Blantyre women entrepreneurs meet at Lioness Lean In Luncheon

Cross section of women enterprenuers

When women entrepreneurs get together in a spirit of collaboration, great things happen. And, that’s the mission of the Lioness Lean In Events held all across the African continent – to get successful women entrepreneurs to network, share their startup stories, inspire one another and to hopefully do business.

The second in the series of the highly popular Lioness Lean In Luncheon events took place in Blantyre, Malawi, on Thursday 4th May, once again in partnership with Standard Bank.

Women entrepreneurs from a wide variety of business and industry sectors in Blantyre gathered for a unique event on Thursday 4th May – the Lioness Lean In Luncheon brings together leading successful women entrepreneurs from across the city in the unique surroundings of Atmosphere, a great destination for some serious networking.

Cross section of women enterprenuers
Cross section of women enterprenuers

The Lioness Lean In events are proving to be a huge hit with women entrepreneurs who come together in key cities to ‘lean in’ and listen to successful women business brand builders share their stories, to inspire one another, and to network and connect for business success.

 Melanie Hawken, founder & CEO of Lionesses of Africa, said , “As women entrepreneurs we all need inspiration as we embark on our very personal business and brand building journeys, and where better to get that  inspiration than from other women entrepreneurs who have achieved success. We are all on a constant learning journey and everyone has experiences, stories and advice to share, so where better to do that than at a Lioness Lean In Luncheon.”


The Lioness Lean In lunch event in Blantyre, Malawi, is being co-hosted by Dr Margaret Kubwalo-Chaika, Head of Personal and Business Banking, Standard Bank, Malawi, and Lionesses of Africa founder and CEO, Melanie Hawken. The event will also be hearing  from two highly successful Malawian women entrepreneurs who will be sharing their personal business building stories, networking with other women business owners, and to talk about how they have achieved success and overcome the challenges along the way. These include Lee Chisale, founder of Belle Afrique and a leading cosmetologist in Blantyre; and Marriam Mwalwenje Lally, director and founder of the Wumi Wumo Foundation. The event will also present an opportunity for three women entrepreneurs to stand up and present their elevator pitches for their businesses to the audience, a great way of getting their brands, products and services across to potential customers.

Dr Margaret Kubwalo-Chaika, Head of Personal and Business Banking, Standard Bank, Malawi said,There is untold power that can be released when women entrepreneurs collaborate. Such power can spur the growth of the continent beyond any other initiative.”

Dr Chaika addressing the gathering
Dr Chaika addressing the gathering.

Lioness of Africa founder and ceo, Melanie Hawken, says of the Lioness Lean In event series: “There is a real energy at all our Lioness Lean In events across the African continent, as women entrepreneurs at all stages of their business journeys get the opportunity to network and connect with one another, share stories, swop ideas, and of course, do business with one another. I enjoy meeting the truly inspirational women entrepreneurs of Malawi who are helping to create a new and exciting spirit of enterprise in the country.”

The Lioness Lean In events are based on a successful networking and speaker presentation format that is highly popular with women entrepreneurs in Africa, and Lionesses of Africa has been rolling these events out, city by city, for the past 12 months.

However, 2017 will see a record number of events taking place, organized in partnership with Standard Bank, in different locations around the continent. The format of each Lioness Lean In is a three hour event, commencing with networking, followed by inspirational guest speakers sharing their own entrepreneurial journeys and experiences; often a guest woman artisan entrepreneur is invited to speak and share their brand building story, presenting their unique handcrafted products to the audience; a presentation from the in-country Standard Bank senior executive follows; and the event is rounded-off with more networking over coffee and cake.

To coincide with the Lioness Lean In event in Blantyre, the month of May will see Lionesses of Africa featuring the startup stories of successful and truly inspirational women business and brand builders from across the country across all its platforms. Check out the website for details.


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