30 Most Outstanding Young African Entrepreneurs

30 Most Outstanding Young African Entrepreneurs

African young entrepreneurs are making huge progress in the market. They are positively embracing more risks compared to the past. Furthermore, they are developing great ventures that are solving various problems and are creating more employment opportunities. The annual Forbes rating of the 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa is taking place in 2018 for the 7th time in a row since its launch. The event will bring to the light 30 most outstanding young disruptors and innovators in African ventures at the moment.

The 30 were selected from above 650 applicants. The applications were analyzed by a small group and scrutinized by a group of expert qualified judges just to ensure that they meet the required threshold. The 30 come from various sectors including media, real estate, manufacturing, agriculture, fashion, green tech and financial services. Here is the list of 30 young entrepreneurs that have taken part in the event in the past though most of them are fresh on the list.

Oluwatobi Ajayi, the co-founder of Jetwan

Oluwatobi Ajayi

The 30 years old is the CEO and co-founder of Jetwan startup. This is the biggest Nigerian authorized distributor of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. When he was 24 years old, he was made the Head of the division at Mercedes-Benz Nigeria where he started his profession. He sourced from a team of investors in 2015 and came up with Jetvan that sales over 500 vehicles annually.

Cars45’s founder, Etop Ikpe from Nigeria

Etop Ikpe

Cars45 is the first auctioning and car purchasing platform in Nigeria. It managed to raise Series A round worth $5 million of funding in May 2017 from Frontier Cars Group. Ikpe has a vast experience in marketing, transport, communication technology and automobiles. He is currently the Co-MD and CEO of DealDay after working as Konga’s Commercial Director.

Nigerian Fibre startup founder, Obinna Okwodu

Obinna Okwodu

Fibre is a company that deals with the booking of real estate in Lagos that gives middle-income tenants an opportunity to make monthly payments. The 27 years old founder previously worked with Morgan Stanley Investment Bank as an analyst. Furthermore, he is a graduate from MIT. Tenants are getting it rough in Lagos where landlords demand 24 months rent upfront.

MnM Clothing Line Founder, Rahma Bajun

Rahma Bajun

Born in Tanzania, the 29 years old Bajun’s company is a known Afro-centric clothing brand in the country. It produces pocket-friendly ewallets, clothes and various fashion accessories for both men and women using the kitenge. The startup has employed 7 individuals on a full-time basis.

BAU Executive Education and Edutech founder Gossy Ukanwoke

Gossy Ukanwoke

Gossy Ukanwoke who is 30 years old has a firm called BAU Executive Education offers executive education to professional’s graduates and executives aiming at developing leadership skills and business on-campus and online. The startup has finished investment in two traditional universities based in Nigeria. EduTech Nigeria is a tech company that partners with universities to make the online lifestyle of students automatic starting from recruitment to graduation. It does that by assisting traditional universities in Africa to have their on-campus degree program online.

Kenyan born Anerlisa Muigai, the founder of Nero

 Anerlisa Muigai Nero

Nero is a beverage company that manufactures and sells the highest selling Executive Still water brand across the country. The 30 years old lady is the daughter of Tabitha Karanja, the known alcohol tycoon in Kenya.

Tanzanian born Idris Sultan, the founder of Sultan By Foremen

Sultan By Foremen,

Sultan who is 25 years old was the winner of 2014 Big Brother Africa edition. He took home cash prize of $300,000. He used that money in 2017 to come up with Sultan By Foremen, a popular footwear company in the country.

The founder of YYTZ Agro-Processing, Fahad Awadh

Fahad Awadh

The 30 years old Awadh was born and raised in Tanzania. His company deals with cashew processing. It does that by changing lives locally and creating more employment opportunities, therefore, increasing farmer’s income and the whole community. The startup’s branch found in Zanzibar has a 2,500 tons capacity per year. The startup raised an investment worth $500,000 from the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund. This was used to put up a processing plant in Mtwara southern Tanzania.

Wing It Nairobi’s founder, Paul Kihiko from Kenya

Paul Kihiko

Founded by 30 years of age Kihiko, Wing It Nairobi is the only wing-only Quick service restaurant in Kenya. It set up its first outlet at the Galleria Shopping Mall, Kenya. The shop is so far doing well and it records revenue of 6 figures every year. It raised $75,000 in 2017 which came from two investors for a minority stake in Dragons’ Den.

Tanzanian born Patricia Majule who is the founder of Unique Favors

Patricia Majule

The 24 years of age is the founder of Unique Favors TZ. Founded in 2014, the company designs and manufactures box packages, favors, and gifts custom party supplies, for corporate organizations and parties in the country.

Rwandan born Jean Bosco Nzeyimana, the founder of Habona Ltd

Jean Bosco Nzeyimana,

Habona limited offers integrated management services and it processes the waste into pocket-friendly and environmentally friendly fuels like biogas. Furthermore, it installs and operates clean water power plant.

Rick Rapa Thomson, the founder of SafeBoda

Rick Rapa Thomson

Born in Uganda, Rick is 29 years old. SafeBoda is named the Ugandan Uber for motorcycle taxi. The “Uber” has more than 1,000 who have decided to accept technology through SafeBoda app.

Nigerian born Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed Falalu, the founder of Falgates

Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed Falalu

Falgates is a startup that farms and mills rice. The rice milling facility owned by the startup can produce 15 tons of rice daily. Furthermore, it has a rice plantation that employs 180 people in Kaduna state found in northern Nigeria. The startup had revenue worth $400,000 in 2017.

Nigerian born Ronke Bamisedun, BWL Agency founder

Ronke Bamisedun

The startup is the leading Public Relations firm found in the Nigerian capital. Founded by a 30 years old Ronke, BWL Agency has offered advice to multinational companies like Moet Hennessy, Pandora, Pernod Ricard and much more.

Tanzanian born Doreen Estazia Noni founder of 102.5 Lake FM

Doreen Estazia Noni

102.5 Lake FM is a community centric radio station based in Mwanza Tanzania.

Anza Strateggy’s founder Rodrique Msechu

Rodrique Msechu

Before founding Anza Strategy, Msechu worked for the Nairobi based French trade office for a period of three years. He then left Nairobi in 2016 and started the startup. The main aim was to support economic improvement by encouraging participation and accountability of changemakers in Africa. The company which is a trade advisory firm has so far advised above 30 companies from four different continents on market intelligence and strategy of entering the Tanzanian market.

Krystal Digital founder, Temitope Ogunsemo

Ogunsemo is a 33 years old young entrepreneur from Nigeria. His startup, Krystal Digital majors in creation, production, and distribution of customized and service-oriented software application for Nigerian learning institutions. The startup was founded in 2010 in Nigeria’s capital and it has its flagship service called MySkool Portal. This is a web-based application for School Information Management System. It is designed with a good storage and documentation of school data. This application has been acquired by above 50 Nigerian public high schools. Furthermore, it has more than 65, 000 active students who use it. Krystal Digital has employed more than 150 individuals and it records annual revenue of approximately $3 million.

Egyptian founder of Swvl: Ahmed Sabbah, Mostafa Kandil, and Mahmoud Nouh

Ahmed Sabbah, Mostafa Kandil, and Mahmoud Nouh

All the three founder are aged 27 years. Swvl is a premium mass transport system that offers buses to each neighborhood of Egypt capital. People are able to share a ride either on a bus or ride during morning or evening travels at a fixed price. One is in a position to book a ride using the app at an affordable price. Swvl received $500,000 of investment from Dubai based Careem in 2017. Swvl has employed more than 30 people and has managed to complete 100,000 rides monthly across Alexandria and Cairo since its launch in 2017.

Kenyan born June Syowia founder of Beiless Group

June Syowia Beiless group

Syowia who is 22 years of age is the founder of the digital marketing and experiential firm that is fast growing. The startup has helped marketing companies for over 50 popular brands in Kenya in the past two months. She is the Kenyan winner of 2017 Global Student Entrepreneur Award.

Nigerian born Nasir Yammama, the founder of Verdant Agri-Tech

nasir yammama verdant

Verdant is an AgriTech firm that aims at supporting rural farmers to improve production of food by using mobile phones. It gives a mobile agricultural extension, managerial support, market information and access to financial services to small-scale farmers.

Poultry d’Or founder, Ibrahima Ben Aziz Konate from Cote D’Ivoire

 Ibrahima Ben Aziz Konate Poultry d’Or

The 23 years old Konate founded a firm that produces and distribute agro-foods and fresh poultry products. The products are slaughtered, cleaned, packaged and deliver all of them on the same day. The company aims at selling the chicken directly to customers at a competitive price. Konate is the winner of 2017 Anzisha prize.

Founder of Oxygen Private Energy Limited, Simbarashe Mhuriro

Simbarashe Mhuriro Oxygen Private Energy Limited

Born in Zimbabwe, Mhuriro is 32 years old. The Oxygen energy is a power producer and renewable energy development company. It majors in utility-scale power plant and commercial rooftop projects. It received funding worth $965,000 from African Development Bank (AfDB) in 2017. The money was to be used in the development of 20MW off-grid solar photovoltaic rooftop project.

Kenyan born Gloria Michelle Otieno Muka, founder of Recours Four Kenya Consultants Limited (R4Kenya)

Gloria Michelle Otieno Muka

R4Kenya was founded in 2013 as a professional HR service company.  The 31 years old started the company with $2,000 of her savings. In a span of 4 years the company has grown into an annual revenue of $400,000 venture with a workforce of above 15 people. The startup gives professionals HR services in training, consultancy, staff outsourcing, and psychometric testing. The firm’s customers are like Sportpesa, Kenya National Examination Council, GlaxoSmithKline, and USAID.

Sylabs’ founder Abdellah Mallek

Abdellah Mallek sylabs

Born and raised in Algeria Mallek the 28 years of age is the founder of Sylabs the first ever private startup accelerator in the country.

Tanzanian born Brigitha Faustin, founder of OBRI Company

Brigitha Faustin

OBRI is an Agro-Industry firm that majors in the manufacturing of edible oil and it works under the OBRI brand. The startup has empowered local farmers in Tanzania who are under the umbrella of Tanzanian farmers associations. It offers a better market for the farmer’s products.

Nigerian born Harold Okwa, the founder of Jetseta

Harold Okwa Jetseta

Okwa is also the founder of Vestates, a luxurious real estate agency located in Abuja. But Jetseta firm offers easy and affordable access to private air travel and helicopter shuttle services through a mobile app. The app links travelers to private aviation providers at a lucrative fare globally.

Kenyan born Rajiv Mehta, the founder Tangerine Investments

Rajiv Mehta Tangerine Investments

The 32 years old is the founder of an outdoor advertising company that uses litter bins, transit vehicles and street poles to market the leading Kenyan consumer goods. Founded in 2008 Tangerine has founders such as Pizza Inn, Coca-Cola HP, Subway, Kenya Airways and many more.

Easy Solar’s co-founderNthabiseng Mosia


The 28 years old entrepreneur is the CEO, CMO, and co-founder of Azimuth which is known as Easy Solar in SA. The startup deals with distribution of clean affordable solar energy that is used by off-grid communities in West Africa. The venture finances and distributes solar-powered devices of high quality on a rent-to-own means using Pay-As-You-Go technology. Easy Solar is currently operational in Sierra Leone where 87% of the country’s population lives without electricity. Furthermore, only 1% of those leaving in rural areas can access electricity. The firm has distributed electricity to more than 40,000 individuals in the country since its launch in 2016. Easy Solar has 40 agents with sale points across the 8 of the 16 districts in Siera Leone. Furthermore, it has employed 35 individuals. The startup has managed to raise more than $2 million from the likes of SIMA Funds, Gaia Impact Fund, and other investors.

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Written by Denis Opudo

Am an engineer who's a tech blogger, hit me up on and we base our discussion on technology in Africa and the rest of the world.
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