Facebook: shines a light on female leaders in Africa
With 2020’s theme for International Women’s Day being #EqualforEqual, Facebook shines a light on female leaders in Africa, honouring them for bringing people together, making an impact among communities and inspiring others to change the narrative in Africa.
“Every day, all around the globe, and specifically here in Africa, we see women on our platform supporting one another through events and fundraisers, connecting through groups, growing communities and building livelihoods through their small businesses. The narrative of the African woman is one of strength, determination and creativity. We’re proud to continue to support and celebrate all women who continue to achieve so much by utilising the power of their voices through Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp,” commented Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director Africa, Facebook Inc.
All over the continent, African women are using Facebook to create movements for social change, as well as building successful businesses that inspire others.
Among those honoured by Facebook include:
A leader within the technology industry. Peculiar Ediomo-Abasi was part of the hackathon team that developed blockchain solutions to address violence against women.
Gertrude Nyenyeshi, a web and mobile designer who develops digital skills within her local developer community.
Edidiong Asikpo, a software engineer and developer. She is a leader of Facebook’s Developer Circle in Uyo, and is part of SheCodeAfrica and Women Will communities that inspire women to start a career in the technology industry.
Nadine Maselesele (South Africa)
Nadine Maselesele is the Founder of Salt River High Tutoring and built a computer lab for her former high school.
Korie Betty Maru (Kenya)
Korie Betty Maru, the Founder of Digital Farmers Kenya. The group shares advice and farming technologies for members to improve their agri-businesses.
Caamo Kane (Senegal)
Caamo Kane, founded Dakar Farmers Market that promotes local consumption and community well-being.
Cecilia Muyide (Nigeria)
Cecilia Muyide, Founder of CTAG - Comcolours Teaching Aids & Games. The company strives to make learning fun for kids by providing teaching aids and games to boost learning.
For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.