In June this year, She Leads Africa, a Nigerian-based social enterprise that aims to foster business growth in Africa by providing female startup entrepreneurs with the knowledge, networks, and financing to build and scale strong businesses, launched a business pitch competition.
The purpose of the competition was to select ten exceptional young female entrepreneurs doing business in Africa to participate in an Entrepreneur showcase, whereby the entrepreneurs would pitch their businesses to a panel of esteemed business leaders and investors, including Nigerian multi-millionaire telecoms tycoon Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Standard Chartered Nigeria CEO Bola Adesola and Ngozi Edozien, a former Managing Director for private equity firm Actis.
According to Afua Osei, a co-founder of She Leads Africa, the competition attracted close to 400 applications from 27 countries. Of the lot, 10 entrepreneurs were selected after a rigorous vetting process. These 10 entrepreneurs will pitch to potential investors at the Entrepreneur showcase on Saturday, the 20th of September in Lagos, for a chance to win cash prizes and get mentored by seasoned entrepreneurs. These brilliant young women, all aged under 30, represent the entrepreneurial best of their generation., and you should watch out for them:
Winifred Selby, Ghanaian
Founder, AfroCentric Bamboo
Selby, a Ghanaian national, is the founder of Afrocentric Bamboo Limited, a company that manufactures and markets bicycles made from bamboo. Afrocentric Bamboo bicycles are produced exclusively for the local market and are priced at $100. Selby is a finalist of the 2014 Cartier Women’s Initiative Award.
Banke Kuku, Nigerian
Founder, Banke Kuku Textiles
Banke Kuku, a Nigerian textiles designer, founded her self-named company in 2011. Banke Kuku Textiles fuses traditional African and Western culture to create, intricate, unique and luxurious fabrics for the interior and fashion industries.
Oyindamola Honey Ogundeyi, Nigerian
Ogundeyi is the founder of Fashpa.com, a Nigerian e-commerce site that sells international fashion and lifestyle brands to locals.
Nour Drissi, Morroco
Founder, Loue 1 Voiture
Drissi’s company, Loue 1 Voiture is the first online platform that enables you to reserve a car from big and small car hire companies in Morocco.
Elizabeth Kperrun, Nigerian
Founder, Lizzie’s Creations
Elizabeth Kperuun is the founder of Lizzie’s Creations, a company that develops mobile and web applications uniquely aimed at the development and education of women and children in Africa.
Anike Lawal, Nigerian
Lawal’s Mamalette is a website and information portal dedicated to the needs of Nigerian parents and parents to be.
Kega Florence Mukwevho, South African
Founder, MKP Fast Foods
Mkwevho’s MKP Fast Foods creates youth employment in SA by operating a low cost, scalable mobile kitchen for a growing chicken brand, Galito’s.
Jade Mann, South African
Founder, Night Bus
Mann is the founder of Night Bus, South Africa’s first bus network that runs exclusively between major nightlife districts and universities throughout the night.
Cherae Robinson, American
Founder, Rare Customs
Robinson’s company, Rare Customs, is a tourism consulting and marketing firm specializing in market development and travel in Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. The company connects Small and medium enterprises to emerging African tourism and investment trends.
Taffi Woolward, Nigerian
Woolward is the founder of Thandos, which provides a platform that helps aspiring African artists to design comfortable, convenient and affordable women’s fashion footwear.