Besides landing sales and hiring hundreds of employees, these young men and women are the future of Africa. Pleasures magazine honorees for 2017 are tackling the world’s most intractable problems–from overcoming infant mortality in the developing world to resolving shipping nightmares for burgeoning businesses. Meet this year’s top young African founders.
We have selected 100 for the future in a number of key fields that drive economic growth. You may not know many of their names now, but in 10 years their story of multi-million-dollar success will be on the covers of world top magazines.

Nominees came from readers and the Pleasures Magazine team; they were decided upon by a selected business editors. Months of research yielded a list of 250 young hopefuls. We worked for weeks, verifying and investigating, to whittle it down. We favored entrepreneurs with fresh ideas and took into account their business size, location, struggles and determination. Senior editors then debated and argued over the final 100. We find this list exciting, thought provoking and forward looking. We hope you will too.

In no particular order, meet the 2017 class of the 100 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs In Africa – today’s upstarts, tomorrow’s moguls.

Brigitha Faustin, Tanzanian – Founder, OBRI Company

Brigitha Faustin

Faustin, 30, is the founder and managing Director of OBRI Company, an Agro-Industrial company whose main businesses include edible oils manufacturing and fractionations under the OBRI brand. OBRI Company is modeled as a co-operative social enterprise. Under this model, OBRI has empowered more than 230 local Tanzanian farmers who are organized under farmers associations in Tanzania by providing sustainable market channels for their produce. OBRI’s cooking oils are sold in retail outlets across the country.


Nana Appiah Mensah , Ghanaian – Founder, Zylofon Media

Nana Appiah Mensah

Zylofon Media CEO, Nana Appiah Mensah took the creative industry of Ghana by storm in 2017. His passion to see the ailing creative industry of Ghana succeed is unprecedented.
For his young age, the business guru also has several distinguished international academic backgrounds in Mining and Environmental studies, finance, Political Science, Economics & Business Management, Psychology, African and World History, Theology, and Law.
Besides being known as the CEO of Zylofon Media, the media house that has signed ace artists such as Stonebwoy, Becca, Shatta Wale, Joyce Blessing, Kim Guitar, and movie stars such as Benedicta Gafah, Toosweet Annan, Nana Appiah is also the CEO of MenzGold GhanA Co. Limited. A financial company that deals with precious stones such as Gold, Diamond etc.

Fahad Awadh, Tanzanian – Founder, YYTZ Agro-Processing

Fahad Awadh

Fahad Awadh, a 29-year old entrepreneur from Tanzania, has set up a cashew processing facility in Tanzania in an effort to bring international standards and traceability to the cashew nuts. He is the founder of YYTZ Agro-Processing, a cashew processing company that is adding value locally while creating jobs and boosting the income of farmers and the community as a whole. The company’s flagship processing facility in Zanzibar has an installed capacity of 2,500 Tons per annum. YYTZ Agro-Processing recently raised a $500,000 investment from the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund to establish another processing facility in Mtwara, southeastern Tanzania.

Gloria Michelle Otieno Muka, Kenyan – Founder, Recours Four Kenya Consultants Limited
In 2013, Gloria Michelle Otieno Muka, 31, founded Recours Four Kenya Consultants Limited (R4Kenya), a fast-growing professional HR services firm located in Nairobi, Kenya. She started the firm with $2,000 of her savings, and within the last 4 years, she has grown the company into a $400,000 (annual revenues) business with 19 employees. Recours Four Kenya offers professional HR services in consultancy, recruitment, training, psychometric testing and staff outsourcing. The company’s clients include the World Bank group, Kenya National Examination Council, USAID, GlaxoSmithKline and Sportpesa.

Linda Ikeji, Nigerian – Founder,

Linda Ikeji

Linda Ikeji is a Nigerian news carrier blogger, writer, entrepreneur and former model. She is best known for her blog. She is the highest paid blogger in Nigeria
Linda Ikeji’s blog is apparently her biggest venture. After graduation, Ikeji started blogging in 2006. She became an active blogger 2007 using a blogger sub-domain and later obtained her domain
On August 22, 2016, on her blog, she announced the creation her online TV network, Linda Ikeji TV alongside other brands she was establishing. Linda Ikeji TV airs a variety of programmes ranging from talk shows, reality shows, TV series to Movies. The Network both produces some of its programmes and also buys TV contents.

Bruce Dube, South African – Founder, Nine80 Digital

Bruce Dube

Bruce Dube, 28, is the founder of Nine80 Digital, a Pan African digital media publishing company that targets the youth demographic in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Nigeria. The business generates hundreds of thousands of monthly unique youth users from its numerous digital media platforms ranging from youth portals, reference sites, classifieds platforms, gaming sites and video platforms. Nine80’s properties have attracted advertising from clients such as Disney, Coca Cola and Mr. Price Group.

Lucia Bakulumpagi-Wamala, Ugandan – Founder, Bakulu Power
Lucia Bakulumpagi-Wamala, 34, is the Founder and CEO of Bakulu Power, an Ugandan renewable energy company. Bakulu Power is currently developing 3 solar mini-grids on islands off Lake Victoria and a clean cooking fuel (biomass) production plant on a refugee camp in Western Uganda.

Arthur Zang, Cameroonian – Founder , Himore Medical Equipments
Zang is the inventor of Africa’s first medical tablet, the Cardio Pad, a touchscreen device which allows healthcare workers in rural areas to perform heart examinations such as the electrocardiogram (ECG) and send results to specialists in urban centres electronically. This means patients from poorer rural areas do not have to travel to the city each time they need an examination which can be stressful, expensive and time-consuming. The invention is also cheaper and more portable than similar products on the market.

Issam Chleuh, Malian – Founder, Africa Impact Group
Chleuh is the founder an international organization focused on directing investment to socially and environmentally beneficial ventures, an asset class called Impact Investing. The company’s services include data and research, news, advisory services, and start-up incubation. Africa Impact Group’s clients include impact investors, private equity firms, family offices, leading African corporations, governments and non-profits.

Eugene Mbugua , Kenyan – Founder, Young Rich Television Limited and My Yearbook Kenya Limited
Kenyan Eugene Mbugua (26)’s first foray into entrepreneurship was in 2009 when he was 18. He had just started at university. Short of cash and experience, he and his friend looked into businesses they could start without capital.
With a little more capital and even more zeal to escape poverty, he started a production company, Young Rich Television Limited. The company has produced several popular shows. These reality shows have aired on multiple stations across the continent, including K24, Maisha Magic East, Kwese, Trigger, Iflix and ShowMax. Mbugua is also the owner of My Yearbook Limited, a company that produces yearbooks and publications for companies, schools and governments. In East Africa, he reportedly employs 32 people, and was listed by Kenya’s Business Daily among its Top 40 under 40 Kenyans in 2014 and his revenue for the last two years has been close to $1 million.

Onyekachi Ekezie, Nigerian – Founder, Kaptain Foods
Onyekachi Ekezie, 33, is the founder of Kaptain Foods, a Nigerian food processing company that produces a range of pre-cooked and packaged ready to eat tomato stews using locally grown fresh produce and spices.

Velma Owusu-Bempah, Ghanaian – Founder, Velma’s Millinery and Accessories

Velma Owusu-Bempah

An un-parallel figure in Ghana’s fashion scene, Velma Owusu-Bempah is a distinguished Milliner, women’s clutch and Jewelry designer for over a decade. She is unique and known for her effortless take in glamour. The CEO of Velma’s Millinery and Accessories has built a thriving and successful business operating from the Sarah’s Fabric Building in the heart of Osu, Accra, where she offers her clients impeccable hats or fascinators and the best of accessories for today’s women.
With great respect for her comprehensive style and exceptional taste, Velma’s expertise is accessible to her growing audience.

Nichole Onome Yembra, Nigerian – Managing Partner, GreenHouse Capital
Nichole Onome Yembra, 29, is the Chief Financial, Risk and Investment Officer for Venture Garden Group (VCG) and a Managing Partner at GreenHouse Capital, VCG’s investment arm. Venture Garden Group is a holding company of financial technology entities dedicated to innovative and data-driven solutions. GreenHouse Capital, which launched formally in April 2016, began investments in startups since 2014 under the VGG umbrella. When Nichole joined the VGG and Greenhouse Capital teams, she guided the formal legal structure of the fund and led the investment into 8 new ventures in 2016, raising the group to the 14 companies it has today.

Allegro Dinkwanyane, South African – Founder, Orgella Media
Dinkwanyane spends her life wired into the internet where she makes her money.
You could call her the poster child of social media; Dinkwanyane makes a living from telling stories of the rich and famous.
Her entrepreneurial journey started not in an MBA classroom, but in journalism school, when she was given an assignment to start an online blog. Impressed, her lecturer encouraged her to keep at it.
After diligent research, planning and a lot of soul-searching, Orgella Media was born in her university dormitory in 2011.
Orgella Media started as an entertainment blog and has now diversified into public relations (PR), charity and property divisions.

George Okoro , Nigerian – Founder, George Okoro Photography

George Okoro

An alumni of The New York Institute of Photography, George Okoro, one of the best Photographers in Nigeria. His forte includes wedding and pre-wedding photo shoots, landscape photography and  photo coverage of events.
His studio, George Okoro Photography is a luxury lifestyle brand that covers wedding photography,
portraits, events and has its own luxury magazine that shares the luxury lifestyle in details.
A passionate photographer who believes everyone has a charm that can be captured through beautiful images.

Benson Mengi & Esther Lugoe-Mengi, Tanzanians – Founders, Serensic Africa
A husband and wife duo, Benson Mengi (29), and Esther Lugoe Mengi (26), are the founders of Serensic Africa, one of Tanzania’s leading indigenous cyber security and software development companies. The company offers high-end business process management, system integration and SaaS-architecture solutions as well as Bulk SMS management, custom application development, CMS development and customization services. Serensic’s clients include Tanzanian blue chips such as IPP Group, Coca Cola, Molocaho by Amorette and the United Nations.

Ubi Franklin, Nigerian – Founder, Triple MG

Ubi Franklin

Ubi Ekapong Ofem known as Ubi Fraklin is a Nigerian music artist manager and the founder and CEO of record label Made Men Music Group (Triple MG). In July 2017, he launched a start-up called ‘Instant Pickup’, a service which specializes in instant home pickup and delivery of laundry. In November, Franklin launched ‘Instant Apartment’, a web-based platform that provides short stay, medium term, and long stay property rental has promised customers a wide range of outstanding luxury services to make accommodations memorable.

Jean Bosco Nzeyimana, Rwandan – Founder, Habona
Rwandan entrepreneur, Jean Bosco Nzeyimana, 23, is the founder of Habona Ltd, a company that produces affordable and environmentally friendly fuels in form of biomass briquettes and biogas from waste. Habona also produces bio-fertilizer for farmers and provides consultancy and maintenance services regarding integrated waste management and energy solutions.

Amr Sobhy, Egyptian – Founder, PushBots
Sobhy , 28, is an Egyptian entrepreneur, technologist and data/information activist. He founded and runs Cairo-based PushBots, a tech startup that helps mobile publishers better engage their users via mobile messaging. Amr bootstrapped this company and today their infrastructure serves more than 55M users on behalf of over 20k publishers who signed up to the platform from over 167 countries. Each month PushBots sends over half a billion messages and the startup is profitable.

Jennifer Shigoli, Tanzania – Founder, Malkia Investments Company Limited
Jennifer Shigoli, 30, a trained lawyer and diplomat, is the founder of Malkia Investments Company Limited, a company that produces and distributes personal hygiene products. Malkia’s most popular product is its Elea Reusable Sanitary Pads which are produced in Tanzania and packaged with information on hygiene. Shigoli won a $150,000 prize at the BMCE African Entrepreneurship Award last year.

Mike Chilewe Jnr, Malawian – Founder, Chilewe Brands
Malawian entrepreneur Mike Chilewe Jnr might only be 28, but he is already running a number of businesses.
He is both the founder and owner of a multimedia advertising firm, Innovertising, as well as Lala Limited, a holding company involved in various activities from manufacturing toilet paper to agricultural exports. He is also in the process of acquiring a leading food processing company, and is now launching a third company called Chilewe Brands.
He founded Chilewe Brands Global, a pan-African diversified company involved in financial services, manufacturing, agriculture commodity trading and commercial properties. The company makes $2 million a year and employs 20 people.

Chude Jideonwo & Adebola Williams, Nigerians – Founders, Red Media

Adebola Williams

Jideonwo (32) and Williams (31) are co-founders and Partners of RED- a leading full service media-content, communication and Development Company in Nigeria. RED is a network of four media companies focused on Africa’s youth: Red Media Africa, a Public Relations company working in West Africa for Facebook, Uber, Union Bank and Heineken; Generation Y!, a TV and online content company with one of Nigeria’s most popular online newspapers and The Future Project, a social enterprise that hosts Africa’s biggest youth social change event, The Future Awards Africa. StateCraft Inc, one of RED’s subsidiaries, is fast becoming Africa’s leading governance communication and consulting firm.

Harun Elias, Tanzanian – Founder, Javis International Trade Co.
Elias’ birth was a hard one. His mother gave birth to him, alone, at home in Musoma village. His clan was poor. His father is the best educated man in the family because he went to high school.
It meant by the age of 10, Elias was already a working man.
“In late 2013, while in China, he saw an opportunity in the trading business, and started doing an online business, Javis Collection, where he was a purchasing agent.
Today, the Javis is now a global supplier of transport and trade solutions. It employs 40 people, 27 in Tanzania and 23 in China. Elias made $9 million last year.

Muktar Onifade, Nigerian – Founder, VIZUVLGVDS
His hands have meticulously stitched designs for Young Paris, Davido, Patoranking, Banky W, D’banj, Ice Prince, Angela Simmons and Ugo Mozie.
That’s an achievement for the 26-year-old founder of VIZUVLGVDS, a fashion brand that focuses on contemporary African art.
“Muktar combines the precision of his engineering background with ability for great form, feel and texture to create great fashion wears for his company. He is the new breed of ‘African lions’ with multiple talents,” says Muftau Alabi, Technical Specialist at General Motors Company.

Zainab Ashadu, Nigerian – Founder, Zashadu Bags
Zainab Ashadu is founder of Zashadu, a leading British/Nigerian sustainable luxury brand that specializes in hand-crafted leather pieces. The company works with local sustainable – sourced leathers, farmed exotic skins and rough cut precious stones set in brass. All Zashuda pieces are created at her work studio in Lagos, by a team that benefits from traditional techniques passed down through generations by a community of local artisans.

Selina Bebaako-Mensah, Ghanaian – Founder, Selina Beb

Selina Bebaako-Mensah

Ghanaian fashion accessories designer extraordinaire, Selina Bebaako-Mensah is the founder of the famous African fashion brand Selina Beb. Born in Accra and schooled in four continents (Ghana, England, Italy and China), she developed a curiosity for cultures which later channeled into her love for fashion. She has been globally recognized ..
Selina Beb, the fashion brand from Ghana that specializes in top of the range items for men, women and children. The brand produces amazing bags, comfortable footwear, beautiful jewellery and modern accessories all made in Ghana. For a bold clutch/bag or a great way to jazz up your iPad, Selina Beb has a solution tailored for everyone in any part of the world.

Knight Ganje, Zimbabwean – Founder, H&G Advertising

Knight Ganje

Knight Ganje, a 29 year-old Zimbabwean entrepreneur, is the founder of H&G Advertising, a Botswana-based ad agency with a clientele listing that includes brands such as Unilever, Emirates, Coca-Cola and Samsung.

Anda Maqanda, South African – Founder, AM Group
29-year-old Maqanda owns the AM Group – a provider of engineering solutions, focusing mainly on Engineering Consulting, Design and Construction of Electrical Overhead Power Lines, Renewable Energy, Automation and Research and Development.

Charles Obiukwu – Nigerian, Founder, Hecta Resources

Charles Obiukwu

Charles Obiukwu is one of Nigeria’s finest entrepreneurs, an economist and a philanthropist. He is the CEO of Hecta Resources, the sole agent of the leading Ellington world class brand of electrical appliance. He is acknowledged as an influential business leader and advocate for an innovative Africa.
Charles is also the founder of Charles Obiukwu Foundation and Obiukwu Empowerment Foundation. His goal is to empower young adults starting from the grassroots with Positive Value Education that will promote patriotism and rekindle creativity among members of this age bracket who will make their community and the country at large in the near future as safe place and the centre of attraction to the world.

Mai Atafo, Nigerian – Founder, Mai Atafo Clothing

Mai Atafo

Mai Atafo is a Nigerian bespoke fashion tailor known to be one of the most recognized and sought-after designers in the fashion industry. Mai Atafo, with his clothing line, has developed a reputation for gorgeous and perfectly fitting dresses that translate into the sophisticated and elegant look every bride desires and not to forget his well tailored bespoke suits.
His sense of fashion, styling and lifestyle are the inspiration and artistic expression of Mai Atafo Inspired for the young Nigerian designer with a natural flair and passion for everything fashion and life.

Mutoba Ngoma, Zambian – Founder, Tapera Bio Industries
After studying aeronautical engineering in the United Kingdom, Ngoma, a 31 year-old Zambian entrepreneur returned home to seek his fortune in the renewable energy business. He started Tapera Bio Industries Limited in 2009, a business which is focused on the production and promotion of biodiesel fuel and derivatives of vegetable oils. The company also processes vegetable oils into natural soaps, washing paste and organic shampoo.

Olakunle Churchill, Nigerian – Founder, Big Church Group

Olakunle Churchill

One of Nigeria’s youngest and most successful entrepreneurs, Olakunle Churchill is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CEO of Big Church Group, the parent company of King Andrea Realtors, Big Church Consults, Big Church Entertainment, Big Churchill Haven , Big Church Greens Agriculture and mining and Big Church Foundation Ltd.
Olakunle, a UN Goodwill Ambassador is also involved in charity and humanitarian services and his charity organization which is known as the Big Church Foundation has attended to the needs of several people at various levels. He is a philanthropist who is uniquely passionate about others.

Cephas Nshimyumuremyi, Rwandan – Founder, Uburanga
Ten dollars — that’s all that Rwandan science teacher Cephas Nshimyumuremyi had to start his business with two years ago.
It may sound less than promising, but Nshimyumuremyi made that initial initial investment go a long way. Today, his company Uburanga Products, which makes herbal jelly and soap from local medicinal plants, is worth $30,000 and employs 12 workers.
“The $10 helped me to purchase the empty bottle in order to put my product on the market,” says Nshimyumuremyi, winner of the Educat — GT Bank Entrepreneurship Award 2014, a local business prize.

Mubarak Muyika, Kenyan – Founder, Zagace

Mubarak Muyika

22-year-old Mubarak is the founder of Zagace, a custom-built app store for small-medium size enterprise packages called zag apps. The platform offers a full suite of enterprise management products from accounting, inventory, sales, manufacturing, storage, HR at a price affordable to small businesses. The platform having operated for over 18 months has a customer base from a diverse range of sectors mainly in Kenya and is in the process expanding its footprint into other African markets and the US. Zagace has raised angel rounds from notable investors such as Jayant Ravalia, a Vice president of Yandex.

Adewale Aladejana , Nigerian – Founder, Sapphire Scents

Adewale Aladejana

Adewale Aladejana is the founder and chief executive of Sapphire Scents, one of Nigeria’s biggest perfume makers, headquartered in Abuja. Formerly with TY Danjuma Foundation, Adewale has enjoyed first mover status in the world of perfume making industry in Nigeria, raking in millions of naira in a business which he founded in 2015 with only 30,000 naira has grown into a multi-million naira business venture, having over 200 distributors in 19 states of Nigeria, the UK, US, Ghana and Cameroon, employing hundreds more.

Fred Deegbe, Ghanaian – Founder, Heel the World, HTW
The founder and Chief Shoemaker of Heel the World, (HTW) a shoe manufacturing company in Ghana and son of famous Ghanaian Preacher Dr. Fred Deegbe uses his platform to give employment and teach young people how to start a company. An Ashesi University Alumnus, he is the past curator of Global Shapers in Accra. He was in 2012 awarded by the president of Ghana for outstanding performance in the fashion industry and is married to another Fashion Icon, Duaba Serwaa.

Noura AlGhandi, Tunisian – Founder, ALBAL Design Studio
The brains and creative flair behind ALBAL Design Studio, Noura is a truly inspiring young interior designer whose already firmly established brand not only has a sterling client list, but is also routinely offering a helping hand to local firms looking to get off the ground.
Founded in November 2014, ALBAL now employs a multi-national team who work on interior and architectural design projects ranging from homes to private-yachts. As their professional reputation grows, however, so does the support Noura and her team offer start-ups, providing invaluable creative assistance across all elements of design – from logos and branding to the final execution of interior projects.

Obinwanne Okeke , Nigerian – Founder Invictus Group

Obinwanne Okeke

Obinwanne Okeke is the founder of Invictus Group and has been extensively involved in sourcing, structuring, implementing and monitoring various private equity investments in African and Australian markets and has over 10 years of investment experience. Prior to founding Invictus Group, he assisted with founding and running other entrepreneurial establishments. He holds a Bachelors and a Master’s degree (MA) in International Relations and Counter Terrorism (cum laude) from Monash University, Australia and has received several leadership honorary awards from local as well as international organizations.

He has received several leadership honorary awards from local as well as international organizations and has been recognized by Forbes as one of the 30 entrepreneurs under 30 to watch. The leading publication also featured him on its cover for June 2016.

He is passionate about people and strongly believes in giving back. Over the last decade he has inspired both businesses and individuals in the private sector to invest in the less privileged and the uneducated in countries across the world. He spear headed inter alia the Literacy Africa project which saw 100 000 (one hundred thousand) books being donated to children in across the African continent in underprivileged schools.

Ola Orekunrin, Nigerian – Founder, Flying Doctors
28-year-old Ola Orekunrin is a medical doctor and the founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria Limited, the first ever air ambulance service provider in West Africa’s health care history.
Following the death of her 12-year old younger sister, who she believed could have survived if she was moved fast enough to a hospital South Africa that had the capacity to attend to her condition, Ola, in 2010, came up with the air ambulance service to intervene in the event of such critical situations, setting up the first of its kind, not only in Nigeria, but also in West Africa.

Ohene Yaw Boamah, Ghanaian – Founder, Abrantie Clothing
His clothing line is fast breaking the stereotyped western gentleman look with African printed coat vests, pants, bow ties and ties, shirts, shorts as well as showcasing on prestigious runways across Africa.

Uche Pedro, Nigerian – Founder, Bella Naija

Uche Pedro

In 2006, Uche Eze, now Uche Pedro, started, not necessarily as a veritable business, but as a pastime.
Today, the bellanaija blog has grown to become one of the hottest destinations for celebrity news and fashion trends on the Internet, raking in millions of naira for Uche and her team.

Uche is as well the CEO/MD of Bainstone Limited, a new media company. She won the 2010 Best Use of Technology award at The Future Awards Africa, and also the British Council Young Media Entrepreneur prize at the 2013 edition of The Future Awards Africa.
Uche is one of the four Nigerian internet entrepreneurs included among Forbes 30 Most Promising Young African Entrepreneurs to watch out for in 2014.

Shaleen Manhire Nullens , Zimbabwean – Founder, Conquered Events

Shaleen Manhire Nullens

Harare-born Shaleen Manhire Nullens is the co-founder of Conquered TV, Celebs4 Change and organised the three-day celebrations with a dress code of all-white. Ms Shally, who started in business by working in her father’s business at the age of 14. By 2014, Nullens was getting married. She couldn’t find a wedding planner so she founded Conquered Events. As part of her marketing strategy and love for media, Nullens also founded Conquered TV, an entertainment online TV channel. Under Africa Petroleum, her new company based in Mozambique, she has also recently invested in fuel tankers she hires to companies.

Godfrey Magila, Tanzania – Founder, Magilatech
Magila has faced a lot of pain in his mere quarter of a century. His father died when he was just three months old, his mother when he was six, his aunt and uncle, who adopted him, died in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
He taught himself to code and won $200 at a countrywide hackathon. The prize came with a tech mentoring prograe and in 2012, he registered Magilatech, a software development and security auditing company.
Magilatech launched Tigobackup, a mobile security application performing full content backup on mobile device and antitheft commands. It has recovered more than 3,600 lost and stolen devices.
Magila employs 14 people, has seven contract employees, made over $1 million last year, has app contracts with Airtel, Vsomo, Maxcom, Selcom and DayOne Softcom.

Elijah Lubala, Congolese – Founder, Naserwa Real Estate
While in university, Lubala says he saved every single cent he received from piece jobs and the little pocket money from his father to help make the new dream come true.
At 21, he took a shot at TV production and put a TV show on the Vuzu TV channel called Running with the Reps for two seasons. In 2013, he founded Elie Technologies, which specializes in solar-powered wireless routers that act as mobile WiFi hotspots.
He didn’t stop there. In 2014, he started Naserwa Real Estate, a construction and rental management company. It has a portfolio of over 25 properties between Johannesburg and Kinshasa.
Determined to grow as an entrepreneur, Lubala employs 15 people and hopes to continue to grow his businesses.

Jeremiah Buabeng, Ghanaian – Founder, Matrix Institute
Executive Director and lead consultant of Matrix Institute, an astute and accomplished young motivational speaker, he spends every week averagely speaking at two events. He is the Executive director of Matrix Institute a motivational school he established to train human recourses in Ghana and abroad. The host and brainchild of Accra Youth Summit and other several motivational seminars, he is described as a personal development coach and as an author, he has inspired lots of people to write their own books and start something entrepreneurial.

Rainat Komolafe, Nigerian – Founder, Babies Essence
For new parents-to-be in Nigeria, planning for the new arrival can be a little daunting, particularly if it is a first baby. So, entrepreneur Rainat Komolafe has created a startup business, Babies Essence, taking all the guess work and effort out of the process, providing a genuinely one-stop shop for everything needed to welcome the new member of the family into the world. BabiesEssence offers a range of specialist baby-planning services such as personal shopping, baby registry, baby shower planning, and consulting services. Rainat has recognised that most parents are working full-time and don’t have much time to shop, however there are so many new services and products being introduced into the world of pregnancy and parents – to – be. At BabiesEssence, she is making shopping easy for new parents, empowering them to make the best decisions in preparation for their precious new arrivals.

Rere. Obaisi, Nigerian – Founder, Reohob Nig. Ltd
Rere. Obaisi, 29, CEO of Reohob Nig. Ltd, a company that is into the Renewable Energy Business.
Reohob supplies and installs Inverter and solar systems for Homes, Offices, Farms, Hospitals, and all other places the product is needed.
Reohob Started off 2012 with the Vision and Mission To make sure every persons and homes in Nigeria and Africa at large have access to safe alternative- renewable power supply at an affordable cost.

Rebecca Zechariah Joseph Thlawuson, Ugandan – Founder, Skywealth creators Network Marketing Company

Rebecca Zechariah Joseph Thlawuson

She is a Global business entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Wealth Education trainer and Mentor, Motivation Speaker and Author.
Rebecca, is the Founder and CEO of Skywealth creators Network Marketing Company, a company inspired by “The vision to build a global Network Marketing Company from Africa that will help create a healthier world and an investment focused generation.”
Her foundation, Satumarikasiisi Foundation, co-founded by her Nigerian husband, is a non denomination for charity, education and community development missions focusing on “building a happier world with love.”
The Satumarikasiisi Foundation team are presently campaigning for donation towards The Brekete family vaccine factory focusing on raising $52 to build Nigeria’s Premier Vaccine Factory in Abuja that will help eradicate endemic / infectious diseases and create employment.
Skywealth creators company is also an exclusive marketing arm for Minerals for life Products aka the world’s first structured bottle water, Innovative Biotech USA and Nigeria Ltd products, owned by Dr.Simon Agwale PhD majoring in Vi- Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine (Tybar) a one shot for life typhoid vaccine.

Huda Fadoul-Abacha , Nigerian – Founder, Hudayya

Huda Fadoul-Abacha

Huda Fadoul is the Founder and Head Designer of Hudayya, a brand that was birthed in Abuja, Nigeria in 2012.
This stunningly beautiful renowned fashion designer and wife of Sadiq Abacha, one of the sons of the late Nigerian head of state, Sani Abacha, is the brain behind Hudayya Bridal Emporium, a leading Bridal Couture company in Abuja. She has a keen eye for designing exquisite wedding dresses and exclusive luxury pieces.
This luxury fashion brand prides itself on its attention to detail and finishing with the finest fabrics that can be sourced worldwide.
Hudayya bespoke outfits and bridals have adorned the bodies of beautiful brides, the presidential family and the elite.

Fatima Haruna, Nigerian – Founder, Nisa Distributor’s & Supplies Ltd.

Fatima Haruna

The winner of the NYSC honours award in Abuja as the best in entrepreneurship in 2015, Chef Fatima Haruna, 31, is an entrepreneur and a member of the Association of professional Chefs of Nigeria. She is the CEO of Nisa Distributor’s & Supplies Ltd and a radio presenter at the Human Rights Radio 101.1 FM (Brekete Family) in Nigeria capital Abuja. She is a trainer on food processing, entrepreneurship, a public & motivational speaker. She represented Nigeria for culinary competition in Ghana 2016 & South Africa happy culinary challenge in 2017.

Corbyn Munnik, South African – Founder, Sliide
Munnik’s business is trying to solve one of the biggest modern day problems: the high cost of mobile data.
Through his company, Sliide, a technology company with offices in Lagos and London, Munnik helps address this problem by sending targeted news, entertainment and sponsored content to the lock screen of its users’ mobile phones. Seventy percent of all advertising revenue is used to buy mobile data and airtime for users, enabling them to spend more time online for free.
“Sliide is already a household name in Nigeria, and [there are plans to launch] in South Africa and Pakistan. $5 million of funding has recently been secured to expand into additional markets,” says Munnik.

Rushil Vallabh, South African – Founder, Secha Capital

Rushil Vallabh

Vallabh says he always wanted to run a business but it was his last few months at Bain, a global management consulting firm, that crystallized his ambition.
Vallabh and co-founder, Brendan Mullen, created Secha Capital, an impact investing holding company that provides patient capital to established African SMEs via innovative strategies. Secha Capital addresses the management gap in SMEs by aligning the interests of investors with business owners through sweat equity and performance-based vesting options.
The company invests in established South African agribusinesses and FMCG SMEs with revenue between $370,000 and $3.7 million.
“We have raised $3 million and have structured our investment vehicle as a section 12J company – a South African tax authority initiative to promote investment into SMEs,” says Vallabh.

Jennifer Glodik , South African – Founder, Diva Slimming and Aesthetics Centre

Jennifer Glodik

At 19, Jennifer Glodik went to the US to work as an exchange student. She saw many opportunities in business and knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur.
At 21, she got a master’s degree in foreign philology and linguistics, learned five languages, got married at the age of 22 and then decided it was time to start a business.
“I did my research and found that, in South Africa, the beauty industry had a massive gap in knowledge, service and technologies,” says Glodik.
She says she knew that was the gap to fill. She went to Russia, her country of birth, took a beauty and aesthetic course, was certified and came back to South Africa to start Diva Slimming and Aesthetics Centre.
“After two years, my [now ex-mother-in-law] decided it was time for me to go to Russia and she will take over my business… they successfully did it and I left with nothing but debt… I had R50 (less than $4) in my wallet to survive for a month,” she says.
With the help of her parents, Glodik picked herself up. Now Diva Slimming and Aesthetics Centre has two head offices, one in Sunninghill, Johannesburg and the other in Garsfontein, Pretoria. They have also opened 65 salons across South Africa in the last five years.
“We will be launching our own TV show this year with the stories of our overweight clients and in a few years we will be launching offices internationally,” she says.

Alloysius Attah, Ghanaian – Founder, Farmerline

Alloysius Attah

Alloysius Attah, 27, founded Farmerline, a Ghanaian software company and social enterprise, in 2013. With offices in Kumasi and Accra, Ghana, and a current full-time staff of 23, Farmerline builds technologies to connect rural customers to information, financial services, and supply chains, with an emphasis on smallholder farmers. Farmerline has developed multiple proprietary softwares that are used widely across different sectors. These include the MERGDATA platform, a data analytics and insight solution, and PAYTIME, a credit scoring and lending app that uses alternative data sources for farmers with no credit history. The company also provides content messaging to deliver good agricultural practices, weather reports, and market information to farmers, reaching beyond barriers in language, literacy, and connectivity by offering information in local languages. Farmerline’s content messaging (voice and SMS), remote surveying, and data collection services have been deployed across 5 countries by companies, NGOs, and governments. Farmerline has already been profitable for two years, having generated just over $375,000 (USD) in revenues in 2016, up from $284,000 in 2015. To date, Farmerline has reached over 200,000 users across West Africa.

Teta Isibo, Rwandan – Founder, Inzuki Designs

Teta Isibo

Rwandan-born Teta Isibo, 32, is the founder of Inzuki Designs, a young Rwandan brand specializing in Jewellery, accessories and Interior decor hand-made primarily from Local materials. Inzuki’s products typically fuse traditional craftsmanship and contemporary style to present a transcontinental finish. Isibo works with numerous local artisans that use their skills to translate Inzuki’s authentic designs into vibrant quality pieces that are sold all across Rwanda.

Rajiv Mehta, Kenyan – Founder, Tangerine Investments
Rajiv Mehta, 31, is one of Kenya’s most outstanding young entrepreneurs. He is the founder of Tangerine Investments, an outdoor advertising firm that uses public transit vehicles, litterbins and street poles to market leading consumer goods in Kenya.
Tangerine, which was founded in 2008, has clients such as Kenya Airways, Pizza Inn, Subway and Coca Cola HP among others. The company has annual revenues exceeding $1 million.

Aigbe Omoregie, Nigerian – Founder, Intercontinental Paints
The 34 year-old Nigerian entrepreneur is the founder of Intercontinental Paints, a fast-growing paint manufacturing company based in Lagos. He founded the company in 2006 with a little over $100 in savings, and the company has employed more than 50 people since its inception.
Mai Atafo, with his clothing line, has developed a reputation for gorgeous and perfectly fitting dresses that translate into the sophisticated and elegant look every bride desires and not to forget his well tailored bespoke suits.

Ameyaw Debrah, Ghanaian – Founder,

Ameyaw Debrah

Described as the Linda Ikeji of Ghana, Ameyaw Kissi Debrah, known professionally as Ameyaw Debrah, is a Ghanaian celebrity blogger, freelance journalist, and reporter. Debrah is a media entrepreneur who founded, an entertainment website and blog that primarily publishes news about Ghanaian celebrities that he has grown into an outstanding business. He graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with a bachelor’s degree in Publishing. While at KNUST, he won the Best Publishing Student award in 2005.

Damilola Solesi, Nigerian – Founder, SMIDS Animation Studios
Damilola Solesi is founder, CEO and creative director of SMIDS Animation Studios Nigeria, a company she founded in 2010. Smids animation studios is based in Lagos and creates 3D computer animation, 3D content production, motion graphics and visual effects. Also, Damilola is the pioneer of TechDivaz (now Women R.I.S.E), an initiative she started at the Co-Creation Hub. TechDivaz is a platform where women are inspired to expand their interests in technology through collaboration, networking, training, mentorship and funding to help them play a stronger role in growing the technology startup scene in Nigeria and Africa.

Kumbi Oyelese, Nigerian – Founder, April By Kunbi
Olakunbi Oyelese knew she wanted to be a major player in the fashion world; hence she attended the renowned New York Fashion Institute of Technology.
After her studies, she was ready to take on the world of fashion and in April 2010, she launched her fashion house with the somewhat circumstantial name; April By Kunbi.
April By Kunbi is a fashion label that specialises in both custom made and ready to wear apparel, jewelry and accessories for women who place a premium on the principles of fashion, fit, functionality and affordability and has been built on the philosophies of “newness, freshness and colour”. With an ever growing portfolio of prêt-a-porter and custom made fashion items, April By Kunbi aims to be a one stop source and a lifestyle brand for everything from wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, evening and cocktail dresses to casual/active wear, sleepwear, footwear, accessories and lingerie.

Nasir Yammama, Nigeran – Founder, Verdant Agri-Tech
Nasir Yammama is a 26-year-old, northern Nigerian with a knack for technology. Nasir was raised as a farmer’s child and most of his siblings are still active farmers. Once Nasir became old enough he ventured out from the fields and into Institute and Creative Technology.
In 2014, he founded Verdant AgriTech, a social enterprise to support rural farmers with mobile technologies for sustainable farming and improved food production.
“The company was founded on the premise that smallholders should be able to produce more, sell more, make more profit and thereby attain an improved standard of living by using simple technologies,” he says.
Yammama began with 50 farmers in Katsina, his home state. He taught them to use their basic phones to gather market information, weather and management skills, and financial services.
Now, in collaboration with Oxfam and GIZ, Verdant is supporting 25,000 farmers through a mobile platform which makes smallholders more visible to the markets, and provides agricultural data for improved food production. Nasir’s vision is to transform agriculture in Nigeria and enable farmers to double or triple their yields.

Sandra Mwiihangele, Namibian – Founder, Kiyomisandz Beauty Products
At the age of 12, Sandra Mwiihangele and her best friend entered the National Expo Young Scientist competition, whereby they developed a high-performance functioning lipstick from natural resources and won a gold medal.
Today, 16 years later, age 29 Mwiihangele runs her own Kiyomisandz Beauty Products, a toiletry and cosmetic manufacturing company based in Windhoek, Namibia.
Kiyomi (pronounced as Kee-yo-mee) means “pure beauty” in Japanese, and the significance of her name is apt considering her chosen industry. KiyomiSandz is a lifestyle brand and skincare business that develops premium-quality skincare products for men and women

Iyinoluwa Aboyeji , Nigerian – Founder, Flutterwave
Aboyeji has been part of many successful businesses in his short life and secured investment from Mark Zuckerberg. He founded Bookneto, an online learning platform while studying in Canada. In 2013, it was acquired by the Canadian Innovation Centre and Aboyeji moved back to Nigeria, his country of birth.
Here, he founded Fora, an online platform to help African universities build high-quality online courses for young professionals. It was met with regulation problems and it ended up being more of a marketplace for online courses overseas.
He didn’t let this get to him. In 2014, the 26 year old met up with Jeremy Johnson, an old friend, and they spoke about founding Andela, a talent accelerator that recruits and trains software developers and connects them with employers. It grew to be one of Nigeria’s best-known start-ups. It received a $24 million investment from Facebook founder Zuckerberg and Aboyeji helped build it to over $100 million market cap in two years.

Shakeela Tolasade Williams, Nigerian – Founder, Sade Hair
Young and innovative Shakeela Tolasade Williams is the CEO of Sade Hair. Prior to starting the business, the beautiful Entrepreneur travelled abroad to meet with suppliers and then started by selling products on a small scale from the boot of her car in London. Impressed by her sales, Tolasade decided to make a move by branding her hair and sold her car, raised more funds from her family and invested all her by opening store in February 2013 in UK.
The business grew and within two years, she made substantial amount while she had four employees.
Her products, Sade Hair is not only doing well in the market, the company has also grown to have distributors in different parts of UK, Canada, Europe and Sierra Leone and hopes to further expand in Nigeria this year.

Sonia Mugabo, Rwandan – Founder, Sonia Mugabo
At such a young age, Sonia Mugabo has become a force in Rwandan fashion, entrepreneurship and women’s leadership. Sonia, 26, is the founder of Sonia Mugabo (SM), her eponymous fashion brand. She is a self-taught designer who has focused her brand on sourcing locally including materials, employees and models from her home country of Rwanda. Her brand has quickly found a strong following and is reaching international awareness. She recent opened her second store inside of the Kigali Marriott and is a star clearly on the rise.

Mark Essien, Nigerian – Founder,

Mark Essien

Essien, 31, is the founder of, Nigeria’s largest hotel – booking website. The online portal allows users from all over the world to book rooms from a selection of over 8,000 hotels. It has recently secured an investment of $1.2m from international investors EchoVC Pan-Africa Fund, a seed-stage technology fund, and Omidyar Network, the investment vehicle of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
Mark, a hardware/software developer, studied Comp. Eng/Robotics in Germany. After his studies, he returned to Nigeria and founded, the first startup to directly address the African hotel – booking market. His message to Nigerian aspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs is that they should explore as “The African business ecosystem is brimming with opportunities and you just need to find what works. However, not every market is a good one, so you need to be keen enough to spot the difference.”

Heritiaina Randriamananatahina, Malagasy – Founder, Fiombonana
Randriamananatahina, 22, is the founder of Fiombonana, an agro-processing enterprise that manufactures dairy products and confectioneries. The company uses only Malagasy raw materials in their products and increases local jobs by hiring low-income local farmers. Randriamananatahina is a 2016 recipient of the Anzisha prize for young African entrepreneurs.

Satta Wahab, Liberian – Founder, Naz Naturals
Satta Wahab, 21, is the founder of Naz Naturals, a Liberian cosmetics company that creates organic hair care products from unrefined shea butter and empowers young girls and women to feel beautiful and confident with their natural hair.

Calvin Mathibeli, South African Founder, Calvin & Family Group
Calvin Mathibeli, a former garden boy, is the founder of Calvin and Family Group (CFG), a construction company. He established the company in 2005 to develop residential properties and later branched out into commercial, retail and industrial developments. He also owns the Unique Lifestyle Café – a high-end restaurant at the heart of the leafy surburb of KZN, Durban.

Alain Nteff, Cameroonian – Founder, Gifted Mom
As a 20 year old engineering student, Nteff was alarmed when he witnessed the preventable deaths of mothers and newborns when visiting his medic friend Conrad Tankou in rural Cameroon. Together the pair came up with Gifted Mom, an SMS service that expectant and new mothers could register for to receive advice to improve health and wellbeing during pregnancy. Today the service has over 3,400 subscribers and has led to a 20% increase in antenatal attendance rate for women in 21 rural communities.

Lulo Rubushe , South African – Founder, RNDM Network
RNDM Network is a clothing and media lifestyle company which integrates youth through fashion, music, lifestyle events and brands.
Rubushe is a setting the bar high in a busy year. He was nominated for the Youth Influencer Awards last year, collaborated with Trollbeads, a Danish jewellery company, and created an experiential event at GoldBar in Cape Town, developed an innovation concept for an inner city road trip with KIA motors and collaborated and developed numerous brand concepts with the likes of Markham, PUMA, Watch Republic, Standard Bank and CSquared.
“I am drawn to entrepreneurship because the possibilities are endless and the impact a successful business can have betters the lives of all people. It stimulates local economic growth and provides opportunities for my fellow South Africans and Africans,” he says.

Sean Drake, Ghanaian – Founder, The Wealth Project Holdings
Drake’s story has surprised many. It all began with selling and swapping his clothes with friends when he was 15 years old.
Growing up in Ghana, he was seen as a lost cause. He always came last in class, had several failed businesses, lost most of his friends and his savings on the stock market. He lost over 80% of his investment firm’s capital during the financial crisis of 2008.
From ashes, he founded The Wealth Project Holdings, a sustainable investment holding company focused on social impact through financial services and education in Africa.
He is also a partner at Jislah Financial Services, a micro-lending company in the heart of Accra that has pledged a $20-million investment to accelerate social-entrepreneurship in Africa, has an Institutional Investor Network with over 5,000 people, plans to list on the London Stock Exchange and turns over an excess of $1 million a year.

Upendo Shuma, Tanzania – Founder, Lavie Makeup Studio
Shuma spent her days off learning how to do make up, while working as cabin crew at Fastjet airline. Once she was confident enough, she would make up her friends and family for a fee. The small business grew through word of mouth. She got more clients and even celebrities advertised her work through Instagram.
In 2013, she resigned and founded Lavie Makeup Studio.
Today, Lavie Makeup Studio has 40 to 60 brides per month during peak season and 20 to 30 brides when business is slow.
Shuma has also developed her first line of products. She says they have sold 3,000 pieces since inception in 2015.

Okpaleke Charles, Nigerian – Founder, Play Network Nigeria

Okpaleke Charles

Okpaleke Charles, 34, is a Nigerian health economist, Nollywood movie producer and businessman. He is the CEO of Play Network Nigeria which was founded in 2008. Play Network is a structured multidisciplinary networking community for entrepreneurs, business executives, fashion and lifestyle enthusiasts, future leaders and likeminded people.
It also serves as a parent company for a host of subsidiaries within a number of different industries. These subsidiaries are various business enterprises centred on food, fashion, nightlife and other lifestyle initiatives that serve as primary networking agents to facilitate the social, professional, lifestyle and business networking promotion agenda of the Play Network

Banke Kuku, Nigerian – Banke Kuke Textiles
Banke Kuku is founder and CEO of Banke Kuku Textiles, a company she started in 2011. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Banke moved to the United Kingdom at age eight, giving her the opportunity to cross-pollinate traditional African and Western culture to create unique, luxurious fabrics for the interior and fashion industries. Anointed by leading commentators as the ‘Queen of Colour’, Banke promotes African tradition and culture through her exquisite textiles sold in the major capitals of the world and supports and promotes local textile mills in Nigeria. Her interiors range can be been found in major retailers like Selfridges London, and her fashion fabric designs have graced the catwalks of London, Paris and New York.

Adu Amani, Ghanaian – Founder, AduAmani Klodin

Adu Amani

She is the brain behind the adu-Amani brand which manufactures African indigenous shoes, bags and fashion accessories in Ghana for the local, Nigerian and Kenyan markets. She is super passionate about colors and that has won her many clients across the globe. Adu-Amaning Vera will, on any day, make the mark when mentioning young and determined Ghanaian ladies who would not be hindered by challenges in reaching their set goals.

Issam Darui, Moroccan Founder,
Darui is the founder of, Morocco’s first electronic bus station which allows the country’s growing number of bus users book tickets online, instead of wasting time and resources standing in long queues. caters to local residents as well as the overwhelmed international tourist trying to navigate a city’s transport system. The transport app is available in 10 languages with the option to pay for tickets in 25 currencies. has three employees and 25,000 registered and frequent customers.

Rebecca Donkor, Ghanaian – Founder, Makeup Ghana
Rebecca Donkor is the Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director,Makeup Ghana.
Rebecca has succeeded in empowering young ladies in the tertiary institutions with the Ladies in Prestige and Purpose (LIPP) and Leadership Empowerment and Entrepreneurial Development (LEED). ’ initiative that makes them financially independent, improves their self esteem while building their marketing and entrepreneurial skills
She has received several awards for her contribution to the industry and active role in empowerment, including the under 40 CEO awards in Ghana.

Rupert Weterings, South African – Founder, Allied Insurance Brokers
Weterings calls himself a cultural chameleon. He has lived in more countries than many will ever see. Born in South Africa, he was raised in Russia, Cameroon, Netherlands, Norway, the UK, Libya, South Africa and Zimbabwe. His father was a diplomat.
“In my formative years, I saw the Zimbabwean economy collapse. My friends and family had to quickly leave or adapt to the rapidly changing circumstance. It taught me that anyone can be an entrepreneur,” he says.
In 2011, he founded Allied Insurance Brokers (AIB) in Angola and in just two years the company grew to become one of the largest Angolan property, casualty, life and medical insurance and reinsurance brokerage companies.

Eva Sonaike, Nigerian – Founder, Eva Sonaike Interior and Lifestyle brand
There is a growing global interest in African design, textiles and products, and talented Nigerian interior designer and lifestyle brand creator, Eva Sonaike, is taking the world by storm on the back of this trend. Her aim is to position the ‘African’ aesthetic in the global textiles and interior industry as part of her bigger brand-building picture. Today, Eva Sonaike is a London-based interiors and lifestyle brand, creating luxurious textiles, home-décor and accessories with a distinctive and vibrant West-African aesthetic. Inspired by the cultural mélange of West-African textile tradition and European craftsmanship, a passion for interior design and an exuberant love of colour, as the company’s Creative Director, Eva’s aim is to add a new and distinctive aesthetic to the luxury interiors market. Expertly printed in Germany and manufactured in the UK, the luxury range (of textiles and products) boasts a breadth of exclusive designs that bring a touch of African luxury to any setting.

Jeremiah Buabeng, Ghanaian – Founder, Matrix Institute
Executive Director and lead consultant of Matrix Institute, an astute and accomplished young motivational speaker, he spends every week averagely speaking at two events. He is the Executive director of Matrix Institute a motivational school he established to train human recourses in Ghana and abroad. The host and brainchild of Accra Youth Summit and other several motivational seminars, he is described as a personal development coach and as an author, he has inspired lots of people to write their own books and start something entrepreneurial.

Jamie Pujara, Kenyan – Founder, BuyRentKenya
Pujara, a 33 year-old Kenyan entrepreneur is the founder of BuyRentKenya, one of Kenya’s most popular property listing sites. In 2015, South African online media firm One Africa Media acquired a stake in the company. The site, which Pujara founded in 2012, reports 150,000 visitors every month and has more than 15,000 listings of residential and commercial properties.

Diana Delali Mensah, Ghanaian – Founder, ReadNetwork

Diana Delali Mensah

Diana Mensah is a seasoned Social Development Specialist with over five (5) years of expertise in Social Development. While working in this sector with the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, she helped improve lives of women by organising community development activities to empower them economically and advocated on numerous issues pertaining women, rehabilitated persons with disability, arbitrated several welfare cases to maintain peace and order in families and homes.
With a love for addressing social issues, Diana founded ReadNetwork a not-for -profit that focuses on bridging the literacy gap between children in rural communities (public schools) and their counterparts in private schools (cities), mentoring aspiring young women leaders by matching them with professionals and women leaders to engage, equip and inspire them towards leadership, empower and train the youth across all sectors with problem solving skills to drive change in the public/ private sector and communities.
Diana is recognized and awarded internationally among 1000 young committed African Public leaders through the Mandela Washington Fellowship program certified by President Barack Obama. She is a 2017 U.S Department of State Reciprocal Exchange Program Awardee where she partnered with an American Professional (Prof. Donovan Dennis) to launch Public Achievement in Ghana and train young professionals across the public service.

Prinesh Naidoo, South African – Founder, Geco Cam
Prinesh Naidoo, 25, is a co-founder of Eeezee Foam, which has one of the largest polyurethane foam manufacturing plants in South Africa, and for which he received the prestigious FNB ROCCI Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2015. Geco Cam, his most recent venture, is the world’s first glasses mounted action cam, and was launched at the International CES in Las Vegas in 2015, where it was the only hardware start-up from South Africa to exhibit.
George Mtemahanji, Tanzanian – Founder, SunSweet Solar
23-year-old George Mtemahanji is the founder of SunSweet Solar, a solar photovoltaic company based in Tanzania. SunSweet Solar designs and installs Solar Off-Grid Systems, Solar Mini and Micro Grid Systems.

Edikan Udiong, Nigerian – Founder, Oleander House
Edi is the founder of Oleander Health Shop and Flat Tummy Teatox. She is a go-getter, a nature loving animal lover and a self-proclaimed “simple girl”. She is also a health and wellness entrepreneur, helping people who are ready to improve their overall wellness.
Edi actually studied Engineering in the university but knew right from the beginning that she wasn’t a 9-to-5er. Shortly after University, she saw a gap in the wellness market when her sister lost some weight intentionally and people were interested in the products she used and wanted some but could get them easily. Edi jumped in without hesitation to fill in the gap and meet those needs by sourcing those products and making them easily available online. A few years later, she started her own brand and the rest pretty much started to fall into place but not without challenges. Listen to find out more.

Ijeoma Ndekwu, Nigerian – Founder, Redrick Public Relations
For Nigerian PR company founder, Ijeoma Ndekwu, becoming an entrepreneur was in her genes. From an early age, she took her inspiration from her successful entrepreneurial father who managed to achieve the freedom of work/life balance in his business, and showed her an alternative and entrepreneurial career path of her own was possible. Her company, Redrick Public Relations, is a boutique public and media relations agency specialising in creating, developing and executing innovative and strategic integrated PR campaigns, all guided by market intelligence, for Corporate, Lifestyle and Retail brands. From developing unique stories to implementing results-oriented PR campaigns, Redrick PR participates in aiding every facet of your brand’s growth. Some of the specialist services the company provides include: Editorial Placement, Story Pitching, Press Kit Development, Brand/Product Launches, Press Release Writing & Distribution, Planning & Coordination of Press Events (including conferences, trips and press days).

Nadeem Juma, Tanzanian – Co-founder, AIM Group
In 2004, and at the age of 19, Tanzanian serial entrepreneur Nadeem Juma founded Efulusi Africa, a software development company that develops custom software with a focus on mobile finance apps and aggregation. Efulusi is credited for developing and deploying Tanzania’s first mobile banking platform. In 2014, Juma, now 31, founded AIM Group, a leading digital agency in the East African country. AIM Group now has 25 employees and has some of Tanzania’s most prominent brands as clients.

John Armah, Ghanaian – Founder, Entrepreneurship, Employment and Innovation
The Executive Director of Ghana Center of Entrepreneurship, Employment and Innovation, he is known as the youngest contributor to the budget of Ghana with his idea of the Youth Enterprise Support which provides funding to young entrepreneurs through government. He hosts a Radio Show known as Startups and serves as business consultant to most celebrities in Ghana including Samini, Obrafour and Hammer. He is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community, Africa 20 foundation and Advisory Board Member of Next Wave Africa.

Olanrewaju Moshood, Nigerian – Founder, OLAMOSH Web Services
Moshood, a Nigerian IT guru who lives in Ghana, a Web consultant and digital marketer.
He specialize in Web development, digital marketing and I.T training. He has helped individuals and corporate organisations to establish strong internet presence for their brands/products through blog building, web development, search engine optimization (SEO), internet marketing and list building.
He enjoy talking about Entrepreneurship, Digital Marketing, Career Development, Mobile Technology and Blogging. Been on the internet since 2008.
In 2014 he founded EMPOWERGHAIANS, an initiative to help build the next generation of internet entrepreneurs in Ghana. The initiative has been able to trained over two thousand Ghanaians through its 7days online business e-training and over three hundred Ghanaians through its yearly bootcamp program.

Ophelia Okyere Darko, Ghanaian – Founder, Ophelia Crossland

Ophelia Okyere Darko

Ophelia Crossland is a celebrated Ghanaian fashion designer and Chief Executive of Ophelia Crossland Designs, a major go to brand in Ghana’s fashion industry. Over the years she has created a unique brand with her attention to detail, her choice of fabric and her impressive list of clientele, including former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings.

Andriankoto Harinjaka Ratozamanana, Madagascar – Founder, Habaka-Madagascar Innovation Hub
Malagasy-born Andriankoto Harinjaka Ratozamanana is at the forefront of the technology and
entrepreneurship revolution that is slowly transforming Madagascar.
He was one of the co-founders and former CEO of the Habaka-Madagascar Innovation Hub, a nonprofit
organization supporting local youth with STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and
Mathematics). Andriankoto is an international consultant who understands how Sciences, Technology
and Innovation (STI) can be applied for development of his country.
Since 2014, Andriankoto was ranked amongst the top 100 young economic leaders of Africa by the
internationally renowned Choiseul Institute for International Politics and Geo-economics, an annual
independent study who recognizes the economic leaders of Africa aged 40 or less, who will play a
major role in Africa’s economic development in the near future.


Samuel Peprah , Ghanaian – Founder, Prestodea Ghana Ltd.

Samuel Peprah

The Samuel Peprah’s story is a unique one. He is the CEO of Prestodea Ghana Limited, a top architectural metal and aluminum work and fabrication services in Ghana.
This industrious young African industrialist gave it all the shots to brave the odds and weather the storm of establishing a big company like Prestodea Ghana Ltd, specialists in metal designs of all fashions and styles and aluminum sliding doors, windows etc, in Accra, Ghana, and is now spreading to other countries in Africa like Nigeria, Cote’ D’ Voire, Togo and so on.
This industrious young African industrialist gave it all the shots to brave the odds and weather the storm of establishing a big company like Prestodea Ghana Ltd, specialists in metal designs of all fashions and styles and aluminum sliding doors, windows etc, in Accra, Ghana, and is now spreading to other countries in Africa like Nigeria, Cote’ D’ Voire, Togo and so on.

Zoubeira Mallaki, Tunisian
Despite a combination of cultural norms and limited incentives for young entrepreneurs in the south of Tunisia, Zoubeira Mallaki defied the odds and succeeded in setting up her own atelier to design and produce furniture that she sells to neighboring villages and towns. A new A US$500 million project for Tunisia aims to support key reforms to improve the business environment in order to encourage entrepreneurs, boost investor confidence, and expand access to finance to firms, young people, and women in lagging regions.

Senai Wolderufael, Ethiopian – Founder , Feed Green Ethiopia Exports Company
Wolderufael is the founder of Feed Green Ethiopia Exports Company, an Addis Ababa-based outfit that produces and exports popular Ethiopian spice blends such as Shiro, Mitmita, Korarima and Berbere. He worked for Ethiopian Airlines for almost four years and noticed many Ethiopians travelling with bags full of Ethiopian spices. Wolderufael founded the company in 2012, exporting spices and dry food to the United States and Europe and, as demand increased, to new markets within Africa. His latest export is Ethiopian coffee and Wolderufael hopes to be one of the biggest food companies in Africa in 10 years. The company largely employs single mothers, young men and women from poor backgrounds.

Best Ayiorworth, Ugandan – Founder, Gipmo

Best Ayiorworth

Often in Uganda when families struggle to put their children through school, the girl is forced to stay at home while the boy completes school. Ayiorworth couldn’t afford to go to school following the death of her father. She started a microlending business so other girls can. Girl Power Microlending Organisation (Gipomo) is a business tied to loans where mothers take out loans to start their own small businesses and in return they must make sure their daughters attend school. This project gained Ayiorworth the Anzisha Price in 2013 for young African entrepreneurs. She ploughed her winnings back into her microlending business.

Gabriel Kombassere, Ivorian – Founder, Ribla Neda
Ivorian Gabriel Kombassere works with fellow students to run Ribla Neda, a farming association that produces maize and cassava to feed its members and their families. His inspiration came from the determination to make a difference in his poverty-stricken community and eradicate starvation.
Kombassere formed the farming association when he managed to acquire a piece of land from an uncle to grow maize and cassava. Members pay a small contribution to cover basic expenses and are direct beneficiaries of the produce. Today Ribla Neda has grown to 300 members, and over 100 student employees.

Thato Kgatlhanye, South African – Founder, ‎Rethaka
Kgatlhanye is a woman who knows what she wants. She chose schools she wanted to attend from grade four, graduated from the Vega School of Brand Leadership and was offered an internship in New York with marketing guru Seth Godin.
At 18, Kgatlhanye founded Rethaka, which produces recycled schoolbags that double up as solar-powered lights that children can use to study at night.
The company employs 20 people, has many volunteers, and supplies its products to the likes of Standard Bank, Red Bull, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Unilever. It also exports to Namibia, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Brazil. The aim is to expand to 24 African countries.

Zameer Verjee , Kenyan – Founder, Studio AZ

Zameer Verjee

Verjee knows being rich and poor.
His family were in business for generations. He always pictured himself increasing the family legacy but, in 2010, tragedy struck.
But in his bleak future, he saw entrepreneurship.
“I wanted to come up with something innovative. I was not going to settle for a good job. I wanted more. But of course the situation was not favorable, my family needed money.”
With the £400 he saved at university, Verjee founded Studio AZ, an interior and exterior design firm based in Nairobi, in 2012.
“I walked around the streets looking for clients. It was very hard at the time as the human psychology would question if I was credible or not,” he says.
Almost five years later, Verjee claims the company turned over just shy of $500,000 last year, has 11 full-time staff and employed 75 subcontractors. Verjee was named as one of Kenya’s top 40 under 40 in 2016 by Business Daily Africa, won the international property awards for best residential design firm Africa and came highly recommended for office space.
Now at 29, he adds the Pleasures Magazine Top 100 Young African Entrepreneurs title to the list.

Sibusiso Ngwenya, South African – Founder, Skinny Sbu Socks
Sibusiso Ngweny 25, is the Founder and Head Designer of Skinny Sbu Socks (SSS), an authentic luxury sock brand designed and manufactured in Africa.
The brand was established in April 2013, Sibusiso is the youngest Sock Maker in the world at age 25 and is also the first black sock maker in the world.
He counts former Top Billing presenter Tumisho Masha, politician Tony Yengeni, TV personality Maps Maponyane, celebrity entrepreneur and philanthropist Shaka Sisulu, and the leader of opposition political party the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, among his clients.

Mahmud Johnson, Liberian – Founder, J-Palm Liberia
Mahmud Johnson is founder and chief executive of J-Palm Liberia, an oil palm processing business he founded in 2013. It is the only company in Liberia that produces palm kernel oil branded as “Kernel fresh’.

It’s Your Turn…
What are you waiting for? Will you allow your mum, dad, sister, brother, friend, enemy, the government, college degree or whatever to stop you? After reading this, do you still think that you need a million dollar to start that business? I don’t think so. While you’re not guaranteed success but you’ll never know if a business will succeed or fail when you start. Just start anyway.

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