IWD 2023: Celebrating 13 Inspiring Female Founders In Africa

IWD 2023 Celebrating 13 Inspiring Female Founders In Africa

March 8th marks International Women’s Day (IWD 2023) and in honor of this, we are celebrating the amazing, bold, and fearless female founders who are shaping the future of Africa, serving as mentors to millions of women and youths.

We decided to seek out and celebrate the contributions and successes of women challenging the status quo. From tech to beauty and finance, we’re sharing some of the most extraordinary female founders and the incredible work they do.


1. Damilola Olokesusi, founder of Shuttlers (Nigeria)

Shuttlers is Nigeria’s leading scheduled ride-sharing platform that allows professionals to access efficient shared transportation in Lagos State. Shuttlers help to transform the stressful time commuting to and from work into a productive, refreshing, and relaxing experience. 

Shuttlers was founded by Damilola Olokesusi in November 2015 and have become one of the few outstanding female-owned startups in Nigeria. 

The company is actively expanding across Nigeria and Ghana, having raised over $1.6 million in funding.


2. Jihan Abass, Founder and CEO of Lami (Kenya)

Lami was founded in 2019, but the company went live with its offerings in 2020. Its mission was to democratize how insurance is retailed in Africa, starting with Kenya. The insuretech startup hopes to become the premier company powering insurance adoption across Africa by 2030.

In 2022, Lami raised a $3.7M seed extension led by Harlem Capital.


3. Sethebe Manake, Founder and CEO of GoSmartValue (Botswana)

Sethebe Manake, a real estate professional with over ten years of experience, observed that there was an information lack in the real estate industry in Africa and commenced to build a platform to solve the problem.

She set out to build Go Smart Value in 2017 and launched it in 2020.

Gosmartvalue is an automated property valuation platform that supports decision-making by availing critical real estate information such as land rates and sales trends.


4. Thato Schermer – Co-founder and CEO at Zoie Health (South Africa)

Thato Schermer founded Zoie Health to make quality women’s healthcare more accessible for millions of women in Africa by leveraging technology. Through the app, they offer virtual consultations with various women’s healthcare practitioners. They also have a contraceptive subscription service on their platform. 

Launched in August 2021, Zoie Health has been growing fast, with many subscribers joining to be part of a community that views women’s health issues in a holistic way.


5. Affiong Williams, Founder & CEO of ReelFruit (Nigeria)

Affiong Williams is the CEO/ founder of ReelFruit, a fruit processing, packaging, and marketing company that retails a range of dried fruit and nut snacks in more than 350 supermarkets, airless, schools, and hotels. 

In 2015, Williams was recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the most promising ’30 under 30′ entrepreneurs.

In 2021, Reelfruit announced a Series A investment of $3M.


6. Miishe Addy – CEO/Co-founder, Jetstream Africa (Ghana)

Miishe Addy is using digital technology to tackle inefficiencies that make shipping difficult in Africa.

After moving to Ghana in 2017, an opportunity to innovate presented itself in an unexpected way. So, she followed her intuition and dove head-first into the male-dominated shipping logistics industry – launching Jetstream in a country where women-run businesses are not only common, they are celthe online learning platform which raised $3.5 million in 2021, in a pre-seed round led by Target Globalebrated.

Addy has driven the company to grow recurring revenue six times year-over-year for the 2020 financial year and is motivated to make the company the essential first-mover for logistics providers and entrepreneurs powering cross-border trade in Africa.


7. Honey Ogundeyi, CEO of Edukoya (Nigeria)

Edukoya is an education tech company that provides real-time online education.Edukoya was founded in 2021 by Honey Ogundeyin, former country director, UK-Nigeria Tech Hub. She was also the founding CMO at Kuda, one of Nigeria’s leading digital challenger banks. 

Edukoya allows users to review past national student exams for free on the app but charges a fee for students who want to be tutored. 

In 2021. the online learning platform raised $3.5 million in a pre-seed round led by Target Global.


8. Hilda Moraa, Founder & CEO of Pezesha (Kenya)

Hilda Moraa, is an award-winning innovator and author. She has more than 10 years of experience in Fintech, Regulation, developing innovations, entrepreneurship, and working with multinationals such as Coca-Cola to develop mobility innovations for Africa. She previously founded WezaTele, a Fintech startup in Kenya that was acquired in 2015.

Breaking Barriers of Bias - How Hilda Moraa is Connecting MSMEs in Africa to Much Needed Debt Capital Through Pezesha

She is currently the Founder & CEO of Pezesha, a digital financial infrastructure enabling SMEs and institutions in Africa. She also led Pezesha to be the first company to exit from CMA regulatory sandbox and get approval.

READ: How Hilda Moraa is Connecting MSMEs in Africa to Much-Needed Debt Capital Through Pezesha

9. Odun Eweniyi, PiggyVest Co-Founder & COO (Nigeria)

Odun is the co-founder and COO of PiggyVest – the largest savings and investments app in Nigeria. She’s also the founder of FirstCheck Africa – an early-stage venture fund investing up to $25,000 for women founders in Africa.


PiggyVest, formerly known as Piggy Bank, is an online platform that lets people save money and achieve their goals. It also lets people invest their money in various businesses and get up to 25% return on investments. 


10. Amira Cheniour, CEO, Seabex (Tunisia)

Amira Cheniour is an accomplished software Engineer degree from ESPRIT and an E-MBA degree from Honoris University with over 10 years of experience in the software and hardware industry where she managed all phases of the software and hardware development lifecycle for dozens of custom solutions.


Amira is currently co-founder and CEO of Seabex group. Seabex is an Agritech company working in precision irrigation.While participating in different competitions with Seabex, she was awarded The star-female entrepreneur of 2017 by Ye during the G20 in Berlin women in Africa Laureate of 2018, the Social Entrepreneur of the year in MENA of 2018 by Orange Tunisia, was selected among 6 laureates at the 2019 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award finals in Paris and among the top 100 female entrepreneurs shortlisted among 12 Female innovators lead the way in Quartz Africa Innovators


11. Fara Ashiru Jituboh – Co-Founder & CEO/CTO – Okra (Nigeria)

Fara Ashiru Jituboh is the co-founder and CEO/CTO of Okra, Inc., a fintech Nigerian-based startup that allows for the exchange of real-time financial information between customers, applications, and banks. 

Fara Ashiru Jituboh is a software engineer and entrepreneur, who is fluent in over 20 programming languages. Fara co-founded Okra with David Peterside in 2019. However, the company launched in January 2020.  Prior to founding Okra, Jituboh built and scaled products with organizations such as the design application Canva, TechHustle, the health insurance company Sana Benefits, and the health-tech company Dorsata. 


12. Tomilola Majekodunmi, Co-founder/CEO, Bankly (Nigeria)

Tomilola is a finance professional with over 10 years of experience in investment banking and portfolio management, managing portfolios in excess of $50m. She has previously built products in savings and micro-credit and is an alumnus of SP Jain School of Management, with an MBA in Finance.

Think of Bankly as a digital technology service for suburban thrift savings setups, where unbanked users trust an agent who visits at certain periods (sometimes weekly) to record deposits in a paper register. But because this can be vulnerable to theft and fraud, Bankly’s 15,000 agents enable those users to digitize their cash daily and build formal accounts that can create access to products like micro-loans and insurance.


13. Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson – Founder/CEO – Healthtracka (Nigeria) 

Healthtracka is a digital health startup in Nigeria that provides at-home lab testing with easy-to-read diagnosis. The company was founded by Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson. Currently, it is one of the few outstanding female-owned health tech startups in Nigeria.

In 2022, Healthtracka recently raised 1.5 million dollars in seed funding from VC Ingressive Capital, U.S.-based venture fund Hustle Fund, and Angel investors including Alumni Angels Alliance and Flying Doctors.

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