While half of Lusaka was recovering from hangover from the first installment of the back to back boys II men concert, Norena Chiteba and her team were nurturing young girls into becoming the next business leaders in Zambia. But what got the founder when he attended the conference was how well the function was organized. Entirely run by women, the operations management of the event was at a remarkable level.
This was the Founders freshmen attendance of the annual event but already he could tell that the reputation for what Norena was doing had increased tenfold from the moment she started this project. The numbers don’t lie. This year alone, she has grown the number of girls attending to 300. Outstanding. In addition we counted over 18 corporate sponsors of the event. If that is not corporate confidence and endorsement, we don’t know what else to call it. In her game, reputation is everything. She had convinced notable speakers such as Mulenga Kapwepwe, Sonny Zulu, Caroline Marsh, Rev. Themba Khumalo, Ms Bri, Rose Sibisi and Wezi Njovu to come and inspire the young women to greatness. This can only happen if the organizers have what we at Fi Zambia call “Social Capital”. It is one of the gifts that the founder of the KUPES annual conferences has and she is making good with it.
The event in itself being hosted at Intercontinental meant that the caliber of execution would be exceptional. KUPES is a product and we believe it will eventually become one of the foremost incubators for young women in Zambia. Attendees could feel the presence of the organizers because of the energy they all had in ensuring that their product was well delivered. They have successfully built a love market for participants who look forward to every annual event. Consistency is also key in this game. Norena knows it. You can tell with the roster of speakers she had at this year’s event. Year on Year we believe she will continue to raise the bar of notable speakers that come to the event because of her “social capital”.
One of the speakers, Caroline Marsh spoke about the copycat behavior of many Zambian start ups. If one were to be dared to enter this game, they would do it at their own peril. Social capital is something you cannot go to the bank and ask for. It is earned. The founders of Fi Zambia know this too well.
The Founder did get a bit nostalgic attending the event because the KUPES Conference was held in the same hall that financialinsightzambia.com was launched. Therefore, we are proud to be associated with a firm that also choses to make a difference for Zambians (women in this case).