Meet Catherine Lückhoff, the founder and CEO of the highly successful HQAfrica, a strategy and business development consultancy which helps companies launch and expand their business in Sub-Saharan African. With years of experience in the industry, HQAfrica aids companies going into the M-Commerce, mobile, music, and data industries launch and grow their business in Africa through localization and strategic business and development practices, which drive revenue and promote lasting relationships in the market. Prior to founding HQAfrica, Catherine solidified her status as an entrepreneur to watch with her first start-up, Mango-OMC, which holds the title as one of South Africa’s leading integrated PR communication agencies. After seven years of working in the trenches and giving her all to Mango-OMC, Catherine sold her shares in the company, and embarked on a new business opportunity with Bozza. After a successful run at Bozza, she decided to take a sabbatical leave to understand how the start-up ecosystems in various parts of the world work, and how best to apply the different strategies and platforms to the African market, and the rest, as they say, is history.
What you will learn
- The Big Idea
- How she started her first company (Mango-OMC)
- Her involvement and experiences with Bozza
- What inspired her to start HQAfrica
- How she built up her team
- How the start-up scene in South Africa differs from other African countries
- The start-up space is a lot more formalized in South Africa (Silicon cape)
- Why betting on yourself works , especially for her
- The Heretic (Pascal Finette)
- “DO EPIC STUFF!”
- The initial obstacle and challenges she faced in setting up and running HQAfrica
- How the trust factor plays an important role in attracting clients to do business with you
- Can you deliver what you say
- Some of the successes she has experienced since starting HQAfrica
- Entrepreneur she admires
- Her new business venture (NicheStreem)
- To entrepreneurs looking to venture into the African market:
- Don’t bring preconceived ideas with you. Be prepared to be open to what the market holds, as opposed to what you think it holds.
- To young Catherine starting out :
- Get the proper structures in place.
- Good contracts make for good relationships.
- Biggest mistake:
- Allowed the business to take over her life.