Top 10 Most Successful Female Entrepreneurs in Africa

Most Successful Female Entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurship refers to the process of starting and managing a business venture in order to maximize profit. An entrepreneur is an individual who identifies an opportunity, gathers resources and takes the initiative to create, develop and grow a business. It requires identification of opportunity, innovation and creativity.

Female entrepreneurship in Africa is a growing and dynamic area that has gained significant attention in recent years. African women have increasingly participating in entrepreneurial activities, creating businesses and driving economic development across the continent. This has aided opportunity driven enterprises, skill and capacity building in Africa.

Here are the names of the 10 notable female entrepreneurs in Africa:

1. Isabel dos Santos:

She is an Angolan businesswoman and also the eldest daughter of the former President of Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Isabela was once considered as Africa’s richest woman according to Forbes Magazine with a net worth exceeding $2billion.

In the early 90s, dos Santos started working as a project manager engineer for Urbana 2000, a subsidiary of Jembas Group. In 1997, she entered the international business world, creating companies and holdings in Angola and abroad, making substantial investments in various sectors in high-profile enterprises. She has investments in various sectors including telecommunications, banking and energy resources.

2. Folorunso Alakija:

Folorunso Alakija is a Nigerian businesswoman involved in the oil and fashion industries. She is the Managing Director of the Rose of Sharon Group and the executive Chairman of FAMFA Oil Limited. Folorunso was ranked by Forbes as the richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $1billion in 2020. She started a fashion label known as Supreme Stitches, which was later renamed  Rose of Sharon House of Fashion in 1966. She was the president and lifelong trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN).

In the early 1990s, Alakija  made a significant shift in career by obtaining an oil prospecting license, which granted her the right explore for oil on a 617,000 acre block. This step turned out to be lucrative for her company, FAMFA Oil Limited.

3. Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu:

She is the Ethiopian founder of SoleRebels, a sustainable footwear brand that that promotes Ethiopian craftsmanship and creates employment opportunities. She has created world class jobs, empowered her community and country while presenting galvanized, dynamic face of African creativity to the global market.

Bethlehem represents the leading edge of a new generation of home grown African women in business. She gives face and voice to what grassroots African-driven female economic leadership looks like, as she continues to elevate her company, nation and continent.

4. Divine Ndhlukula:

Dr. Divine is a Zimbabwean businesswoman, founder and Managing Director of DDNS Security Operations Limited. Which is the holding company for SECURICO Security Services. In an interview, she said that the idea was conceived out of the need to earn a living and to revolutionize the male dominated security industry. Dr. Divine was named one of the most successful women in Africa by Forbes.

She also founded Zvikomborero Farms, an agricultural company involved in a variety of farming activities and presently employs 17 permanent employees and over 12 on a temporary basis. She has received numerous accolades for her contribution to entrepreneurship.

5. Tara Fela-Durotoye

Fela-Durotoye is the founder and CEO of House of Tara International, a renowned Nigerian beauty and cosmetics brand. She has built a successful makeup empire and is considered a role model and pioneer of bridal makeup profession in Nigeria.

She launched the first bridal directory in 1999, set up international standard makeup studies and established the first makeup school in Nigeria. As at 2019, her brand had 270 products, 23 stores, 14 beauty schools and 10,000 representatives all around Africa.

6. Rebecca Enonchong:

Enonchong is a Cameroonian technology entrepreneur and also the founder and CEO of AppTech. AppTech is an oracle platinum partner and has customers in over 40 countries, including her native, Cameroon.

In 2002, The World Economic Forum of Davos, Switzerland named her a Global Leader for Tomorrow (GLT) along with other entrepreneurs.

7. Monica Musonda:

She is a prominent Zambian lawyer and businesswoman. She is best known for being the founder and CEO of  Java Foods, a food processing company based in Zambia. She is recognized for entrepreneurial spirit and efforts to promote food security and economic development in Africa.

She obtained a law degree in the University of Zambia  and later earned a master’s degree in law in  the University of London. Musonda also hold a diploma in International Trade Law from the Institute of World Trade Law in South Africa.

8. Ibukun Awosika:

she is a renowned Nigerian businesswoman, author and motivational speaker. She is best known as the founder and CEO of The Chair Center Group, a leading office furniture manufacturing company in Nigeria.

Born on December 24th, 1962, in Ibadan Nigeria, Awosika obtained degree in chemistry from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). In 1997, she founded The Chair Center Limited, which has grown to become The Chair Centre Group. The company specializes in manufacturing and retailing office furniture as well as providing integrated office solutions.

She also served as the first female Chairman of the board of Directors of First Bank Nigeria Limited, one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, from 2015 to 2020.

9. Tabitha Karanja:

Tabitha Mukami Karanja is a Kenyan businesswoman, entrepreneur, industrialist and Nakuru County senator. She is the current    CEO of Keroche Breweries, the first large brewery in Kenya owned by a non-multinational company. Karanja chose to venture where none had dared. She took on an 87-year-old business monopoly and entered the industry with with deeply entrenched male gender stereotype.

She broke the mold to become Kenya’s first home-grown beer and alcoholic drink manufacturer. Today, her company’s state-of-the art production facility is targeting 20% of the Kenyan market.

10. Aisha Pandor:

She is the CEO of SweepSouth, one of South Africa’s largest on demand home service companies. The company has expanded into Kenya and is poised to launch in Nigeria. Pandor serves as the co-founder of the company, which was launched in 2014, along with her husband, Alen Ribic.

Her entrepreneurial journey began when she identified a need for convenient reliable domestic cleaning services in South Africa. She has been recognized as one of Africa’s leading female entrepreneurs, as she continues to play a significant role in shaping the future of the gig economy and entrepreneurship in Africa.

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