Recently, Katannuta Diamonds co-founder Clare Appleyard was invited to speak at the August Lionesses of Africa Lean In event, held in Sandton, Johannesburg. Founded by Melanie Hawken, Lionesses of Africa is a 700,000-strong network of women entrepreneurs spanning over 40 African countries.

Melanie Hawken
Melanie Hawken, CEO & Found of Lionesses of Africa.

Melanie believes there is a huge amount of untapped entrepreneur potential among the women of Africa and, with backing from powerful corporate companies, she’s helping dynamic women bring their ideas, products and services to the global market.

Katannuta Diamonds has been part of this powerful network since May 2017, and much of our development and growth this year is a result of our association with Melanie and her network. Clare is currently a participant in the prestigious Cherie Blair Foundation for Women Mentorship Programme, and Clare’s work with her Indian-based mentor, Madhujit Singh (founder, Ananya Women At Work) was the catalyst for Katannuta Diamond’s recent Chocolate, Cognac & Diamond launch event.

Clare Appleyard networking
Katannuta Diamonds co-founder Clare Appleyard chats to fellow Lionesses member Louise Pauwels.

In front of 120 Johannesburg entrepreneurs, Clare shared the background to Katannuta Diamonds’ creative collaboration with Chocoloza, a luxury chocolate company launched by master Chocolatier Vicki Bain.

The seeds of a partnership between Chocoloza and Katannuta Diamonds dates to September last year, when Clare used some of Chocoloza’s beautiful hand-made chocolates as background props for some “chocolate diamond” jewellery photographs.

Further discussions between Vicki and Bronwyn at Chocoloza resulted in the development of a unique Katannuta Diamonds chocolate, resulting in powerful leverage for both brands. Clare shared the benefits of brand leverage and collaboration with the Lioness Lean In attendees, stressing the value of finding a brand who has the same ethos, attitude and target market as your company does.

Lioness Lean In
Attendees at August’s Lioness Lean In event in Johannesburg

Not only do the loyal clients of each collaborating company get introduced to the other company, they’re more likely to recommend the collaborative company to their family and friends, as the trust factor already exists. Further benefits of collaborations include amplified exposure, resource leverage and enhanced business credibility.

Clare wrapped up her talk by thanking Melanie and the Lionesses of Africa platform and by encouraging other women entrepreneurs to proactively development collaborations with brands they admire and respect.

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