Semaine Française : The woman entrepreneur in the spotlight
The FCE, Federation of Congolese Enterprises, is a traditional partner of the French Week. Angélique BUISINE THAMBWE MWAMBA, Franco-Congolese and co-manager of SODOPAL sarl, is very committed to championning this role. Interview.

Mining and Business: Could you introduce yourself in a few words?

ABTM: I was born in Congo Kinshasa to a French father and a Congolese mother, I am married and mother of three daughters. I am an entrepreneur based in Kinshasa and I co-manage with my parents SODOPAL sarl, a company specialising in the inland waterway transport of goods. I am part of the Congolese Employers' Association and am very involved in the supervision of women.

M&B: SODOPAL has other sectors of activity, doesn't it?

ABTM: Originally, yes. SODOPAL, which has existed since the 1970s, has also operated within poultry production, tourism and the hotel industries. For nearly 15 years, it has focused on the inland waterway transport of goods and oversized freight, mainly on the Kinshasa-Kisangani axis. 

M&B: What does it mean for you to be a committed woman entrepreneur?

ABTM: With the Professional Committee of Entrepreneurs of the FCE, my role focuses on the supervision of women in the industry. In addition, I am in charge of the National Commission for the Financing of Projects and Partnership Research. As Director and President of the Professional Committee of FEC Entrepreneurs, I am in charge of financing and external partnerships such as the FPI, ILO, AfDB, ONUFEMME and BCDC. We have many successful advocacy actions in favour of women with financial institutions such as the Fund for the Promotion of Industry (FPI), the International Labour Office (ILO), etc., which have facilitated to the implementation of training courses on entrepreneurship and empowerment. The last support tool resulting from this advocacy is the creation of a women entrepreneurs' project incubator called PullUp Business Women, which offers a co-working space to women with high potential projects. 

M&B: A word to conclude?

ABTM: I hope that the teams working on these issues will witness success stories that will inspire the younger generations to follow the same route, because I am convinced that the development of this country will necessarily require the economic empowerment of women and the development of their full managerial potential.

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