MELISSA BIME

FOUNDER OF IN­FIUSS, A DIG­I­TAL SUP­PLY-CHAIN PLAT­FORM THAT OP­ER­ATES A BLOOD DATA­BASE AND TRANS­PORTA­TION SER­VICE IN CAMEROON

ELLE (Australia) - - The Elle Manual -

On chang­ing cul­tural norms:

“As a woman in African so­ci­ety, you’re break­ing a lot of stereo­types by say­ing, ‘You know what, I choose not to be a wife or stay at home or get any job just to keep my­self oc­cu­pied.’ You have to work twice as hard to be taken se­ri­ously. You go into a bank, and the first thing they ask you is, ‘Do you have a hus­band that has col­lat­eral to give us, so we can give you a loan?’”

On re­silience: “You go through chal­lenges and you think, ‘Oh my god what am I do­ing?’ But ev­ery­body has bar­ri­ers that they face at one point or an­other, and as you grow you re­alise you can nav­i­gate through them. It helps to know why you are do­ing what you are do­ing. At the end of the day, if you are see­ing im­pact, if you’re see­ing peo­ple be­ing af­fected by your work, if you are see­ing the trac­tion, you just keep go­ing.”

On the sis­ter­hood: ”It’s very im­por­tant to have fe­male friends around you that not only share your pas­sion and val­ues around try­ing to change the world, but who you can con­nect with on a per­sonal level and talk to about other things that af­fect you as women. It’s re­ally lonely build­ing a so­cial en­ter­prise, es­pe­cially when peo­ple don’t get you, so it’s re­ally amaz­ing to have a sup­port sys­tem. We laugh and cry with each other.”

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