She Leads Africa is a digital media and events platform focused on smart and ambitious young African women. SLA’s two main goals: empowering women of African descent around the world with innovative and creative content and working with brands who want to connect with these women.
Since launching in 2014 SLA has grown its’ community to 200,000 women across the continent and the diaspora and has been featured on BBC, CNBC Africa, CNN, Forbes, Black Enterprise and Huffington Post just to mention a few. They’re heading to South Africa for the first time November 3-6 to host their flagship travelling training program the “SheHive”.
Hype Avenue got hold of one of the co-founders of SLA viz. Yasmin Belo-Osagie to learn more about the SLA initiative and what we could look forward to in the upcoming event called SheHive which will be carried out for the first time in Johannesburg.
Q: Thank you for the opportunity to speak to our publication, for those who might be reading or hearing about She Leads Africa for the first time how concisely could you describe it and what its cause is about?
A: She Leads Africa is a community that helps young African women achieve their professional dreams. With engaging online content and pan-African events, our vision is to become the #1 destination for smart and ambitious young women.
Q: You launched SLA in 2014 and within 2 years you’ve grown your community to 200, 000 women across the continent and the diaspora, how were you able to achieve such success in a short space of time?
A: We wanted to create a community that was focused on helping young African women achieve their professional dreams. Thankfully much of our growth has come through word of mouth referrals and social media engagement so we’ve been able to connect with more than 200,000 young women across more than 30 countries just by using technology.
Q: I can only imagine that you have a couple of players and stakeholders involved in this project, could you please share on how you were able to get them on board, mention them (if allowed/applicable) and their respective roles in the company?
A: She Leads Africa is run by a team of young Africans who are committed to using media and technology to change the way African women perceive themselves and are perceived across the world. Having a great team is fundamental to enabling us to do the work that we do. For Johannesburg we are grateful to have the support of OPEN, a collaborative community of creative and professional people in Maboneng. We’re very excited to host our event there and be able to utilize their fantastic innovation space.
Q: Could you please unpack what the SheHive training program you are bringing to South Africa is about and how the topics and subjects covered by it were decided?
A: SheHive Joburg is a networking and learning bootcamp for women looking to break through, live their purpose and get real results in their businesses and careers. Our trainings are bootcamps, not conferences because we’re focusing on rapid results and all of our attendees leaving with a real plan of action to help them reach that next level in their career or business. While we always have senior experts with significant expertise in their fields we also make sure that the women who attend have the opportunity to connect and develop relationships with their peers so they can leverage those relationships in the future.
Q: In choosing a country and place where the SheHive event is carried out, what criteria do you use? Or is it just purely based on demand?
A: At the beginning of 2016 we committed to hosting events in 6 different countries across the continent and diaspora and we knew that South Africa had to be on the list. There is great energy amongst young women in South Africa and we’ve seen that young women aren’t waiting for others to do for them, they want to be able to go out and create for themselves. This is the type of entrepreneurial energy we love to support and we’re excited to be able to connect with women in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban during our South Africa tour.
Q: The list of guest speakers is quite impressive, how was the selection done?
A: We look for innovators and creators who can share a unique perspective with our audience. We focus on practical skills so we want speakers who have insights that can be implemented immediately by our attendees. It’s important for us to have speakers and experts from a diversity of fields including the creative arts, public sector, technology and entrepreneurship.
Q: What can we look forward to in the first SheHive event in South Africa?
A: We strive to create an authentic and welcome space where young women can ask the tough questions, challenge themselves to dream bigger and make the right connections with people who can help them get to the next level.
Q: For those who would like to be part of She Leads Africa community and partake in your programs, how can they get hold of you or your organization?
A: The best thing to do if you’re interested in staying connected to She Leads Africa is to join our community on our website at SheLeadsAfrica.org/join. It is free to join and we share weekly advice, inspiration and opportunities directly to your inbox.
Comment: At Hype Avenue we wish this fantastic initiative all the best; we look forward to witness the first SheHive event in South Africa.
A: Thank you for your support. We’re excited to connect with all of the incredible South African #MotherlandMoguls!