Programs and Events
How to Succeed as a Businesswoman in Africa
September 11, 2012
It was an extraordinary afternoon at the American Embassy Tuesday, September 11. Over thirty female students from N’djamena’s three business schools listened with rapt attention to the life stories and experiences of four older, and very successful Cameroonian and Chadian businesswomen. The women entrepreneurs – Cameroonians Caroline Sack Kendem and Roline Ndoumbe, Fatime Lamana Amississane and Mouta Zezerti Hanane of Chad -- spoke about the challenges, failures, growing pains and successes they have experienced over the years as businesswomen in Africa. This was no esoteric exercise or theoretical academic seminar – it was a school-of-hard-knocks primer on what a young woman (or man!) wanting to start up her own business must do to succeed and achieve their dreams. In answering questions or reacting to comments, their advice and observations seemed as applicable in the United States or Singapore as in Chad: “Be prepared to travel a hard road,” “Don’t be afraid of failing, just be sure to get up and start again,” “Know your market,” “Plan ahead and strategize constantly,” “Be ready to work 24/7 for years,” “Dare to take the leap!” An extraordinary and inspiring program, indeed.