The first person a child gets to know is the mother. Mothers play a crucial role in the upbringing of the child. In many occasions, mothers have come over and taken the responsibility of bringing up their children alone. They have always been part and parcel of their children’s development until their adulthood. The modern-day mothers have come out to prove to the world that their places are not only in the kitchen. They are competing with their male counterparts to make the world a better place.
It will not be proper if this year’s “Mothers’ Day” end without us taking note of those mothers in the African ecosystem. Tech in Africa has gone ahead to come up with African women who have helped to prove and promote the term MomPreneurs. Here is a list of ten African mothers who we think have gone against all odds to change the African startup sector.
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu
Through her Ethiopian based startup Solerebels, Alemu is a true reflection of perseverance and determination. Her handwork is seen from the company’s annual returns. The company supplies its products to approximately 30 countries through international e-commerce platforms. Recently, Solerebels startups added ‘The Republic of Leather’ and “Garden of Coffee” to its products. Garden of Coffee was launched in 2017 and its outlets are situated in the Ethiopian capital.
Lauren De Swardt
She founded Kids Emporium that majors on children’s boutique. This is among the largest household tags in the South African baby industry. It has its outlets all over the country. Swardt learned that there was a wide gap in product and services in the parenting industry. This came at a time when she was preparing to become a mother for the first time. She started by first developing a nursery furniture range and thereafter came up with the retail site. She put up the first store back in 2003 when she was 22 years of age. She did not get any financial support and she has managed to successfully run the platform. The platform has 27 branches in South Africa and it also operates in an international market where it has an office in the UK. Sward figures out perseverance as the pillar to her success and likes to play a role in various mompreneurs’ lives.
Together with her brother, they founded MO4 Network, a Cairo based media and digital firm. This came when she was preparing for the birth of her firstborn. At that time she was working for Enigma Magazine as their managing editor. Additionally, she has put up some credible writings, for example, Fe-mail: The Trials & Tribulations of Being a Good Egyptian Girl. Their media house hosts CairoZoom and CairoScene.
Ethel Adjorlolo Marfo
She is the founder and CEO of Junior Shapers Africa. This is a social venture that offers mentoring and grooming for Ghanaian boys aged between 6 to 16 years. She believes in mentoring the boy child in order to make them great supporters of the modern day African women. She is also the founder of Salon Cuties, children’s saloon, and Ghana Mompreneurs Club. The latter is an enterprise support network for mothers who are working. She is also a marketing and public relation profession.
She is currently working as the MD of Drakkar Ltd that was launched in 2006. Her journey in entrepreneurship started as a used bookstore attendant in Rwanda. She had an interest in offering a better education to the children which led her to sign a deal with Pearson Education. Currently, Dakkar is the main Pearson’s distributor and has signed major distributor deals with Penguin, Longman, and Heinemann.
Dr. Victoria Kisyombe
She is the founder of Tanzania based SELFINA. Launched in 2002, SELFINA is a firm that offers micro-leasing, especially to young girls and widows. The company was put up at the time when her husband has passed away and she was going through financial difficulties in raising her three children. The platform has so far provided lease finance to over 27,500 women. It has also impacted 250,000 lives and created 150,000 jobs. Furthermore, women have received above $17 million via a revolving fund. She was the 2010 winner of Outstanding Social Entrepreneur Award which came from the World Economic Forum. Moreover, she was the winner of Global Leadership Award courtesy of Vital Voices Global Leadership.
She is the founder and CEO of Africhix and OpenworldLab Ltd both of which are based in Kenya. The latter offers cloud and web application solutions to business software service companies. Furthermore, it has come up with Performance Management System for the Kenyan government. It has also automated contract performance in the Kenyan public sector. She got the recognition of World Economic Forum Young Global Leader back in 2013. Furthermore, she is the winner of 2008 Change Agent Award by Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. She is a degree holder in Computer Science from University of Nairobi (UoN). Additionally, she is trained in strategic technology planning, wireless networks, and radio-communications.
The Kenyan born entrepreneur founded Wananchi Online which rebranded to Wananchi Group Holdings. It is among the leading providers of broadband internet and VoIP services, Insite Limited, Ignite Consulting, and pay-tv in East Africa. She has been actively involved in business for around two decades and she believes in resilience as the main tool for successful entrepreneurship. Additionally, Njeri featured on BBC and Forbes.
She is the founder of Egyptian based Injaz Egypt startup that helps youths to be economically independent. The mother of three also mentors 500,000 students. She also has a team of more than 1,000 volunteers and she runs a team of 150 people. Injaz Egypt is a profit-free organization and she relies on sponsors and wells wishers for the running of the 15 years organization. She is a degree holder in Social entrepreneurship from INSEAD. Additionally, she is a holder of Executive Education on Entrepreneurship from Harvard University.
She is the founder of WeCycles Company and a social entrepreneur at the same time. Her company offers recycling and waste collection services in Nigeria. WeCycles began as a student project and it partners with Lagos State Government, big brands and organizations to assist low-income communities to convert waste into money. The company secured grant from the State Government. Additionally, the company emerged the winner at Pitch for the Lagos start-up event that gave out $55,000. Adebiyi once worked at IBM as a computer programmer. She has a degree in MBA from MIT. Furthermore, she is an Echoing Green Fellow and Carroll Wilson Fellow. She is also the receiver of the 2013 Initiative Awards by Cartier Women. The mother of two has a great passion for making the world a better place.
Happy mothers day to all mothers from our end and friends who made this post possible today. Cheers and have a blast!!!