Women In Business and Leadership;

FOCUS ON RUTH TEMBE BIZ, (Award-winning Serial Entrepreneur, Business Coach, Author & Speaker).

Today more than ever before more Women are embracing Entrepreneurship as a way not only for financial independence, moral and physical well being, but for most Women, it turns out that Entrepreneurship is actually a way for them to create positive impact in their communities.

We talked to Ruth Tembe, a Cameroonian Serial Entrepreneur, Publisher and Founder of AVICOMM (African Vision Communications) GROUP, a Business Development, Media and Marketing firm based in Cameroon and Ghana. She is also the Founder of ELYON HUB a co-working and Business Incubator created in the heart of Cameroons economic capital – Douala. Ruth says one of the plans of ELYON HUB is to be represented in at least 5 African countries by 2025…she is the Founder of the TEMBE BUSINESS ACADEMY an e-Learning platform for Business Studies amongst other businesses she manages. She also runs an organization called LEWA – LEADING AND ENTERPRISING WOMEN OF AFRICA through which she empowers women to take on Leadership roles in business and governance.

Ruth in the past years has been helping companies and ambitious individuals increase their revenue by offering innovative business solutions that has helped her clients rise to leadership positions in the marketplace.

Ahead of the upcoming Africa Entrepreneur Conference, we went up close and personal with this prolific Entrepreneur for our Afripreneur Conference and our launch of series of interviews dedicated to the next generation of African entrepreneurs.

Hello Ruth, thank you for accepting to grant us this interview, could you please tell us some of your experiences doing business in Africa? Moreover as the Woman that you are?

Ruth: Thank you so much Sir, for your interest in my person and my work…let me first of all congratulate you for all what you are doing empowering Entrepreneurs in Africa. We need more people and more platforms like yours to support the cause that we are all fighting for, that of transforming African economies one country at a time.

As for my experiences as a business woman in Africa, I will say it is always a thrilling and fulfilling experience to do what I do…and to pursue my mission, heed to my calling and fulfill it.

By this I mean that doing Business for me and doing this in Africa is just me living my purpose which is to transform African economies for the better. With help from my team, I do that by helping businesses grow because I believe that a business that is profitable and sustainable serves better the community they find themselves in. Most profitable businesses not only develop a strong Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy but offer more jobs and provide value to the communities they find themselves in. Avicomm Group strives on a daily basis to promote this stance.

It is true that doing Business in Africa is complex as you have to deal on a daily basis with African issues of socio-political instability, unstable consumer behavior due to economic crisis, other domestic factors, increased poverty rates and corruption. However, there is hope that with the upcoming generation of conscious and patriotic youth who prone innovation and excellence things will never be the same again. We are heading for a better and more developed continent where our heritage will be preserved and promoted more than ever before.

What can you say about female leadership?

Ruth: (Smiles) I think it is the best form of Leadership that exists! You already know it is a blessing to be a Woman! And I am not just saying this because of my gender but history has it recorded and it is a fact that because of Women’s empathetic and assertive qualities, our high sense of intuition and responsibility coupled with our emotional intelligence that comes naturally…, (which are great traits of every great Leader),… Women when entrusted a Leadership role have rarely if not never failed!

Nowadays more Women are developing problem-solving and Managerial skills, more Women are daring to get to the frontlines where Change needs to be implemented, more Women are leading discussions in the technology, economic and socio-political fronts globally and wherever a Woman has been at the head of a nation or an organization, that institution thrived. The world should entrust more Leadership roles upon Women! It will reduce more than 50% of the chaos and global disasters we keep experiencing as time unfolds.

Have you ever felt that you encounter specific obstacles in your career because of your gender?

Ruth: It is true that women have to work twice as hard to prove their competencies and capabilities. However, increased expertise, mastery of the subject matter, determination and long-lasting powerful drive has always beaten that for me. As Women we just have to create what we want to see exist in the world. We must create the realities we sometimes wish existed only so can we continue to thrive and lead in the society.


Let me quote an example here of when I just started my company … I sought funding and investment to grow my businesses and execute some projects for a long time to no avail. Many people, banks did not believe in me but that never discouraged me. Today, permit me say that I am working to launch my own investment company. This is just to say that Women cannot keep wallowing on the notion that there is gender bias etc….let us learn to break these stereotypes and change the conversation by creating our own realities and providing solutions with what we have, the way we can.

Is there a gender strategy in your company?

Ruth: Thank you for this question, it is an important one. There is no gender strategy in my company. As a matter of fact, I am oblivious of these gender issues that keep being raised during professional debates. I believe we already know how to deal with this. I think our focus should be more on the outcome of our rendition as women.

I work with competence. I train female Entrepreneurs, I even promote and invest in them no doubt. But because I am laser-focused on exponential growth, my company, would rather prioritize real talent and productive results to a term like gender strategy. My best talent could be a Woman, but her gender will not matter. The results she produces will. Same thing for the male talent. Those who align with my company values which are hard-work, high productivity, excellent delivery, customer satisfaction (amongst others) will always be retained and those who do not are always allowed to go regardless of their gender. If you want to be a global leading entity, you do not start by having conversations where gender promotion is at the forefront of your company culture. To become a global leading entity, you will want to harness the values of productivity and results-orientation to drive your growth agenda! The human resources who can drive this growth could be men or/and women.

This is why to the young girls and women I mentor and in the Women empowerment conferences I organize, I put an accent on hard-work and acquisition of innovative skills because that is what we need if we women want to stay relevant or ahead of the conversation.

Do you see yourself as a role model to Women?

Ruth: I will prefer that someone else answers that question … not me. Like I told you at the beginning of this interview, I am a woman living everyday trying to fulfill my purpose and mission in life. I have a vision for every area of my life and I strive to bring these visions to reality. As I live my purpose, it so happens that I help and counsel others to live their best lives as well…. we are not perfect, we learn how to become better humans everyday…. so whether I am esteemed to be a role model is left to my audience to say…. I am just living my purpose-driven life (smiles).

Professionally, is there someone who inspires you?

Ruth: Oh! I have a plethora of people who inspire me,… who are my role models and mentors as well.
My greatest inspiration however are the people I meet on a daily basis who tell me stories of how they leveraged failure, learned from it and turned into resounding success. In addition, the people I meet whom with the little they have can still produce tangible wowing results.

I have these monuments too who are part of my virtual mastermind group. To name a few, there is Nigeria Aliko Dangote for his business acumen, Tony Elumelu, the visionary, Angela Merkel the German President for her steadfastness, Michelle Obama for her resilience, Oprah Winfrey for her consistency and Donald Trump for his disruptive nature which in essence is the quality we need to master our game in this kaleidoscopic world.

OK Ma’am, we see you putting in the work but permit me ask, how do you unwind?

Ruth: I am pretty much a workaholic. My job is my passion so it rarely feels like work. On a typical relaxation or vacation mood however, I am a travel addict….I am a bookworm as well and I could spend an evening tasting different cocktails whilst listening to music. I love good melodies. No matter the genre of music, if the melody is soothing, I get carried away.

In your opinion, can conferences such as the Africa Entrepreneur Conference make a difference for African businesswomen?

Ruth: Again Sir, let me reiterate that whatever platform is created to promote African Women in Business or their trade is always a great initiative. However, not only for promoting Women but all of industrious Africans who work hard and sacrifice for the welfare of this beautiful continent and its people. The Africa Entrepreneur Conference has got so much potential and with a strong vision, I believe this platform stands as a pillar for fostering Entrepreneurial growth in Africa. Let us keep working to achieve measurable results with regards to this.

What is the next country in Africa you want to visit and why?

I have visited more African countries over the years, with an intent to study the behavioral pattern of various people and conduct research on how business operations are undertaken in each country… I must say that each country in Africa has got its particularities. It is this diversity that makes for the beauty our continent embodies.

After Ghana and Cameroon, we intend to extend operations of AVICOMM GROUP to East Africa and we will like Nairobi to be our base. Therefore, my next stop will be Kenya.

Today, are you where you have always wanted to be?

Ruth: No, not yet, not even close. Next year I celebrate 10 years in Business, 10 years since I took on this journey full of uncertainty and surprises…. It has been quite an interesting experience so far…but every God-given day I feel like I am still at the threshold of it all. I am learning to get to where I envision to be with much serenity and a heightened sense of gratitude for how far God has brought me despite all the hurdles and pain.

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