread awareness about your brand and convey your value to your audience.

4. Incorporate the “Holy Trinity of branding.” You want to have consistency, clarity and authenticity, says Roffer. “Translated correctly, how I present myself and how I speak about myself should be a true reflection of who I am at the core.”  Start with what you know. Build on passions, strengths, talents and past success. As Roffer says, “redefine you in a fresh new way,”consistency is key. 

5. Share Your Story. Women Success & Money point out that it is important to be relatable to your audience. A good way  to show this is by sharing your experiences that have helped to shape you and your brand.  No one has stood where you have.

Photo: Flickr; by Ogilvy Joburg

Sources:

http://womenmoneyandsuccessmag.com/why-you-should-brand-yourself-now

http://sixrevisions.com/project-management/why-branding-yourself-is-important/

What Makes Someone An Entrepreneur?

Variations on a theme are easier to create than the theme itself.  (That’s our fancy way of saying it is easy to improve an existing idea than to start one from scratch.)  But what makes an entrepreneur go out and create those variations?

It is no idle question.  There are literally tens of thousands of people who have ideas for what could be worthwhile companies, and yet they have done virtually nothing to develop what could very well be viable concepts.

What separates those that pull the trigger from those that don’t?

A Venn diagram comprising the attributes that makes the best entrepreneurs.

Consider these three entrepreneurs:

  • Bernard A. Goldhirsh started a sailing magazine because he thought the existing ones too snooty. “They were all filled with Somebody the Third meeting up with Somebody Else the Fourth at some fancy yacht club.” But in the process of starting Sail, Goldhirsh realized he knew nothing about starting or building a business. In talking to other fledgling entrepreneurs he learned they were in the same boat.
  • Arthur A. Jones always had a secret obsession. An eighth grade drop out, he worked as everything from an animal importer to television producer and even hosted the syndicated show Wild Cargo. But through it all he kept a secret.  Jones was fascinated with bodybuilding.  Through conventional weightlifting techniques he had created an impressive physique, “but I wasn’t satisfied.”
  • Perry Mendel was a successful real estate developer in the South whose kids were grown, so there was no reason for him to be overly interested in child care back in 1968. Yet almost every day there was another  story about women entering the workforce and how divorce was increasing and he got to wondering “who was taking care of the children.”

In each case, Goldhirsh, Jones and Mendel identified a need in the marketplace that resonanted with them. Goldhirsh wanted to find a way to help people like himself learn more about business. Jones was searching for a more efficient bodybuilding technique and Mendel was looking for a better form of child care.

Read more at Forbes

In Her Shoes: Dentaa Amoateng

dentaa

Dentaa Amoateng: Female icon and African Women in Europe 2013 Award recipient

Dentaa Amoateng is an amazing trailblazing businesswoman that demonstrates African women’s ability to lead, multi-task and reach thousands of people internationally.  But, Amoateng’s most recent achievement was the recognition of her endless entrepreneurial contributions with the prestigious African Women in Europe (AWE) 2013 Award.

Amoateng’s sets an exemplary standard for young aspiring entrepreneurs all over the world. Amoateng,  30 year-old-entruprenear and businesswoman was born in Juaso, Ghana but moved to the United Kingdom at the young age of five. Since growing up in the UK, she dedicated her work to both celebrating Ghananian people and there achievements internationally. Dentaa Amoateng has proven to be something of a visionary and a female icon being the founder of the annual Ghana UK Based  Achievement (GUBA) Awards, manager of  the Ghana Black Stars Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan,  and a humanitarian supporting her charity that supports autistic children in the Ghana and the British-Ghanaian community.

This icon has achieved success in sports management,  medicine, business, humanitarianism and the list continues. Dentee Amoateng’s work cannot be stopped!  She has helped to empower African women all across Europe encouraging them to contribute to their homelands. Dentaa Amoateng is most certainly a well deserving  recipient of the African Women in Europe Award. In additions to her charity work, founding of the Ghana UK Based Achievement Awards, and managing Ghana Black Stars athlete she also devotes herself to the sick and to her family working as a pediatric nurse, and wife and mother.  There is absoultely no question that Dentaa Amoateng is an incredible role model to women everywhere. Ladies, be inspired! You, too can achieve great heights.

Sources:

Harvison, Anthony. “Dentaa Wins Prestigious African Women in Europe (AWE)2013 Award,” Buisness. My Joy Online.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Noteworthy News: May 20 – 26

NoteworthyNews

1. Omidyar Network and Monitor Group Release Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa Report.

Philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network partnered with consulting firm Monitor Group to identify the challenges facing African entrepreneurs and pinpoint the most significant barriers inhibiting high impact entrepreneurship. The initiative interviewed nearly 600 entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania; hosted an Entrepreneurship in Africa Summit; and presented the finding to policymakers across Africa.Key Takeaway:  The greatest challenges facing entrepreneurs in Africa are financing, skills and talent, and infrastructure.

Read the full report here: http://bit.ly/12pVCuI

2. Linda Thomas-Greenfield Likely Choice for US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has tapped Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a widely respected career Foreign Service officer, to the department’s top Africa post. The Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs oversees the Africa Bureau and U.S. diplomatic missions and focuses on managing and directing policy. Final decision on the nomination – a presidential appointment – rests with the White House. Thomas-Greenfield, who was the U.S. Ambassador to Liberia from 2008 until 2012, previously served in Jamaica, Nigeria, Gambia, Kenya, Pakistan, and Switzerland and was principal deputy in the Africa Bureau (2006 to 2008) and deputy secretary in the Population Bureau (2004-2006).Key Takeaway: If appointed, Linda Thomas-Greenfield will play a significant role in shaping US foreign policy in Africa and will be a key power player during President Obama’s visit to Africa during June.

Learn more about her: http://bit.ly/ZUtUXD

3. Building A Venture From Scratch Not For The Faint Hearted, Says Gourmet Tea Entrepreneur

Cote d’Ivoire-born Swaady Martin-Leke is the founder and CEO of YSWARA, a newly launched African tea company that is targeted at the higher-end consumer market. The company is based in South Africa, but sources its teas from across the continent. According to Martin-Leke, the luxury market in Africa offers increasing opportunities with the steady growth in the African middle class and discretionary income. Before starting YSWARA, Martin-Leke spent eleven years of her career with General Electric.Key Takeaway: Building a luxury company presents unique challenges in Africa due to a limited number of suppliers able to produce goods at a competitive rate and at the same quality level, but it also presents an opportunity to develop a distinct competitive advantage and build a long term relationship with customers.

Read more about Swaady and the luxury tea market: http://bit.ly/19tIZjy

4. Ushahidi Launches Kickstarter Campaign for BRCK, Your Backup Generator for the Internet.

Ushahidi, the Kenyan based non-profit technology company, is currently raising funds to begin manufacturing BRCK ,a smart, rugged device that could connect to the internet any way it could, hop from one network to another, create a hotspot for multiple devices, while plugged in or running on battery power. The device is “the easiest, most reliable way to connect to the internet, anywhere in the world, even when you don’t have electricity.”Key Takeaway:  Ushahidi has already raised US $100K for this device and could play a significant role in increasing internet accessibility across Africa.

Check out Ushahidi’s progress: http://kck.st/129xR9b

5. Rockefeller Foundation Pumping $100 Million into Africa’s Digital Scene.

The Rockefeller Foundation has pledged nearly US$100-million to Africa’s digital sector in the hopes of impacting “one million lives in six countries through leverage and private sector partnership”. The program, Digital Jobs Africa, is designed to use the ICT sector to create sustainable job opportunities for African youth.Key Takeaway: This initiative represents another investment in using technology to decrease persistent youth unemployment through skills training and entrepreneurship.

Read the full story: http://bit.ly/12kSsYj

6. Six Thoughts On The Role Of Women In Africa’s Growth and Development.

At the launch of the inaugural WIE Africa (which stands for Women, Inspiration and Enterprise) symposium in Cape Town last week, a number of respected African businesswomen and leaders shared their thoughts on the role women should be playing in Africa’s future.Read what they had to say: http://bit.ly/12I23II

7. Nelson Mandela’s Grandsons, Ndaba Mandela and Kweku Mandela Amuah Launch Social Network, Mandela.is.

Two of Nelson Mandela’s grandsons have started a social network that connects people with similar interests together and to causes they are passionate about. The platform also inspires people to be active in their communities and to effect change locally. The duo partnered with Backplane, the technology company that created Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters community and have support fromKey Takeaway: This team is bringing social networking to support local community initiatives with inspiring and motivational content to encourage individuals to serve as local leaders.

Read the full story: http://onforb.es/17EltnA

Malehlohonolo Moleko at TEDxWomen

download

“…I am not alone. I know there are hundreds of millions of women like me throughout the developing world who can achieve what I have achieved. We have the passion. We have the determination. Bring forth more partners and mentors like I received, and you’ll see a world where that gap between poverty and plenty closes more and more each day.”

Photo Credit: Coca Cola 

Women Entrepreneurs Drive Growth in Africa

Bethlehem Tilahun

The New York Times — Far too often, in the view of Africa’s budding female entrepreneurs, their continent is characterized as the recipient of aid that enables residents just to struggle by, and as a place that mistreats and marginalizes its women.

Late in 2010, after a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on sexual violence called that country the “rape capital of the world.” Last month, a South African politician named her own country the “rape capital of the world.”

Data analysis from Google shows that since 2004, the most common single term related to searches from the United States for “Africa” has been “AIDS.” This year, the charity Save the Children named Niger the “worst place to be a mother.” On the United Nations’ Web site, Africa is the only continent listed under “Issues.”

It was into this world, and against it, says Bethlehem Tilahun, that her shoe company SoleRebels was born.

“I kept hearing over and over the phrase ‘poverty alleviation,”’ said Ms. Tilahun, now a footwear mogul whose company grossed $2 million in sales this past year. “The media, preoccupied with a singular narrative about ‘Africa’ that missed the story of Africa — part of a larger spectrum of endless entities that have monopolized Africa’s image, our brand.”

With SoleRebels, she said proudly, “We’ve inverted the whole paradigm.”

Continue reading at The New York Times…