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  • Interview with Seipati Mokhuoa: Founder of SAWIL

    Seipati Mokhuoa is the Founder of SAWIL and Regional Director/Partner at Board Academy Africa. She is a formidable and influential thought leader on issues of gender equality, transformation and diversity in the workplace. She has extensive experience in implementing meaningful opportunities with great focus on women who are prospective senior managers and executives. A consummate professional with more than 15 years working experience, a decade of which was in various leadership roles in a leading pan-African investment, savings, insurance, and banking group. We had a Q&A session with Seipati to capture her amazing journey as a business leader and entrepreneur. Please enjoy the read. Hello Seipati and thank you for participating in this Q&A interview session. Please give us some insight into your background and your entrepreneurial journey to date? Seipati: I am a seasoned professional with more than a decade of experience in the Financial Services industry, eight years of which were in various leadership roles. I spent the first three years of my career in the banking sector. In 2009, I was head-hunted by one of South Africa's leading Insurance and Investment companies where I would spend eight years specialising, providing leadership and developing the Personal Finance Advice and Wealth Management Division. A formidable and influential thought leader on issues of gender equality, transformation, and diversity in the workplace – is how I see myself. I have extensive experience in implementing meaningful strategies and opportunities with great focus on women and youth across Africa. With great determination in 2014, I founded two companies: Strategic African Women In Leadership (SAWIL), and HenDal Holdings (named after my sons: Henry and Dalitso) which now houses (HD Afrika: HD Media, HD Innovation Hub, HD Freelancers, HD Market, HD Flight Rentals, and HD Events). Before I left the Financial Services sector in November 2018 to focus on the growth and demands of SAWIL and Hendal Holdings, I was Area General Manager overseeing the company’s administrative duties in three Provinces; Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West in South Africa. A major part of my role involved leading and directing a diverse team of 11 Managers, over 120 Financial Advisers and eight admin staff members. Being the first woman and African to hold these positions in these regions was a great feat for me. This environment, due to its untransformed and male dominated legacy, propelled me to self-introspect. I had to think on my feet and find creative and productive solutions to introduce diversity and inclusion initiatives. As an entrepreneur and business leader, what would you say has been your key drivers and motivators? Seipati: I am driven by two things only: purpose and impact. I do not do anything unless it's going to change and transform lives. What key challenges have you faced as a business leader and entrepreneur? Additionally, how have you navigated or capitalised on these? Seipati: I have not had challenges as an entrepreneur, only lessons. I am extremely fortunate to have spent over a decade in the corporate sector before fully transitioning to entrepreneurship. I have also had the opportunity to watch and learn from my late dad, an avid businessman, who unfortunately made many mistakes that I vowed not to repeat. Having landed my first leadership role at the age of 24, looking after teams of people who were twice and sometimes three times my age, taught me a lot. I also had great mentors and senior leaders who invested in me, which most entrepreneurs do not have. Key characteristics such as tenacity, agility, and discipline come in handy in the entrepreneurship space, and I am fortunate to have had the right set of circumstances to learn these in my previous roles in the corporate sector. Has your entrepreneurial journey been influenced by any current or past business leaders, and how? Seipati: Oprah Winfrey's illustrious journey has been my compass in relentlessly and unapologetically pursuing my true north. I have several businesswomen and men, both locally and internationally, that I look up to. However, in terms of direct influence, I would have to say my mentor Chief (Kgosi) Lediga, who is the founder, former Chief Executive and Chairman of Legae Securities (Pty) Ltd, the first Black owner-managed stockbroking firm in the South African stock market. He has walked the journey with me from my last year in Varsity up to today. There is a not a career decision I consider or make without consulting with him. Phil Knight, co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike, Inc., is also a significant influence. I read his book in December 2018, a month after I finally left the corporate sector. Two people who are significantly close to me but do not know each other had read his book: Shoe Dog, and both kept insisting that there were several similarities between his entrepreneurship style and mine. And they were not wrong. How much support have you received during your entrepreneurial journey? Seipati: I am quite fortunate to have a solid global network of successful entrepreneurs, making it relatively easy to get support when needed. As they say: "your network is your net-worth". What advice do you have for female entrepreneurs, especially those in Africa? Seipati: Do not underestimate the power of networking! Connecting with the right people for the right reasons will take you far in life. Lastly, do not be shy to ask for help; successful and secure people are usually readily available and quite keen on assisting noble people. You originally founded SAWIL and it has grown into one of Africa’s biggest networks for female business leaders. Where did the idea for SAWIL come from and what was the inspiration behind it? Seipati: Being the only woman and sometimes the only young Black person in the boardroom in my twenties always left a bitter taste in my mouth. Also, in both the companies I worked for, I was always part of the Employment Equity Committees. Subsequently, I was privy to the statistics from an overall companies' perspective and strategy. In a country where most of the population is Black, it didn't sit well with me that the stats did not resemble the country's demographics in these organisations. Thus, it slowly became my mission to influence, challenge and change the status quo directly. That is, in a nutshell, how SAWIL came to being. Since you left your role as CEO of SAWIL on February 2021, what have you been up to in the business and entrepreneurial ecosystem? If you have started any new enterprise or continued with an old one, please identify these and their value propositions. Seipati: The Executive Chairperson role is surprisingly just as demanding. The expansion to the rest of Africa and the Diaspora requires that I remain hands-on until the entire vision and strategy is in motion. I have also taken over an additional role (Regional Director for Africa) with Board Academy, a European-based company that specialises in board training and placements. Together with the CEO, Guido Happe, we have since established its subsidiary: Board Academy Africa, which aims to bridge the gap between Europe and Africa by sourcing, training, and placing board directors in the two continents. HD Afrika, especially the innovation hub, also keeps me terribly busy with the latest ventures, acquisitions and collaboration with our UAE based network. Our upcoming Impact Invest Forum - Africa Edition, co-founded with Innovate4Good, has been one of the most fulfilling projects to put together for the continent. With our first edition gaining the support of big players in the investment and startup space such as African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA), AfricInvest, Africa Development Bank Group, African Energy Chamber, Abu Dhabi Global Market, C3, Grosvenor Capital, Stratecis and our media partner Startup Africa Magazine, it is sure to be an impactful project that we hope to host annually from now on. We have come to the end of the interview and would like to thank you Seipati, for taking the time out to participate in this Q&A session. We wish you all the best and hope to have you back at some point in the future. Seipati: Thank you so much for having me, I really appreciate the platform and the work that you are doing. Wishing you all the absolute best as well. This article is Sponsored by BYP Network and organisation dedicated to changing the black narrative globally. BYP Network connect black professionals with each other and corporate organisations. They are championing the drive for diversity employment globally. You can subscribe to their newsletter at BYP Network (byp-network.com), Signup with their network at BYP Network | Sign up (byp-network.com) to connect with other black professionals across the globe. If you are looking for work, please visit their job board at Connecting black professionals and students with careers at global companies (byp-network.com) Lastly, you can access their educational events at BYP Network | Events (byp-network.com)

  • Interview with Antoine Paillusseau: CEO of FinChatBot

    Great things always come out of Africa and FinChatBot is another splendid example of this. Founded by French entrepreneurs Antoine Paillusseau and Romain Diaz, in South Africa, FinChatBot is an AI driven FinTech marvel that automates customer experiences for financial services through performance-driven digital solutions. We had the pleasure of interviewing Cofounder Antoine, who talked about his entrepreneurial journey and the value proposition of FinChatBot. Hello Antoine. Please give us an overview of your background, initial career aspirations, and how you got into entrepreneurship? Antoine: I come from a business background with experience in sales, I then started my first business in 2014 on the lead generation side. I was sold leads to the financial services industry and realised how complex it was to get the transparency needed in order to monitor sales and feedback from the customer experience end. With this insight and further market analysis, we developed and launched FinChatBot. How much of your background and environment influenced your entrepreneurial journey? Antoine: My experience in Business Strategy, Sales Management and Venture building across both Africa and Europe has influenced my entrepreneurial journey. I am passionate about creating innovative solutions as well as constantly conceptualising new ways to improve on my suite of products, I am also committed to enabling entrepreneurial talent in Africa. How much support have you received through your entrepreneurial journey? Antoine: I have received a lot of support during my journey. I am extremely grateful for every opportunity which has increased the growth of the business. We were part of an incubator called Far Ventures based in Cape Town that assisted us with building the minimum viable product (MVP) to get traction on our first clients. We then went on to raise an angel round of funding that really helped us as a team to build the right product. What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders that are looking to launch or scale their business? Antoine: I believe if you are passionate about your idea/vision you should take the risk. Find employees who are hard working but who are excited about the dream and willing to make it become a reality. Where did the idea for FinChatBot come from and how did you validate its demand? Antoine: FinChatBot is a FinTech Startup, founded in Cape Town, South Africa. It was co-founded by two passionate French Entrepreneurs, Antoine & Romain to help financial service providers acquire & retain customers using AI-powered conversations. We recognised that call centres are increasingly under pressure, inefficient, saturated and expensive. Often not delivering the intended results in terms of sales conversion and customer satisfaction. Thus we dedicated FinChatBot to the goal of bringing people closer to financial services with an interactive and fun experience, while enabling financial service providers to enhance customer experience and maximise business performance by saving time and money. What is the operating business model, value proposition and target market of FinChatBot? Antoine: Our business model is based on both SAAS and a performance fee. We are not just a software provider to our clients but a fully integrated partner. We fully manage the solution and work closely with clients to optimise performance over the long-term. How was FinChatBot initially funded? Antoine: We were part of an incubator called Far Ventures based in Cape Town that assisted us with building the minimum viable product (MVP) to get traction on our first clients. AI is at the core of FinChatBot’s value proposition. What would you say are the pros and cons of using AI technology? Antoine: Customers have increased their use of self-service during the pandemic. According to a survey conducted by Salesforce, 65% Of customers prefer self-service for simple matters. In addition, 83% Of customers expect to interact with someone immediately when they contact a company. The increased demand for customer service isn’t being met with increased resources as businesses take a hard look at their budgets amid economic uncertainty. Conversational agents help automate 80% of customer queries so call center agents can focus on more complex queries. As an example, a popular tactic for relieving agents of high-volume, low-complexity cases is deflecting them to an AI-powered chatbot in the first place. What key challenges has FinChatBot faced since its launch and how have you navigated these? Antoine: There were not many challenges. The team quickly adapted to working remotely, and we used tools like Slack, Zoom and Google Hangouts to communicate. We have been fortunate enough to expand the team and grow during this pandemic. The need for conversational AI solutions has increased drastically over the past year. How many people does FinChatBot employ in Africa and what is your geographical reach within Africa? Antoine: 23 employees in South Africa. We have employees in Johannesburg and Cape Town. What are FinChatBot’s future plans for expansion if any? Antoine: We started FinChatBot in South Africa but have since expanded the business to Portugal, France and the UK. We are also looking to expand further into Europe as well as into West Africa. We have come to the end of the interview, and would like to thank you for participating in this Q&A session. Antoine: Thank you

  • A brief look at Tantalum supply from Africa

    On the global seen, big tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Sony are feeling the impact of what is called “Chip shortage”. Put simply, Chip shortage occurs when the global demand for semiconductor chips exceeds the existing supply capacity. One of the factors contributing to Chips Shortage is a reduction in supply of the raw materials used to create these microchips. One of such raw materials is called Tantalum. Tantalum is a rare and crucial component used in creating next gen semiconductors. Its properties allow electronics manufacturers to produce chips of increasingly greater information densities. It is estimated that Africa produces more than 70% of the worlds supply of Tantalum. Like the Blood diamonds of Sierra Leone, Tantalum is classed as a conflict resource in Africa. Tantalum mining has been growing in significance over the past decade in Africa. Chinese investment in natural resource has helped open new mines in Africa and create infrastructure that has enabled them to be more productive. Many companies on the continent work as subcontractors to many global firms operating in their countries, which include Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), who are the major players in the world supply of semiconductors. Two major mining operators in Africa, Vedanta and Anglo American provide almost all of the raw materials needed for the tantalum industry. Both companies operate mines in Southern Africa: Vedanta’s Luleå Titanium Mine, located in northern Sweden and Anglo American’s Ekati Mine in Northern Canada. Tantalum is also a vital component for the global automotive industry, accounting for half of the world's tantalum production. The automotive sector uses more than 50% of the global tantalum consumption. Shortage of Tantalum The shortage of Tantalum is attributed to significant supply growth in the Asia Pacific region. This growth is attributed to demand from the smartphone industry, which is by far the largest electronics industry in the world. According to TechRadar, during the first half of 2018, the global smartphone market saw 2 million more smartphones being sold than in the first half of 2017. Despite the very rapid increase, the demand for smartphones has not been able to keep up with the rapid supply growth. To compound things further, one of the largest single source of tantalum ore, the Kombat mine in Northern Namibia, closed down in 2015, sending global prices to astronomical levels. Ethical production of Tantalum in Africa The mining sector in Africa has enormous potential, but is fraught with challenges and ethical dilemmas. For decades, cheap supplies of tantalum derived from mines under the control of rebel groups based in the north-eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have flowed into the supply chain of Tantalum. Among these groups profiting from this trade are Hutu militia associated with the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The processing of raw materials to create finished goods in the industrialised world is linked to the availability of high quality and cheap raw materials, such as raw materials needed for the electronics industry, like Tantalum. As long as organisations within the tantalum supply chain, especially those upstream keeps quiet, they are also complicit in crimes committed by these rebel groups. All five African countries supplying tantalum in large quantities to the global market - Uganda, Botswana, DRC, Namibia, and Zambia - are also among the world’s poorest countries. For instance, Botswana is Africa’s second smallest economy after Mauritius. Upstream organisations such as Apple, Samsung and Sony that use Tantalum in their manufacturing process can alleviate poverty in these African countries, by establishing manufacturing hubs in these countries. Safety and logistics, can no longer be an excuse presented by these organisations. If they train and use the local work force in these African countries, they would easily address most of these issues or excuses. These organisations only seem to care about getting high quality raw materials through the supply chain for cheap, without thinking about how the initial raw materials were sourced.

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  • ChangeinAfrica Magazine |Black Community|Women Empowerment|Africa

    Home Business Magazines Articles Press Release Entertainment Magazines Contact us Subscribe About Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Search Results Our mission To promote the black and African community. ​ To support women empowerment especially in Africa. ​ To promote equality, diversity and inclusivity. ​ To promote environmental and business sustainability Featured Articles Latest Magazines Latest Articles Interview with Seipati Mokhuoa: Founder of SAWIL Seipati Mokhuoa is the Founder of SAWIL and Regional Director/Partner at Board Academy Africa. A formidable and influential thought leader 20 views Write a comment 1 Interview with Antoine Paillusseau: CEO of FinChatBot FinChatBot automates customer experiences for financial services through performance-driven digital solution. 16 views Write a comment A brief look at Tantalum supply from Africa On the global seen, big tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Sony are feeling the impact of what is called “Chip shortage”. 7 views Write a comment Ally is a verb! Definition: Ally, a person or group that gives help to another person or group (of Latin origin, meaning “to bind together” 66 views Write a comment Press Release Kenyan startup, Mazi Mobility, launches flagship electric motorcycle fleet backed by global Venture Builder Satgana 20 views Write a comment Understanding the Intrinsic value of a company and its corresponding market shares In the digital age, buying and selling of shares can be done by anyone who knows their way around a computer and has an internet connection 20 views Write a comment The European Super League: Greed or Business Sustainability In recent weeks, the football community and numerous governments officials came together to reject the planned European Super League (ESL). 6 views Write a comment After George Floyd, what next for the black community? Last week, Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd. Justice was finally served for George Floyd, 20 views 1 comment Her voice will be heard: The next steps in progressing the gender parity conversation The sound of women spread like fire across the globe and was unmistakably audible this year with a resounding message of do more & talk less 44 views Write a comment Growth hacking your company during a pandemic As a retail company specialising in outdoor lifestyles, we have implemented several successful strategies to curb this problem 77 views Write a comment Jungle justice in Africa Jungle justice also known as mob justice is a form of public vigilantism in Sub-Saharan Africa, most notably in Nigeria and Cameroon. 75 views Write a comment Stripe vs Paypal: Different strategies of expansion in Africa In the span of 10 years, Stripe has acquired nine organizations as part of their expansion plan. Their most recent acquisition was Paystack. 27 views Write a comment Factors influencing Human Trafficking: A focus on Africa The articles explores the factors associated with human trafficking and its victim impact in Africa 48 views Write a comment Managing Mental Health in Africa Managing mental health in Africa is very challenging because this issue is highly stigmatizing in our culture. 51 views Write a comment January Report Across Africa The January 2021 report across Africa looks at key events across different African regions such as the Ethiopia-Tigray civil war. 71 views Write a comment Trumpism: An African perspective Trump is gone but the impact of Trumpism on Africa will never be forgotten. This article explores how Trumpism impacted Africa and the world 19 views Write a comment Yoweri Museveni: A promise of Uganda democracy to an era of fascism Yoweri Museveni promised Uganda democracy and an era of peace. What they got was fascism and an authoritarian regime. 28 views Write a comment Grand Inga Dam Project: Unrealised potential The Grand Inga Dam is a proposed hydropower project with the capacity to produce 40 GW of power. Making it the world's largest power station 37 views Write a comment Africa's Economy: A victim of Dept-trap diplomacy or a willing participant Africa's economy is forecasted to grow from $2 trillion to $29 trillion by 2050, but there are a number of factors that could impact this. 23 views Write a comment Akon City: Dream or Reality Akon City is a planned construction project to build a green futuristic city in Senegal. 52 views Write a comment Donald Trump pardons four human rights violators responsible for killing 14 innocent Iraqis Donald Trump pardons four human rights violators responsible for killing 14 innocent Iraqis 4 views Write a comment Boko Haram: Nigeria’s biggest security problem 11 years after Boko Haram’s founder was killed, they are still terrorising northern Nigeria, we no recourse from the Nigerian government 25 views Write a comment Dangote Oil Refinery Dangote Oil Refinery is a 650,000 barrels per day (BPD) integrated refinery project under construction in the Lagos, Nigeria. 29 views Write a comment Black Lives Matter Co-Founder urges Nigeria to free jailed anti-SARs protesters Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Urges Nigeria to Free Jailed Police Protesters 11 views Write a comment

  • About | ChangeinAfrica Magazine

    About us ChangeinAfrica Magazine is a UK based publication and social enterprise that produces a weekly business publication and a monthly entertainment edition for free. We started this publication to show that the black community are as talented and resourceful as any other race. More importantly, that they can stand on equal footing in any sector or industry you look at. ​ The ChangeinAfrica Business Magazine also known as CIAB Magazine, features interviews with business leaders and entrepreneurs across the globe. They share their entrepreneurial journeys, influences and knowledge with us. Alot of these business leaders either own a business in Africa, invest in Africa, plan to invest in Africa, are from Africa or are from the black community in general. Our Entertainment magazines showcase African talent and culture across the globe. Our mission To promote the black and African community. ​ To support women empowerment especially in Africa. ​ To promote equality, diversity and inclusivity. ​ To promote environmental and business sustainability

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