Brought up in Ghana, Mark Kwami has a strong insight and commitment to working in Africa. For the last 20 years, he has worked as a consultant for development projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean as a designer and business development mentor within the artisan and design sector. Mark currently consults for CBI in the Export Coaching Program with a portfolio of companies across the EA region. He says of the program “the initial focus is to strengthen enterprises in their domestic and regional markets, using these markets to test new product collections and build up production capacities. Only then, do we begin a conversation on export markets.”
Eva Sonaike’s eponymous label, Eva Sonaike, is a London-based interiors and lifestyle brand creating luxurious textiles, home décor and accessories with a distinctive and vibrant West-African aesthetic. The company’s ethos ‘Bringing Colour to Life‘ is reflected in Eva’s signature collections of cushions, bags, stationery, fabrics and furnishings. Her products have been stocked in department stores such as Liberty, Fenwicks of Bond Street and Selfridges in London, Globus in Switzerland and ABC Carpet & Home in New York. Eva graduated with an MA in Fashion from the London College of Fashion, where she specialized in contemporary African fashion and textiles. She was recently featured among 21 other women entrepreneurs redefining African luxury and exciting the world with Afroluxe brands.
A serial entrepreneur, Patricia is passionate about empowering individuals to make informed decisions in regard to business, financial freedom and family life. As founder and CEO of Willart Productions, Patricia’s business acumen has catapulted the company to one of the most recognized design brands in Africa. She is founder and chairman of Conferencing in a Box and Hawa Trust Foundation, has served as a board member for Festival of African Fashion and Arts (FAFA) and currently as a member of Kilimani Project Foundation’s board. In 2014, Patricia scooped the Enterprising Women of the Year Award in Miami Florida. She says of her mission, “I desire to see more small businesses flourish through education and empowerment and helping individuals become financially free.”
Since 2005, Larrissa has focused her career in media management, developing core skills in brand planning, strategy development, behavior change communications and business plan development. Working across East Africa, her portfolio of blue chip companies include Coca Cola, Kenya Airways-SSA, Jubilee Insurance, Stanbic and Woolworths. In 2002, she conceptualized Zamoyo, a fashion accessories brand based in Nairobi. It is a company she has grand plans for “I want to take the less trodden path with Zamoyo, achieve success on my terms and inspire others to create their dream companies.” A dedicated scuba diver, Larrissa says that her best place on earth is beneath the ocean surface, discovering the hush magic hidden within.
A consummate connector and net-worker, Rosie describes herself as always open to experiences that lend themselves to self-discovery. Her jaw dropping career spans close to three decades, across various sectors and multiple geographies. She initially cut her teeth in academia within medical research in Kenya, obtaining her Masters and Doctoral degrees from the University of London, UK. She later moved to corporate R&D within the food industry across Africa and North America. More recently, Rosie managed the Acumen East Africa Fellows Program, a flagship leadership development program for social impact entrepreneurs. “This is where I began honing my leadership coaching and facilitation skills” she says of her stint at Acumen. Rosie is currently serving as a transformation facilitator with Stanford Seed, a role that involves supporting SME business leaders scale their businesses. Rosie is a certified life skills coach, passionate about working with individuals and teams leverage their strengths in realizing lasting transformation.