Founder Lisa Chuma discusses her passion for inspiring women to realise their business dreams.
The Women’s Expo Switzerland will be held on April 10 in Zürich this year. This is the only exhibition in Switzerland where female business owners present and showcase their businesses in-person so that they can grow their client base, increase their visibility, and build meaningful connections. The credit for this Expo goes to Lisa Chuma.
Born in Zimbabwe and raised by a single mother who was a survivor of domestic violence, Lisa is passionate about helping women. In her own words, her goal is “to contribute to the success and growth of women in Switzerland”. The philosophy of Ubuntu[*], “people are not people without other people” explains her passion for events such as the Women’s Expo Switzerland.
A mother of three beautiful children, Lisa has her sight set on what she calls ‘next big goal’ – to become the first black woman in the Swiss parliament. continnect catches up with Lisa for a quick chat just weeks ahead of the fourth edition of the Expo.
How did the idea for the Women’s Expo Switzerland evolve?
The idea has always been evolving. My mission is for the Women’s Expo Switzerland to create a environment and platform for women to be visible. The Women’s Expo Switzerland is a natural result of this desire. I sought out to create a place where women could be inspired, informed, and connected. I wanted to create an inspiring space where like-minded women could meet, build new relationships, share experiences, and expand their professional networks. So I went for it. And here we are four years later…
What does a day at the Women’s Expo look like?
This is a one-day event for female business owners and professionals. One can attend either business or career seminars, discover new products and services, and have the opportunity to connect and meet others with whom one can collaborate with in the future. There’s something valuable for every woman no matter what stage of life or business she is in. Men are welcome to the Women’s Expo Switzerland – we want more men to come. Men can benefit from our seminars, discover gifts and find business partners at the Women’s Expo Switzerland. We aim to have 150 exhibiting tables every year. We welcome as many visitors as possible – no limit! The exhibition is funded by exhibitors who pay to showcase their businesses and sponsors.
What can first time women entrepreneurs expect from the Expo?
First is inspiration — other businesswomen will definitely inspire them. They will have an opportunity to build new relationships with these women whom they can later on collaborate with. They will have a unique opportunity to ask these businesswomen questions directly and find mentors as well. They will have an opportunity to exchange experiences with well-established businesswomen they will meet here. They will have a chance to attend some of our business seminars and acquire new knowledge, which will help them in their business. During the Expo, they will also discover new products and business solutions for their businesses.
Now this event takes place once a year. Apart from the Expo, how can women reach out to you?
I help and inspire female business owners to develop and share their personal brand story so that they can connect with their audience, attract their perfect clients, stand out from others doing similar work to them and boost their visibility. WHY – because your story is your ultimate differentiator and business is personal. People want to buy from people.
Through four 1:1 (60 mins) sessions we will work together to develop their personal brand story, ensuring that their brand story supports their business strategy and helps them to boost their visibility, attract their perfect clients and build meaningful connections for their business. Every month I work with just 4 clients and offer a free 30-minute discovery call which people can claim by emailing me: [email protected]
How many women, you think, have benefitted from these Expos?
To be honest, I actually don’t keep count. My focus every day is on inspiring and contributing to women’s growth and success. The only number that I can give you is that 570 female business owners will have exhibited at the Women’s Expo Switzerland by the 10th of April since 2013.
To get a better insight into your work, tell us about the last woman you helped.
Recently, through an online women’s group, I met a woman who offered to proofread the content of my website because she liked my mission. As we were talking I realised she didn’t have a brand story so I offered to help her to develop one. At time she was not sure because she believed she didn’t have a brand story … well she was comparing my story to her life! But after our first session together – she realised YES – she actually does have a very powerful brand story. This is the journey I want every women to experience because business is personal, stories attract and connect people. So for women who want to stand out from the crowd – a brand story is essential. I am aware it is not easy to craft one and this is why I exist – to help women realise they have a brand story and how they can use it. At the moment I am working with to her to develop her brand story because she wants to stand out in her industry and attract her perfect clients.
How would you define yourself?
I am a change-maker, which means I want to leave a legacy in this world. I am brand story strategist who wants to see more women visible. Most of all, I want to implement changes, changes that will help and benefit our daughters, sisters, and nieces tomorrow. I believe in being authentic hence inspiring and helping more women to be visible through their brand story. Everyone has a story. “You have a story. And your story comes with a lesson. People will find the lesson on their own.” Every great business has a journey and that journey is the story their clients wants to hear.
Lisa Chuma can be reached at [email protected]