Source: Isabel Dos Santos, The Future Farmers of Angola
Isabel Dos Santos is first and foremost a parent, wife, and family person. Her core value system serves as the framework upon which she has built a global business empire. As a self-styled independent businesswoman, she heads multiple corporations which employ thousands of Angolans. A strong proponent of education and empowerment, Isabel Dos Santos is an entrepreneur par excellence.
She has a particular penchant for female leadership and works hard to fast-track the upliftment, training, and appointment of women to positions of authority. Her commitment to gender-based equality in the workplace is evident in all that she does, starting with her own life story.
Taking Angola into the Future, Step-By-Step
Isabel Dos Santos is an Angolan through and through. Early on in life, she understood the importance of a solid education. She studied at King’s College in London, obtaining a prestigious qualification in electrical engineering before returning to her home country to put her talents to good use. Her tireless devotion to her country and her strong work ethic have paid dividends.
She now sits on the board of directors of multiple companies, and helps to shape policies which drive empowerment initiatives and facilitate the type of change she’s determined to effect. As a role model for women, she is an active and outspoken advocate for engaging community-building initiatives, educational development, skills training, and business-management assistance.
Among others, she has helped establish community employment initiatives with strawberry fields in Hulia, and also actively promoted the implementation of electric vehicle technology throughout Angola. She’s particularly engaged in the Internet of things (IoT) and is burning the candle at both ends to ensure that Angolans can harness the full power of the Internet for improving the quality of daily life and business activity.
The companies she has built include the likes of EFACEC, Zap, CANDANDO and SODIBA, among others. She walks the walk, and talks the talk. She is a social change advocate, driving the movement for gender equality, education, and skills training. Her life philosophy is best summed up in the following words, ‘… If you do something that’s going to get somebody a job, then they’ll be able to pay for their kids school, and then their kid is going to be a doctor and then that doctor is going to probably help who knows how many other people, so it’s very motivating…’
Isabel has the distinct honor and privilege of being a force for change in a country undergoing dramatic transformation. Angola is now the premier oil producer on the continent, outranking Nigeria by a long margin. With all the change taking place, she has left an indelible imprint in the minds of young women and children throughout the country. She leads by example, instilling confidence, creativity, and a can-do attitude in the minds of women and youth throughout Angola.
A Social Entrepreneur – Visionary Leadership Driving Change and Development
Source: Isabel Dos Santos Leadership
Such is her versatility, that she actively engages locals at all levels. From building small business in strawberry plantations in rural Angola to spearheading multinational conglomerates in Luanda – the capital city. She knows what it’s like to be an outsider in the workforce. Women in developing countries struggle with their place in society, particularly in a male-dominated business culture. She has single-handedly torn down walls and placed herself front and center as a power-player in business. Not afraid to speak her mind, advocate for the underdog, or get involved, Dos Santos is a true inspiration for the people.Workable advice for life success from Isabel Dos Santos #Inspiration #Business Click To Tweet
She fights passionately for the rights of women and children, and does so with aplomb. Many initiatives are near and dear to her heart, such as combating malaria, providing educational opportunities for the youth via the Royal Agricultural University in the UK, efforts aimed at Diversification of Economies and Investment in African Agriculture. Other initiatives include Seeds for the Future (for college students to experience life in China), and Home Kuzola (an Angolan initiative catering to 300+ children).
She believes that the best way to tackle issues like unemployment rests in education and skills training. More than that, it’s about getting the entire Angolan workforce actively involved in economic growth and development. This means empowering women to reach their full potential through education, skills training, and business development. Change takes time, but the seeds have already been planted and women are now actively involved in public life, the labor market, and government. Empowerment is about changing entrenched patriarchal systems and practices, and replacing them with egalitarian frameworks designed to uplift society.
Source: Isabel Dos Santos Empowering Women
Like many other countries, Angola battles societal ills such as gender stereotypes. Equal pay for equal work is a major issue that needs to be addressed. Others include specific roles assigned to genders. Back in 2018, a unique scholarship program was launched, known as Women for the Future. This IT program is designed to introduce women to high tech. Diversification of the workplace is the best way to attract the best talent.
You can also read: 8 Key traits of successful people
Productivity is enhanced through the introduction of competent men and women in the workplace. For Isabel, the empowerment of women is arguably the single-greatest initiative. It facilitates the economic, social, cultural and political transformation of the country. While Angola is a resource-rich African country, its greatest resource is its people. Isabel is tapping into that resource so that everyone can realize their true potential.