First runner up in this catagory, Lourena Bundi is the creator of L&C Buffet Infantil, an Angolan event planning business focused on putting together children’s parties.
She is a fellow of the Anzisha Prize from 2018, having been chosen as one of Africa’s Top Young Entrepreneurs under the age of 22 – from a total list of 1 000 applicants.
Lourena sees her work at L&C Buffet Infantil as primarily creative, taking full advantage of the ability to innovate that she believes is present in everybody’s DNA. Although she does feel that she has a special advantage when it comes to harnessing that innovative potential, due to her exploration of curiosity from the very first years of her life.
From humble beginnings, where she responded to her cousin’s need for help in organising a baby shower, Lourena has grown L&C Buffet Infantil into a nationally recognised service provider, and the first choice for most – including big companies like Banco Millenium Atlântico and Total – when it comes to creating unforgettable experiences for children.
Despite challenges such as a lack of experience, team and investment, as well as coming up against the lack of perceived credibility for very young people in the field (she was only 18 at the time), she managed to gain the trust of her clients and raise enough funds to add equipment for the expansion of the business.
To Lourena, seeing people empowered to support their families with their salaries is priceless. As such, she takes pride in enabling parents to realise dreams for their children through her business, and she supports the United Nations’ pillars for sustainability and ending poverty.
In going ahead with this ethos, she wants to see other young African people take more responsibility in terms of entrepreneurship, and not expect governments to provide all the riches and solutions they require. She thinks that doing so will require a careful balance between not being pushovers when it comes to having their worth dictated to them, but also listening humbly to advice given by elders.
As her contribution towards that goal, Lourena feels that by continually providing employment to her staff – especially young people holding down their first jobs – more families will get a strong footing which allows them to help themselves, as well as contribute to the Angolan government’s tax pool at a crucial time in the country’s development.
For Lourena, five years from now will see a time where L & C Buffet Infantil has its own space for hosting events, and where she has been able to set up special holiday programmes to keep children occupied in both an entertaining and productive manner when they’re not in school.
She knows that sometimes we are the only ones to believe in our dreams, but she refuses to accept that that is a reason to give up. To her, with respect, honesty, and balance as priorities, young people must push forward towards their dreams, no matter how long it takes for the results to appear.