Tânia Tomé is the founder and CEO of Ecokaya, an Investment and advisory firm whose aim is to identify and develop business opportunities located in Mozambique and in Portuguese Speaking Countries.
In addition to this, she is an economist, mentor, coach, entrepreneur, TV Personality, author and brand ambassador. With numerous awards to her name, she is a public speaker who advocates for the entrepreneurship and leadership ecosystem to be more inclusive, dynamic and efficient. Her purpose is to create awareness, empower leaders, promote philanthropy and facilitate connections that lead to outstanding outcomes.
Tomé decided to become a Tony Elumelu Foundation Mentor in 2018, receiving an invitation after being named one of the most influential people in the world under 40. Here is her account of her experience on the entrepreneurship programme so far.
Q: Why did you decide to become a TEF Mentor?
A: My purpose and passion are to empower people and companies to be their best and achieve their maximum potential. Creating sustainable and more inclusive entrepreneurial ventures in Africa is key to the continent’s future economic success. However, that requires the development and training of a new generation of entrepreneurs and leaders who can build businesses capable of growing and succeeding. I decided to join Tony Elumelu in his vision of changing the Africa Narrative by building that entrepreneurship ecosystem we need to make the vision a reality.
Q: What’s the most encouraging experience you have had while working with our entrepreneurs?
A: In the time I’ve spent working with the entrepreneurs, I realised that though these entrepreneurs have different realities, they all have similar challenges, motivations and passions. This has been a really fulfilling experience because, in the end, it doesn’t matter what your current position is, what matters is what you want to build and the impact you want to make.
Q: What are the challenges you have faced so far mentoring the TEF Entrepreneurs?
A: Connecting with entrepreneurs via online platforms such as WhatsApp or Skype was one major challenge as we were all in different countries and sometimes internet connection wasn’t at its best.
Q: How has your experience as a mentor in the TEF Programme benefited or affected the way you run your own business?
A: We are animals of habit and interaction is one of the best ways of learning. In the process of growing, sometimes we forget the basic needs. Usually, while clarifying concepts through mentoring entrepreneurs, I dig deep into knowledge about their challenges and in the process, I learn valuable lessons myself. On the other hand, doing good, giving back and impact other people’s lives, is really one of the best treasures I could have. My entrepreneur’s success is my success.
Q: Beyond the TEF Module that you use for your mentoring duties, what other life lessons do you constantly share with your mentees?
A: Daily as an executive coach, I teach my own concept named Succenergy, a philosophy that explores activating one’s energy and discovers all the success inside. In fact, one of the most important tools to achieve our purpose is Motivation, so I do teach how to train that muscle in their business.
Q: Any advice for budding entrepreneurs who will read this piece?
A: Don’t be afraid to be afraid, have the courage to face fear, and take that jump. There are lots of great things that can happen when we decide to take risks. Take small steps and actions, instead of waiting for the right moment, you only make progress by learning as you go. Also, be the best version of yourself every second, and learn principles and values to activate your energy and discover all your success inside of you.
You can also find her on social media via the following accounts: