Total Zimbabwe had an interview with Ashleigh upon her return, here is how it went:
Total: Tell us about your concept (Tingu Africa) in a few words.
Ashleigh: Tingu Africa is a travel startup that aims to help Africans travel in Africa, while creating opportunities for the communities in the destinations we cover. On our website www.tingu.africa we offer quality and afforable accommodation. We also create digital content through our media division to educate Africans about destination Africa.
Total: Give us a brief summary of your experience in Paris.
Ashleigh: The main focus of the trip were the incubators. It’s difficult enough getting into an incubator as an early-stage startup in your own region. So getting to work in some of the top incubators in France really gives your startup an edge. Not only in terms of knowledge, but in terms of access to investors and mentors. We also had the opportunity to take part in Digital Women’s Day in Paris, which saw us showcase our startups to the tech leaders in Paris. I made a lot of great contacts, and some amazing friendships were formed. We also had access to some of Paris’ leading startups that are run by women. It really was inspiring to see what they have built in such a short space of time.
Total: How do you think you can now apply the exposure gained to boost your business?
Ashleigh: From an operations perspective, I’ve been exposed to more efficient ways of running the startup, so this will help us make better use of the limited resources that we have.
Total: What can you say to encourage female entrepreneurs who are thinking of applying for the 2019 Startupper initiative?
Ashleigh: It’s always been difficult for women to get recognised as entrepreneurs. The men always get the spotlight, they always get the funding. This is an opportunity that will give you the exposure and network you need to get your startup to the next level. I would strongly encourage all women to apply, no matter what stage your business is at. Don’t prejudge your startup, just enter, and see how far you get!