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What a year, and what a final gathering in Maputo, as around 100 women entrepreneurs got together for the last Lioness Lean In event in the country for 2018. On a blustery, rather chilly morning outside, the atmosphere was much warmer and more inspirational inside the Standard Bank Incubadora, once again the host venue for the event.

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The morning got off to a great start with a great breakfast and plenty of networking, as women entrepreneurs took the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and to meet new potential customers and collaborators. The marketplace, featuring some of Maputo’s leading women entrepreneurs and their businesses, showcased some great, locally made products for attendees to sample and buy - these included floral displays, children’s designer clothing, jewellery, handbags and accessories, beautiful capulana fabric, and tasty homemade treats. It was great timing for those spontaneous purchases, just before the start of the holiday season.

The programme got underway in earnest, opened by Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa, who welcomed attendees with a brief introduction to the work of the organisation and gave a taster of the morning’s proceedings ahead.  She said, “It’s wonderful to be back in Maputo for the last of our Lioness Lean In events in the country for 2018 - what an amazing year this has been. It is always a thrill to be here, to see the Lionesses of Africa community growing and thriving in Mozambique, and to meet the women entrepreneurs who are building some interesting businesses here. It is always good to share news of the various initiatives that Lionesses of Africa is rolling out for these women business builders, and also to showcase their stories and their businesses all this month on all the Lionesses of Africa platforms. We are seeing some great products and services being created here, and some of these businesses definitely have the potential to grow and trade with other parts of the continent.”

Following Melanie to the podium was co-host for the morning representing the event’s official impact partner Standard Bank Mozambique, Helia Campos, Head of Human Capital. She gave an overview of the work the bank does to support the growth and development of women entrepreneurs, and the type of products and services on offer to women owned businesses in the country.

Source: Lionesses Of Africa