Women in technology, especially female founders of tech start-ups have been urged to scale up for global impact despite the various challenges the market and environment throws at them.
This and other more was the focal thrust of the one-day inaugural Africa Tech Female Founder Summit held penultimate week in Lagos. Bringing together female tech founders from across Sub-Saharan Africa, panelists and participants held discussions on how to scale their companies and achieve massive value generation in the countries they operate in and across the continent.
Orgainsed by TLcom Capital, an African focused tech venture capital firm, Odunayo Eweniyi, COO/Founder, Piggyvest, Isis Nyong’o, CEO/Founder, Mums Village, Vivian Nwakah, CEO/Founder, Medaf and Miishe Addy, CEO/Founder, Jet Stream Africa led discussions on the Female Entrepreneur’s Journey, telling participants how they started out, the challenges they faced and steps women founders could take to avoid certain pitfalls along the way.
Leading a discussion on The VC Investor’s mind were Ido Sum of TLcom Capital, Damilola Thompson, VP, Echo VC, Eme Essien, Country Manager Nigeria, IFC and Eloho Gihan-Mbelu, MD, Endeavor. Essien spoke on how entrepreneurs and founders have to be resilient, as they would likely face many rejections along the way. “Don’t just pitch to any and every investor, study them and know what they usually invest in. if you are told ‘no’, it’s not the end of the world; evolve and keep going back,” she said.
Juliet Anammah, Jumia’s CEO, led an interactive masterclass on sales and marketing while the HR director, Twiga Foods, Edna Kwinga spoke in detail on hiring and retention as a founder, what to do and what to avoid in order to hire and retain good staff that would expand the founder’s vision.
The final panel of the day, which spoke on “From start-up to scale-up,” had on it, Maria Rotilu, Country Manager of Branch, Adia Sowho, VP, Growth, Mines, Kagure Wamunyu, Country Manager Kenya, Kobo 360, Mayokun Fadeyibi, VP, Consumer Business Group, Cars45 and Omowale David-Ashiru, Country Director Nigeria, Andela.
They advised the founders gathered that with scaling, there are always fires to be put off but they should remain steadfast. “Nothing good comes easy especially in business and our peculiar environment and the challenges it presents make entrepreneurship even harder, but the rewards are great if you move slowly and steadily,” Rotilu said.
The day which ended with cocktails and networking had attendees looking forward to the next edition.