Thursday, November 7, 2019, was a special day for the team of Ladies Helpline Initiative, a women-focused NGO.  The organisation’s recently launched initiative —  Africa women Economic & Entrepreneurship Summit (AWEES) — would see 100 women come together to explore dimensions of business growth and get prepared for the coming year, 2020.

AWEES made its debut in collaboration with NEW Women Microfinance Bank and Digivate 360 for African women in business, with the theme “Unlocking new opportunities for business growth: the 2020 tech agenda”.

Held at NECA Building, Hakeem BalogunAlausa, Lagos, the event was attended by women entrepreneurs, business owners and women trade organisations.  Significant areas of business and relevant sectors were extensively explored, with participants receiving hands-on insight on global economic trends and business hacks necessary for the 21st-century positioning from seasoned and renowned minds.

Izehi Hannah Agunkejoye, AWEES 2019 Convener and Executive Director of Ladies Helpline Initiative,  says “the objective of AWEES 2019 is to equip women with the crucial elements required to grow their business and generate sales leads via technology for a productive 2020”

Esther Adeola-Balogun, MD, NNEW Women Bank, expressed her profound delight to be part of the event.

AWEES 2019 is a great opportunity for female-led businesses to acquire real-life hacks, as used by the likes of Folorunsho Alakija to build multi-billion-dollar ventures.  We are glad to engage women entrepreneurs who are ready to take their business to the next level in 2020 especially as it relates to business growth and expansion through finance.   

Speakers at AWEES 2019, include Grace Akinosun, CEO of smepeaks; Dupe Darabidan, Founder iStarter Hub; Ella George, MD, Hill bridge Consulting; Esther Adeola-Balogun, MD, NNEW Women Bank; and others who were able to share practical insights and experiences to women on  what exactly everyone needs to start doing towards successfully building a flourishing businesses will outlive them. Highlights of the event include:

  • Business expansion — funding, partnerships and leverage
  • The Technology leverage — improving business skills
  • Growth Hacking — generating more sales
  • Insights on social media tools for business growth

Considering that many businesses in emerging economies barely scale to the heights of their global counterparts, there’s a growing need to divulge business tactics often hidden amongst the few.  At the AWEES 2019, women participants underwent practical training sessions on how to:

  • Build a robust customer base/find new clients
  • Build communities with groups
  • Get creative with mobile phones
  • Maximise Instagram for business
  • Penetrate international markets and lots more

Although AWEES 2019 was so impactful that it couldn’t have gone any better, Hannah assures that the next edition holds even much more promise and greater impact.


In 2 days time, smepeaks in partnership with TheNest is hosting BreakingBusinessGrounds Conference (BBG 2019). See more details about the event and register to attend.


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