Raised in a family of academics, nothing predicted that Francine Beleyi will become a bold entrepreneur and a digital guru. Her unquenched thirst for knowledge and innovation, led her to work across many industries in Africa, Europe, US, Middle East and Asia. Passionate about the African diaspora, she is committed to unlock the potential of entrepreneurs and empower them to share their stories with impact. Let’s discover today a fascinating woman who lives in the fast lane!
Personal branding or the unlikely journey to self-discovery
When you meet Francine, what strikes the most is her unconventional career path. Born to Togolese parents in Paris, having worked all around the world, she has been living in London for the last 15 years.
Coming from a family “that only studied literature, law and diplomacy”, she wanted to become a medical doctor as a personal challenge. So, at 15 years old she opted for a scientific education in order to get the right A level. Even though Maths wasn’t her innate strength, the young lady was so determined to go through it that she succeeded and enrolled in medical studies.
However during her very first year of my medical studies, she decided to totally change orientation after an introductory class on computer science. Her futuristic-looking teacher talked about computers in a way she had never heard before. His description on how daily life would be changed by robotics, artificial intelligence, e-commerce was so compelling that she resolutely wanted to be part of that unmatched technological revolution.
A few months later she enrolled in a school specialized in computer science applied to management. She was so passionate that she was among the best students in mathematics and statistics. After her graduation, Francine landed a job to teach desktop software for senior executives in a large company. The following year at only 24 she became the head of information systems for one of the biggest multinationals’ subsidiary. Four years later, she felt the need to look for new challenges after leading one of the major mergers of the company. The financial world seemed full of promises and opportunities…Our feisty young woman completed a bachelor degree in accountancy and finance and a master’s in organization consulting and change management and landed a job in the financial industry. As a business analyst in a renowned investment bank in London, her dream to become a golden girl was met with a bleak reality as she spent her days in the back office analyzing endless transactions on two enormous screens; nothing very exciting for this adventurous soul.
Francine has numerous interests and passions and also graduated and worked in the fields of journalism, marketing, and consulting.
When she left her corporate job to create her own consultancy, Francine noticed that most business owners and corporates have a hard time articulating what made them stand out from the crowd. They not only failed to highlight their uniqueness but they also lose many business opportunities. Not focusing on attracting the right types of clients cause business owners to overlook those who really need them and are willing to pay for their unique value proposition.
She became obsessed with this key question: why do some people constantly get lucrative opportunities and advance faster in life while other people just stumble and lag seriously behind? Substantiating her observations with detailed research and targeted trainings, Francine identifies the determining factor of success in business and life: the incredible power of personal branding. Connecting the dots of her 20+ years’ of experience in multinationals, her expertise in business consulting and digital Francine is now known as a digital strategist and corporate and personal branding expert.
Looking back on her path, Francine proudly claims that she is a MIMEC (Multiple Interests Multiple Expertise and Career) a term that she coined. Indeed, MIMEC designates individuals who navigated from one job to the next based on their ever changing interests, insatiable curiosity and incredible ability to do whatever they put their mind to do.
A mission to empower entrepreneurs in the digital age
Passionate by digital innovation and bridging the technology gap, Francine’s battle horse is to empower people to use digital tools to expand their results. More specifically she is committed to unlock the potential of professionals, entrepreneurs, corporate executives and institutions to create strong and compelling business and brand identities, to stand out and build successful ventures.
Our personal branding strategist has of course more than one strings in her bow…
Building on her multidisciplinary expertise combining information technology, change management, marketing & communication, journalism and a solid business experience she founded in 2008 Nucleus of Change which mission is to help businesses to thrive in the digital age in other words to use digital tools to multiply their results. As such Nucleus of Change supports them to deliver authentic messages in multimedia formats that connect powerfully with their audience, establish a meaningful online presence, and stay relevant in a fast-changing world.
Francine is the author of the book ‘Personal Branding in a Digital Age: How To Become A Known Expert, Thrive and Make A Difference In A Connected Age.’ In her award-winning book , she provides actionable steps on how to build authentic and powerful personal branding both offline and online. Through her 7-pillar framework, YEANICCTM, she lays out a clear blueprint to build credibility as an expert, to package and market one’s skills better and finally to make more sales and increase one’s income.
A vibrant speaker, Francine Beleyi has traveled the world and delivered talks and workshops at top industry events such as Les Imperiales in Casablanca, AITEX in Rabat, Women in Manufacturing 4.0 in Montreal, GSBN/CGE event in New York, ESCP-Europe Alumni in London, Africa Union summit in Pretoria, the Women Leadership Forum in Vienna as well as other private events internationally. Her speaking engagements cover topics such as personal branding, innovation, leadership, entrepreneurship and digital transformation for corporations, startups and business schools around the world. Her work is featured in numerous magazines & media such as Computer Weekly, Tech Target, Femmes du Maroc, 2M, Le Matin, Showbiz Afrique and more.
Finally, she is a host of the podcast Meaningful life, Meaningful work where she welcome guests from different walks of life and inspire her audience to live their best lives now! The discussions and valuable tips cover several topics such as building wealth, developing a growth mindset, financial literacy and debt solvation, finding one’s purpose to impact others, etc.
The diaspora at heart
With her Togolese roots and her highly cosmopolitan background, Francine does not miss any opportunity to reconnect and give back to the African community whether in the diaspora or on the continent. She is a true champion for action. She not only aims at empowering women in the diaspora but also at building the next generation of leaders. This is why she started the ADIPWE initiative in 2011, an online forum for African Diaspora Professional Women in Europe to share inspiring and untold stories. Today the list goes far beyond Europe and covers all the continents.
As she recalls “It was the century of the anniversary of the International Women’s Day, when several lists of famous female leaders, but that list did not inspire me because I did not see any African women there.” So she thought about creating her own list. Each year on International women’s day, her team releases the top 20 women in Africa diaspora or on the continent who are advancing the future of the continent.
She also set up a LinkedIn group with hundreds of women from the diaspora where she shares relevant information to increase their visibility and highlights their contribution to Africa. In addition, she participated in launching and developing the AWEC initiative, a unique training program that builds a pan-African community of aspiring and established women entrepreneurs. Thus leveraging the diaspora force to do things back in Africa.
Beyond advocating for digital literacy, Francine Beleyi’s vision is to empower millions of people and getting them out of poverty. She is not only imparting an entrepreneurial mindset on the current generation she is actively contributing to Africa’s rebranding and development. As she likes to put it people don’t have to be business owners, they can still work somewhere but having this entrepreneurial mindset means and don’t wait for things to happen. “You create your own luck by looking at opportunities. You take agency and you make things happen”. In her eyes, it is all about coming up with solutions when faced with challenges, and not comfortably settling for inaction!
And what about you, are you ready to redefine your expectations?