We recently conducted a business storytelling webinar entitled Storytelling for Start-Ups for a number of African women entrepreneurs from Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. These entrepreneurs are part of the first-ever Tech By Her Accelerator Program—a highly-selective program led by the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) Africa.
MEST is driving this effort in partnership with ‘Make-IT in Africa,’ which is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Clearly, some big players are involved and rightly so, given the caliber of participants and the rigor of the program’s selection process to join the summer-long curriculum.
We had a great time taking participants through an interactive, one-hour session that focused on business storytelling: why it matters, how you do it, and how you apply it. Big hits were a discussion of New York-based eyewear company, Warby Parker, and its storytelling accomplishments, one of which is baked into its product.
Here's how one participant put it: "I find it extremely difficult to tell business stories. Your Storytelling for Start-Ups webinar was simple and straightforward and made me believe I could really tell business stories effortlessly. The best part was the 100-word story about Warby Parker. Life is now full of a lot of possibilities for telling compelling business stories."
I find it extremely difficult to tell business stories. Your Storytelling for Start-Ups webinar was simple and straightforward and made me believe I could really tell business stories effortlessly. The best part was the 100-word story about Warby Parker. Life is now full of a lot of possibilities for telling compelling business stories.
Storytelling for Start-Ups | Tech By Her WebinarParticipant
We also shared the Shark Tank pitch developed and delivered by the sock company, Bombas. We took participants through Pixar’s Once Upon A Time story structure and demonstrated how it aligned with the Bombas pitch.
The highlight for us was hearing the inspiring stories of these amazing women in this program. We loved learning about their various journeys as entrepreneurs and founders. Here are a few examples of the stories we learned about:
● One founder has an online radio station based in Ghana.
● Another sells African handmade products made by marginalized women and youth in Africa.
● Another has an InsurTech solution that enables customers to buy insurance and emergency services on their mobile device.
● One has a background in Aerospace Engineering and while she pursues post graduate studies in data science, she also has a company that helps provide farmers with data-driven insights on things like when to plant.
● One founder has developled a farm-to-table food traceability ecosystem that details all production processes involved on farms until it reaches the consumer's table.
● Another founder has an automated financial planning platform that helps pregnant mothers and those close to them pay for delivery costs as well as pre-natal and post-natal care costs.
While participants came from a diverse, cross-section of industries, there was a shared optimism in the potential impact of business storytelling.
Bravo to these women for all that they’re achieving and bravo to Tech By Her which is off to a great start! To learn more about storytelling and how it can help your business, check out our course How to Master the Basics of Business Storytelling in One Hour or buy our book, Win With Decency: How to Use Your Better Angels for Better Business.