7:15am: I am not a morning person…This kept ringing in my head as I headed towards the station. It’s the first day of SheHive London and I was determined to arrive at Facebook on time.
8:43 am: After a quick brekkie at Itsu, I took out Google Maps feeling all savvy that I could find my way through the busy Euston area…WRONG! I cycled the area about 3 times before giving up and going old school.
9:05am: A 6min walk turned to 20 but here I was in this giant space. All I kept saying in my head whilst tryingto act cool was, “OHMYGOD I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M AT FACEBOOK…calm down Rabi, calm down!”
I signed in using an iPad (very techy) and was asked to sit in the lobby. 10 minutes in, I realized I was the first one there!
People started arriving afterwards and I got to meet a food blogger, a PhD student studying Business Incubation, a chemical engineer and an intern at IBM. This was all in the space of half an hour. Networking toh bahd!
10:30am: We were all signed in and taken upstairs to the space for SheHive London! The session started off with a rap battle. The challenge was to come up with an epic rhyme about what #MotherlandMogul represents.
Team names included United Melanin, The Original Motherland Ballers and Amazon. Words to describe #MotherlandMoguls were; slaying, boss lady, beacon of hope. I couldn’t agree more #blackgirlpower
11:15 am: By now, the first session is underway and BBC Africa is live streaming the event on Facebook —better smile for the camera, 2 million people may be watching! First up was, ‘Building winning partnerships’ with Afua Osei!
Afua split the participants into groups and got the teams to perform live case studies about creating a bath and body products business. So brand name, targets, potential partnerships and investments —you know the 101s— were covered.
The participants then pitched their business to Afua and she gave them feedback straight away. More on Afua’s talk later on SLA so stay tuned!
I managed to catch a quick shot of the co-founders of She Leads Africa or as I nicknamed them the ‘Pikachu and Charizard’ of SLA. Get it? #Pokemongo #Okbye
Next up was Nieros Oyegun, co-founder of W8 Advisory who spoke about navigating the entrepreneurial roadmap! She gave us the five step approach to kick starting your business —in other words the do’s and dont’s.
12:45pm: LUNCH! Well turns out my quick brekkie at Itsu and walking it off lead to tummy grumbles. Okay, maybe that’s TMI.
Facebook laid out a yummy spread for us. Hold on, I didn’t mention how amazing the space we were using was right? Well for starters, Facebook has redefined what snack time means. There were racks of various snacks and drinks from healthy to choco-mania. So lunch was no different!
We had an hour for lunch and networking. For me this meant finding out what people had to say about their experience so far. Check SLA Insta for all of that action…you’re already our Insta bestie right?
I met more cool #MotherlandMoguls with brilliant ideas and it felt very reassuring to see what talent the continent has. I also had the chance to chat with our speakers and even found out one of them shares a mutual love for Korean food!
2pm: We got introduced to “Chale” of Move Me Back. He shared with us some tips about the right attitude to moving to Africa, the possibilities and the challenges. He fittingly used images and gifs to illustrate his presentation —this became a theme of the event as well with the other speakers.
We also got to hear from one of the users of Move Me Back about her experience working in Africa.
3.45 pm: Yvonne Haizel, a lead African investment strategist gave us pointers on how to get investors by teaching us the 4 M’s to get your business through the door. She invited the women behind Bahati Books to demonstrate to us how to pitch your business to an investor using the 4 M’s.
She then gave an opportunity to 2 participants to pitch their business to the room. This was similar to Afua’s live case study at the morning session.
5.00 pm: The sessions came to an end but not before Afua initiated a speed networking session —yeah, it is kinda like speed dating!
You get 5 minutes to chat with someone and after you hear the sound of a bell you switch to the next person! Talk about a #MotherlandMogul crash course.
And this was just one day. There’s more because Sunday was just as epic! Hint: there’s more Queen Bey news, JDunn and IrokoTV.