WEF names 6 best emerging female African entrepreneurs


The World Economic Forum (WEF), which took place in Durban, South Africa, last week, has named six individuals as the best emerging female technology entrepreneurs.

The search was initiated to demonstrate the positive role women are playing in driving the development of the African tech space, and received hundreds of entries. The winners took part in the Durban event.

Two South Africans were named winners, namely Darlene Menzies, whose FinFind innovation aims to remove a major bottleneck to Africa’s growth, and Aisha Pandor, co-founder of on-demand home cleaning startup SweepSouth.

Nigeria was also represented by two entrepreneurs. Oluwayimika Angel Adelaja of Fresh Direct and Temie Giwa-Tubosun of LifeBank were recognised.

Ugandan Esther Karwera, whose company Akorion has developed software that integrates smallholder farmers into digital value chains, and Kenyan Charity Wanjiku of Strauss Energy, which has developed proprietary solar roofing tiles, were the other two female entrepreneurs selected.

“Africa’s best prospects for inclusive growth lie in its ability to tap into its vast pool of entrepreneurial talent,” said Elsie Kanza, head of Africa at the World Economic Forum.

“We want Africa’s top female tech entrepreneurs to join us so we can celebrate them as role models and so they can help governments and policymakers create conditions for others to flourish.”

Pandor said she was honoured to receive the award, and said she was expecting positive growth from SweepSouth.

“We’re suspecting that a service like ours is growing more from a word-of-mouth basis rather than any marketing strategy we’ve employed,” she said.

“The great advantage is, because we know there’s demand, we’ll be putting out a few advertisements for more local cleaners to join our platform. More jobs, more happy customers and a great way to invest in economic growth and creating work opportunities.”


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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