Dear friends,

Across the globe, September marks the beginning of a new school year. Although the end of the school year feels impossibly far away on the first day, experienced educators will tell you that a year is never enough time to cover all of the important content they’d like to share. We face a similar challenge each program year at AWEC. While we’ve made adjustments to our curriculum over the past five years, there are a handful of topics that have withstood the test of time. 


‘Customer Insights’ is at the top of that list, and it continues to grow in importance from year to year. In our curriculum, this topic lives at the intersection of a number of functional business areas - strategy, operations, marketing, and business analytics - combined with a dash of behavioral psychology and some good old fashioned human interaction. Individually, many of these areas are familiar to our fellows. However, the combination often serves as a major “a ha” moment for our fellows, and alumnae frequently cite this topic as the major driver of their business growth.

Continue scrolling to learn more about how to uncover your own customer insights via Lean CX methodology and to see how customer insights motivated AWEC alumna Daphne Kasambala to shut down her initial business and launch an entirely new one with a different business model in order to achieve product-market fit.



Dawn Leaness

Managing Director

Lean CX: The Key to Scaling Business and Revenue Growth

86% of customers quit doing business with a company as a result of a negative customer experience. What are successful companies like AirBnB, Amazon, and Netflix doing differently to retain their customers?

Read More

AWEC Spotlight: Meekono: A Digital-Marketplace Transforming Africa’s Creative Industry One Artisan at a Time

From corporate banking to the creative sector. AWEC Alumna Daphne Kasambala shares her story of not only building businesses in the creative industry but also pledging her organization's commitment to contribute to the well-being of the artisans, the community and the environment.

Read More

Spotlight Corner: Harvesting Grain Success!

This month the spotlight is on AWEC Alumna Juliet Odour, who has received a US$30,000 grant to put toward her food processing business.

The grant was awarded by Stanbic Bank Kenya in partnership with USADF in support of local Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Kenya. 

Juliet is the founder of Blossom Health Essentials, an enterprise in the cassava value chain that produces high quality cassava flour and is used as a wheat substitute for people who have an intolerance to and cannot consume wheat or gluten.

Congratulations, Juliet!

LISTEN: How I Built This

This podcast features brilliant and honest conversations with successful founders of many different organizations about how they started and how they got to where they are now. It strips entrepreneurship down to its bare bones and charts the founder’s every step, including the struggles and triumphs. I draw so much from these stories because they are both relatable and inspiring. It's great to know that although this journey can often be a lonely one, I am connected by my experiences with thousands, if not millions, of others out there.

Daphne Kasambala, Founder & CEO, Meekono

READ: Value To The Customer! 4+ Ways to Make Customers Happy Without Reducing Prices

I read this article written by my colleague Akinola Odunlade, AWEC’s Director of Alumnae, and WOW, was I impressed! The title itself draws the reader in. On the African continent, where customers are constantly harassing business owners for a price reduction here or there, this article is very useful in helping business owners remain in control over price wars! As African business owners, we need to be intentional in continuously re-designing a user experience (whether virtual or physical) that brings value to the customer by ensuring that they’re part of standard practice. In other words, we need to shape our customers’ shopping environment to lead to less frustrations, rational or irrational.

Joyce Kinyange, Program Coordinator - Community, AWEC

LISTEN: The GET: The Global Enterprise Thread

We're excited to share a new podcast series that pulls business and management insights from today’s economic and societal developments to help global enterprise leaders move to the future with greater agility and performance. Hosted by AWEC Executive Sponsor and President of the Center for Global Enterprise, Christopher Caine, The GET offers timely conversation and analysis with renowned business leaders addressing the most pressing topics confronting global business and management.

The Center for Global Enterprise

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