“Today, a growing number of entrepreneurs and business people are taking their social responsibility very seriously. A strong corporate culture is necessary to develop a sustainable community.” — Marisol Ovono Nchama, CEO Elite Construcciones, Equatorial Guinea
Dreams Talks: For many people, when they think energy sector or construction, they think men. However, this is not the case with Elite Construcciones, a pioneering gas development and trade in West Africa (Equatorial Guinea), servicing the oil and gas sector amongst others. Led by Marisol Ovono Nchama, the company has risen to be revered and a leader in the industry; staying true to its name, Elite!
To understand and get her thoughts on business, entrepreneurship, and how she has dominated in what is perceived to be a male industry and thoughts on gender equality, we sat down with her for a one-on-one tell it all Dreams Talks.
Thank you for accessing this interview with Dreams Talks for Africanian.com. Could you share your view about life and entrepreneurship?
Marisol Ovono Nchama: For me, as a believer, life is a gift from God. A gift that we all have the right to enjoy and therefore be happy. In addition, the obligation to make others happy, using work and affection as a lawful means. Entrepreneurship for me is living constantly solving questions. It is to make the decision and take the initiative to take risky actions to establish, develop and materialize a company or business. Especially in turbulent times like the ones we are now facing.
DT: Why did you opt to get into the energy sector?
MON: The magic word is self-improvement. The desire to see myself improve every day, has been and continues to be to date, that engine to protect the greatest gift that God gave me; life. The challenge in addition to facing the fact that a businesswoman, businessman or an entrepreneur, are those people who do more with less, generate wealth, develop ideas of social impact, create jobs and improve the living conditions of the communities where they operate.
DT: What are the personal challenges or barriers that you have had as well as the most important milestones achieved to date during your journey?
MON: It is a fact that society owes more to entrepreneurs than is generally recognized. But barriers are part of an entrepreneur’s journey; therefore they should not be called barriers, but rather “experiences”. Human relations, public relations, B2B negotiations or with other companies, are inherent to the person who undertakes risks, because from them, we learn every day.
Among the most important milestones achieved so far, it is worth highlighting “the CNG project in Malabo, the capital city of my country”, and the “Engineering project in the city of Kogo”; a contract signed with the government of my country, for the construction of a gas distribution plant.
DT: Are morals and ethics sometimes in conflict in your sector?
MON: I would dare say no. In the sector we instil ethics of the professional values objectively and with homogeneous criteria.
Today, companies must strive to create economic, social and environmental value. They must seek the well-being of the communities in which they operate. Companies increasingly understand that they have an important influence on society and that their strategies and results influence, to varying degrees, the lives of all their stakeholders.
It is a proper balance between the public interest and the generation of profit. There is clearly interdependence between companies, society and government; it implies that business decisions and public policies must follow the principle of shared social value.
DT: What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
MON: That the success of entrepreneurship has no limits or distinguishes people, it is for everyone. First of all, it is essential to know yourself. If you have what it takes, move forward with determination and confidence. If you fall, get up, readjust your strategy, and carry on.
So I would advise anyone ready to jump:
(1) To be constant. Risk-tolerant, investigative, creative, and hard-working person.
(2) Pay attention to details, quality will stand out from quantity.
(3) Improve bureaucratic processes since they can sink the company -whatever its nature.
Inescapable: responsibility, seriousness in legal relationships and a spirit of sacrifice.
DT: Finally, what´s your view about corporate social responsibility and future generations?
MON: Today, a growing number of entrepreneurs and business people are taking their social responsibility very seriously. A strong corporate culture is necessary to develop a sustainable community.
The objective of an entrepreneur or businessman is to create products and services, necessary for all levels of society. Well, their ideas produce wealth and promote social changes, create jobs and distribute goods and services for a whole group.
Governments were the master key for economic development in the nineteenth century; entrepreneurs are the key to a circular economy, necessary in this century. And a perfect synergy of both is undoubtedly the formula for success for our future generations.
Thank you very much for your time Mrs. OVONO NCHAMA, we hope to have you again soon.
Dreams Talks for Africanian.com – Sustainable Leadership
Dreams Talks by Dreams Hub (Equatorial Guinea) is a project that was born with the intention of articulating a network of organizations and prominent people in the business, professional and cultural field, to foster a cultural movement that values the importance of Sustainable Leadership, as a basis for manage uncertainty, prioritizing the management of values, as a fundamental pillar of any society.
The conversations/interviews of key African and World leaders, will analyze and reflect on topics that will help shaping a better Africa, with an ultimate goal; the practice of futurism as a lifestyle. Giving priority to how our actions will impact the future of next generations, on our planet and universe.
We promote entrepreneurship from early stages of educational training, promoting the creation of a generation of young entrepreneurs, stimulating the generation of skilled employment and the creation of value at the intercontinental and international level.