My journey

C-Lylliroze
Posted November 15, 2015 from Belgium

I am 54 and single mother of a 20-year old girl and a 17-year old boy. Being the eldest of a 3 girls family, I was held responsible very early on. My Russian and Jewish roots also led me to make my own way.

After business studies, a long career in an international US bank, where I gained multicultural exposure, I became an entrepreneur in 2007. My ambition was to improve health through better nutrition, thus I started to distribute natural and organic products through supermarket stores. The business grew fast and as the leader of that still small company, I had to face regular new economic and human challenges over the years, develop my own leadership style and expand my skills.

My wish would be to help develop women’s empowerment and leadership in the economic world by inspiring changes in the way of doing business. I believe some changes might come from the board rooms. Thus I am looking for board positions. There are a few organizations which help women to apply for board member’s positions. However, the impact remains limited due to strong resistance. Besides, I am thinking of creating an academy to train and coach women and girls to improve their leadership skills. Any sharing of experience or support would be helpful…

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Terry Shiundu
Nov 17, 2015
Nov 17, 2015

Hi C-Lylliroze,

Thank you for sharing your brief yet inspiring story. I like that after all you have been through and the learning, you're now in a place you feel you want to give back to others, what a blessing. You could register as a Mentor with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, they have a Mentoring Women in Business programme that you could be a part of, if interested, and also the Global Give Back Circle. Just to mention a few, i'm sure there are many more opportunities including for board positions and i sure hope that you will get the opportunities that you seek.

Blessings to you and your children.

C-Lylliroze
Nov 18, 2015
Nov 18, 2015

Hello Terry,

Thank you so much for your encoraging message. I will check on these 2 references you have mentioned. your project and your vision is very inspiring too !

Educating our kids will help, I am convinced, to change this world and hopefully cease all this violence that we are going trough. respond by love and peace.

All the best

Maya Muñoz-Tobón
Nov 18, 2015
Nov 18, 2015

Dear C-Lylliroze,

Thank you for sharing your story. This is a very inspiring story for other women leaders in our community. I really hope that you are able to build relationships and networks while participating in this training that will encourage you and open opportunities to share resources and knowledge with other leaders empowering women and young girls.

I look forward to listening to more of your stories and your voice.  

In partnership,

Maya

Bernadette Muyomi
Nov 23, 2015
Nov 23, 2015

C-Lylliroze,

I have worked in various settings, the civil society an now in the government. When all is said and done, entrepreneurship is something that women must begin to take up seriously. I would recommend you to check out the Young African Leadership Initiative (run by the US embassy) since it has an element of economic empowerment, you could come in handy  as a facilitator or a mentor. I am currently working on business concepts. I keep asking myself, what else I'm I doing when I am not working in political, leadership or typical community assignments? I got to be doing something income generating to allow me to support more people within my networks.

Lori
Nov 23, 2015
Nov 23, 2015

It is so wonderful to hear of your drive to, not only run your own business, but to help other women do the same. I agree that we need more women in the board rooms making decisions. Our ideas need to be heard. By doing the work that you are doing, you are forging the way for this to happen. Thank you.

Ariel
Nov 24, 2015
Nov 24, 2015

Dear C-Lylliroze,

Thank you for sharing your aspirations and goals of empowering young women to have an equal place at the table when it comes to Board of Directors. This is a crucial issue that we face here in America as well. Too man Boards are absent of the critical voice of women, even though most companies depend equally on women as they do on men. It is hard for women to make these stands on thier own. I think your idea of creating an academy to train and support women to feel confident and inspired as leaders, will ensure more women have a seat at these tables. What a great idea!

I also think your company sounds very cool. It is going to become more and more important for people to eat better food that keeps them healthy. I look forward to seeing what you are able to put together in the future. You have big dreams, but they are tangible and greatly necessary.

Take care,

Ariel

C-Lylliroze
Nov 25, 2015
Nov 25, 2015

Dear Ariel,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have been very touched by your message. It is really encouraging as sometimes when you have dreams like this many people try to discourage you from going forward. It will give me the strength to continue... and your words feed my ideas further.

thank you so much,

best regards

Julia O
Nov 30, 2015
Nov 30, 2015

Hi C-Lylliroze, I really enjoyed your post and find you and your ideas very inspiring. You must have been one of the earliest entrepreneurs in the organic food movement as I feel like organic products weren't nearly as readily available and ubiquitous in 2007 as they are now. I also think it's very cool that you balance your personal and work life. I love how you want to get more women on boards and improve their status in the economic sector. Those are super important goals and it's great to have someone like you, who has experience in this sector, helping others. Thank you for sharing, and all my best wishes, Julia

champagne
Dec 01, 2015
Dec 01, 2015

Hi C-Lylliroze,

Your story is very inspiring. And your such a wonderful mother. I know how hard to become a single parent, as well as u have to maintain your career. It's hard to balance thay kind of life.I really believe that you will be a successful in your aim, to develop the leadership skills of women.Go, go, go,,, dear...I can see the good leader on the future with you. God bless

Warm Regards, Champagne

Nana Amponsah
Dec 08, 2015
Dec 08, 2015

Dear C-Lylliroze,

Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring story. I like the fact that you want to give back to society.

Well, Guzakuza,a social enterprise which I am the initiator is hosting the first Women In Agribusiness Summit in Ghana on the 8th and 9th March,2016. If you not to busy,you are welcome to speak at this event to inspire other women in business. 

If you are interested,kindly let me know and I will provide the necessary details.

Kudos and more grease to your elbow.

rhania bensafia
Dec 15, 2015
Dec 15, 2015

Dear C-Lylliroze,

Thank you for sharing story. Not only it is a challenge to be a single mother and a provider for the family and a business woman.

i am a single mother myself works two jobs for the last fourteens years. It is not easy but we do it to take care of our childrens. I know that being a woman business owner is also challenging because there is always that incertainty of income. i really admire you for what you do and also for voluunteering to mentor womans who would like to become business owner.

I think it is great and would like to be inform so I can participate .

Thank you

Kristina M
Jan 10, 2016
Jan 10, 2016

Dear C-Lyllirose,

I totally agree with you about needing more women on company boards.  I recently read that it only takes a board composed of 20% women to start seeing changes and decisions being made that are not the norm.  I wish you the best in creating your academy!