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Lionesses of Africa, AFAWA Partner On Playbook For Women Entrepreneurs


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Lionesses of Africa, a network of women entrepreneurs, with support from Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), an initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has launched a playbook for managing the future of work.

Dubbed, “100 Lionesses Future of Work Playbook”, the digital tool celebrates 100 leading African women entrepreneurs. The AfDB is supporting the production of this digital tool for women entrepreneurs through AFAWA.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced Africa’s women entrepreneurs to rethink how they run their businesses, organize their workspaces, and manage employees. They have had to innovate and adapt to new, restrictive and challenging market realities.

The shift includes remote working and introducing a raft of new technology, tools, and digital platforms to connect effectively with customers and employees.

Notably, the playbook was launched essentially to provide practical guidance for women entrepreneurs adapting for the changes already in motion. The second in a series, the playbook provides practical business advice and peer insights to help women enterprises manage the transition to the future of work.

Currently, the future of work is about how we adapt to new ways of working, communicating, interacting and collaborating in constantly changing business environments. It features 24 leading African women entrepreneurs sharing hacks and experiences across five key dimensions: strategy; leadership and vision; technology and systems; people and teams; and new ways of working.

It also offers a practical roadmap for Africa’s women entrepreneurs and key lessons, such as harnessing communications, developing a resilient supply chain, and developing hybrid work environments for businesses preparing for the future of work.



Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Lionesses of Africa Melanie Hawken said: “Our working practices, the structure of our businesses, the reorganization of our workplaces, and the practical way we communicate with and engage our employees, have changed, and continue to evolve at a faster pace than ever.

“As a result, we must constantly open our minds to change, to innovation, to finding solutions to new challenges – and importantly, to learning from other women entrepreneurs. The future of work is already here”.

Similarly, AFAWA Manager, Esther Marieme Dassanou said gone are the days of full brick and mortar businesses, or only face-to-face interaction with customers, adding that the businesses getting ahead are ones with a strong digital presence, involved in e-commerce, and which have redesigned their systems to accommodate remote work.

“Looking at the glass half-full, this new work model provides great opportunities for women entrepreneurs as it allows them access to a much wider market, as well as increased productivity in some instances”, she further explained.

Dassanou noted that AFAWA works closely with commercial banks, meso- and microfinance institutions, equity funds and guarantee providers to develop holistic programmes which include financial and non-financial services for women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

“It is time to make our financial institutions part of our growth and pivoting process”, she stressed.


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