Building entrepreneurs through intergenerational connections

During February I was invited to a breakfast networking event called The Lionesses of Africa at The Standard Bank Incubator. I was curious and went along to find out more. I am always ready to be challenged and look for events and places where I will meet different people, learn from others and stimulate my thinking and creativity.

What a great spot Standard Bank has created at their Incubator. Headed up by Jayshree Naidoo, the place was a buzz when I arrived. Great coffee, breakfast and many introductions to young female entrepreneurs. It warms my heart to watch a space like this where young talent is engaging and learning. Melanie Hawken, Founder of Lionesses of Africa introduced herself. Melanie is a lady with a passion and on a mission to support female entrepreneurs in Africa. Below is a statement from her website.

“Our online community of Lionesses is all about women entrepreneurs sharing their stories, their knowledge and experiences, inspiring one another to reach greater heights, and connecting with one another for accelerated success. We’re a community which welcomes young women entrepreneurs of tomorrow who are looking for advice, insight, and a platform where they can promote and share their own business ideas. Lionesses of Africa is where today’s successful women entrepreneurs from across the African continent get the chance to send the elevator down to the next generation of young women who will follow in their footsteps.”   Founder- Melanie Hawken.

I love her mission and what she has achieved. Go to her website and browse around to see the vibrant mix of entrepreneurs all over the continent. The vision to share skills, wisdom and ideas between mature female business owners and the upcoming young talent is tangible. Margaret Hirsch shared her story about a brand today that we all know and the journey of what it takes to get there. She shared wonderful stories and wisdom with the audience.

We then had a wonderful story of a young female lawyer, Babette who chose to follow her passion to become an artisan baker. Her wonderful story of wanting to learn from a master baker and the journey she took to Vermont in the USA to spend time learning was truly inspiring. The lesson and inspiration for me in her story was that we need to have more skilled masters sharing their skills and talent with our youth. In that way we grow a strong society using intergenerational talent. Her website is

Intergenerational skills transfer and learning is a key solution for us in South Africa. We need to set up all kinds of hubs where people can find one another. Skilled masters must learn to market their skills and be prepared to share. Imagine if Retirement Developments opened up their doors and built creative hubs where masters and students could meet? It could be carpentry, photography, art, quilting or many other crafts. We need to think differently.

4 thoughts on “Building entrepreneurs through intergenerational connections

  1. Jayshree Naidoo says:

    What a lovely post. Thank you so much for being part of it and for reflecting the essence of what we do so eloquently!

  2. says:

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