By Robin Holzhauer and Amelia Shaw
[Southern Africa, October 2022] Ladies entrepreneurs from three African nations obtained a lift for his or her companies via a seminar with a senior advertising and marketing government from social media platform WhatsApp, hosted by the US authorities.
WhatsApp Advertising and marketing Supervisor Ben Supple led a seminar for over 100 ladies entrepreneurs throughout Africa at an AWE Linked occasion hosted by the US authorities.
Greater than 100 alumni of the US-led initiative Academy of Ladies Entrepreneurs (AWE) tuned in from Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Zambia to listen to from WhatsApp’s World Head of Civic Engagement, Ben Supple, who spoke about how companies can develop their buyer base utilizing WhatsApp – at the moment some of the fashionable social media platforms in Africa.
Supple’s position on the social media large is to forge strategic partnerships with governments, NGOs, publishers and truth checkers who search to make use of WhatsApp’s business merchandise to have interaction with residents among the many 2.2 billion WhatsApp customers.
In keeping with the market analysis firm StatisticalWhatsApp has over 40 million customers in Africa and expects that quantity to succeed in over 66 million by 2025 – partially as a result of the platform affords a easy and low-cost approach for individuals to attach on the continent , mentioned Enterprise Insider Africa. In most African nations, calling and texting through WhatsApp is less expensive than utilizing the native cellphone service.
The seminar was a part of the AWE Linked speaker sequence, a U.S. authorities initiative that brings collectively AWE alumni from around the globe and connects them with dynamic U.S. enterprise and know-how specialists to drive the expansion of women-led companies. On this case, the purpose was to assist African ladies entrepreneurs embrace digital instruments and know-how to allow them to extra simply develop their companies and join with new clients.
WhatsApp’s Ben Supple, (high left nook) and a number of the attendees on the AWE Linked Digital Advertising and marketing seminar.
The entrepreneurs peppered Supple with questions on a spread of subjects, from combating misinformation, to staying genuine and credible, to staying protected as a feminine entrepreneur within the digital world. Additionally they requested how WhatsApp data buyer suggestions and requested for recommendation on defending accounts from hackers and scoundrels.
The session was stuffed with discussions on the do’s and don’ts of enterprise. For instance, a feminine entrepreneur in Zimbabwe recounted how, after permitting certainly one of her subscribers to have admin entry to her WhatsApp group, the subscriber hijacked the community she had constructed and kicked her out of the group. .
Instance of Tanzanian Catherine Shembilu’s intelligent advertising and marketing for her firm Vikapu Bomba – giving a carefree seaside really feel.
A number of ladies additionally shared their success tales. Tanzanian Catherine Shembilu, founding father of Vikapu Bomba, defined how utilizing a mix of Instagram, WhatsApp and different media platforms helps him higher attain his native viewers and increase his enterprise into world markets. Shembilu exports its baskets and different woven merchandise to america and Europe via on-line craft bazaars like The small market.
Bwalya Phakati, the Zambian entrepreneur behind Towani Magnificence Lotionsdefined how digital advertising and marketing has enabled her to steadily develop her magnificence and private care model, which helps job creation in sub-sectors reminiscent of retail and distribution.
AWE Alumna Bwalya Phakathi from Zambia makes use of in-person and digital advertising and marketing to efficiently promote her enterprise, creating jobs within the retail sector.
The AWE Linked The session not solely honed the skilled expertise of girls, but additionally bolstered the “sisterhood” that many alumni really feel with different AWE graduates of their nation and around the globe.
“Some of the essential issues I realized from AWE is networking,” says Maphala Phiri, Director and Founding father of Actual hair by Lorraine in Zimbabwe. She mentioned she was impressed to listen to from such a high-ranking WhatsApp chief – and to attach with extra feminine entrepreneurs like her.
“I’ve met so many inspiring ladies. We have now managed to create a sisterhood, a community of like-minded ladies,” mentioned Phiri. “If I want recommendation, I can simply faucet into our community. I in flip additionally share my experiences with different ladies and encourage them to begin companies.”
AWE Alumna Lorraine Maphala Phiri runs a hair salon in Zimbabwe and says she felt impressed by WhatsApp – and the AWE community.
The Academy for Ladies Entrepreneurs is a worldwide financial empowerment program established in 2019 by the US Division of State. It gives ladies entrepreneurs with the information, networks and entry they should launch and develop profitable companies utilizing the DreamBuilder on-line program, developed by Arizona State College’s Thunderbird College of World Administration and the Freeport-McMoRan Basis. Working in 100 nations around the globe, AWE has empowered 7,000 ladies entrepreneurs in over 20 African nations.
The Workplace of the US Speaker Program recruits dynamic US specialists to have interaction worldwide audiences on subjects of strategic significance to america. Packages are carried out in particular person and thru digital engagement platforms. Key coverage priorities embody safety, reminiscent of countering disinformation and cybersecurity; defeat ISIL and extremist teams; financial prosperity; academic diplomacy; power safety; and open authorities and civil society. The workplace runs about 650 speaker packages a yr.