The Nana Benz was the term coined to describe the businesswomen of Lomé who dominated the textile industry in the 70’s until early 90’s. With less than a high-school education or pre-existing networks at their dispense, their work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit rose the Nana Benz to become the cornerstones of the Togolese economy. Nana is a hypocoristic of na (or ena) meaning “mother” or “grandmother” in the mina (or guin) language of South Togo, where most of these traders come from. Benz came from Mercedes Benz, car of choice of the businesswomen, symbolising the accumulated wealth and the prominent role they played in the commerce. It is through their excellence in leadership and management that allowed for the Nana Benz to claim their place in history.
Inspired by the Nana Benz of Lomé, the Nana Benz Business Club has been designed with a mission to support and elevate female leadership through business community support and knowledge exchange. The Nana Benz Business Club enables Dutch and African companies and knowledge institutions to cooperatively promote the position of female leadership on the global agenda.