Danielle Kayembe, CEO & Founder of GreyFire Impact

For this week’s edition of FinanciElle “Statements” I had the opportunity to interview Danielle Kayembe, CEO & Founder of GreyFire Impact.

After reading her article, “The Silent Rise Of The Female-Driven Economy”, on Refinery29. I knew I had to interview her. If you haven’t read it yet, click the link!

Danielle is a female futurist and serial entrepreneur dedicated to empowering women through her global work in business, social impact, writing and public speaking.

GreyFire works on projects at the intersection of women, social impact, technology and Africa, developing initiatives that empower entrepreneurs in the US and emerging markets in Africa.

Paolina: What has been your hardest experience dealing with your business and finance and what did you learn?

Danielle:

As an entrepreneur, you realize you have to wear a lot of different hats compared to when you work for a big established company; where there are different departments that take care of everything. As an entrepreneur, you are all the departments and you have to research and learn the processes to help make your business more effective. There’s definitely more pressure to manage the day to day operations while trying to maintain and nurture customer relationships.

Paolina: What advice do you wish you had gotten about finance when you were first starting your business?

Danielle:

I wish I was told how difficult it is for women to get funding – that there are fewer avenues and you have to get creative and become very resourceful. Now, as a start-up mentor working with other women entrepreneurs, I teach them about being resourceful and how not to be too capital intensive when they are initially starting up their business.  They should be revenue driven so that they can self-sustain through their own revenues.

I also wish I had known about the Automatic Millionaire series of books by David Bach – they provide great advice for building a nest egg, and ways to save and lend yourself capital, and they have great strategies to build savings before transitioning to being a full-time entrepreneur.

Paolina: What topics would you want to learn more about when it comes to finance and your business and why?

Danielle:

I would like to learn how to create a business model that looks at a business in transition; to see how it can sustain itself early on through that transition and understand how technology and marketing, specifically customer targeting fits in to that.

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