The 2012 Global Summit of Women was held in Athens, Greece, May 31 to June 2, in the midst of the country’s economic crisis. Nearly 1,000 women from 70 countries attended. The theme for this year’s Summit was “Women – The Engine of Growth.”
For the first time since 2008 when it first participated in the Summit, ACDI/VOCA sponsored the attendance of one of its local development associates, Charlotte Adjei-Ababio, CEO of Royal Danemac Limited, an agroprocessing firm in Kumasi, Ghana, on the U.S. Agency for International Development-funded Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE) project.
CEO of Royal Danemac Attends the Summit
For Adjei-Ababio, attending the Summit was the realization of a lifetime dream. She embarked on her first international flight and had the opportunity to engage with accomplished businesswomen and political leaders from across the globe. The Greek venue encouraged robust discussion around the idea of “crisis as opportunity.”
Other Summit topics relevant to Adjei-Ababio’s business included: business management issues, internal and external branding, use of new media to grow one’s business, gender equity, cross-border business, negotiation and mediation, and global business trends.
Lessons Learned: Brand, Brand, Brand
Adjei-Ababio found many networking opportunities during the event and plans to follow-up with new contracts for possible future collaboration and eventual partnerships. “I was highly motivated and challenged by my interaction with important global personalities who shared how they started their businesses/careers, the challenges they encountered, and strategies they adopted to overcome their challenges. The Summit will help me to improve my leadership skills and to overcome all current and future challenges as a women entrepreneur,” she said.
“Hitherto, I had not attached much importance to branding my business, but I have learned from the summit that branding is a key concept in marketing circles, as it is the pivotal springboard that can thrust my business forward, and give me a competitive edge,” Adjei-Ababio remarked. “Most of all, it will be the catalyst for business growth, as consumers will be motivated to buy my product. I am therefore, as a matter of urgency, going to apply the principle of branding to brand myself, my business and my products so as to reap these benefits of branding.”
ACDI/VOCA Panel Presenters and Moderators
During the 2011 Global Summit of Women, Gulnara Shamshieva, general manager of Bai-Tushum and Partners MicroFinance Company, an organization founded by ACDI/VOCA, was a presenter on the “Financing your Small Business” panel. This year, ACDI/VOCA Vice President for Special Projects Sally Iadarola moderated a panel on “Doing Good and Doing Well: Social Entrepreneurship.”