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Meet Irene Ochem

We interview Irene Ochem, member of Platinum 7 SADC and founder & CEO of Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF).


Member name: Irene Ochem

Name of company: Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF)

Designation in company: Founder & CEO

WPO chapter: Platinum 7 SADC

Member of WPO since: July 2019

Company industry/sector: NGO



Q: Tell us about your company:

A: AWIEF is a pan-African women economic empowerment organization that promotes and supports women innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Africa through a portfolio of high impact programmes. Our core mandate is to foster women’s economic inclusion, advancement and empowerment through entrepreneurship support and development. The Organisation is headquartered in Cape Town with operations across Africa.


Q: How has being a member of WPO helped your business?

A: Opportunity to engage with successful women business owners and share insights, experiences and knowledge. Being a WPO member has provided me with a platform for peer learning on how best to address some critical business challenges.


Q: What’s your favourite WPO event you’ve attended?

A: WPO South Africa 10 year Conference and Retreat at Sante Wellness Retreat & Spa in Paarl in the Western Cape in July 2019 .


Q: What challenges have you faced as a woman in business?

A: Managing growth; raising finance; talent recruitment; finding balance between work and lifestyle.


Q: What inspired you to start your business?

A: It was an opportunity to actualise my desire to be an entrepreneur and at the same promote women entrepreneurship.


Q: What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?

A: To be consistently resilient and persistent. Own, be proud and unapologetic of your successes.


Q: What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

A: Network. Network. Network.


Q: What's your favourite quote?

A: "Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things." - Peter Drucker




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