When the word Africa comes up , what do you think of? Safaris? Lions? Discovery channel ? maybe in political problems and violence all across. Well, it may have been like this in the past, although safaris are a big thing in this continent, violence is slowly disappearing and giving way to a thriving economy and fresh new ideas.
We cannot deny that Africa has a violence history, especially towards women who are the ones who suffer more in any violent conflict. But it all changing now. New business are popping up, tourism is growing at a fast rate, and women are getting the spotlight they deserve and are cashing in on some new and fresh ideas.
Here are some of the African startups led by women that will impress the world.
This startup is led by Louisa Kinoshi who from an early stage of her life, was always amazed and attracted to make up and the way it transformed the looks of women. She felt a little discouraged by the fact that not so many African women or models were featured in top fashion magazines. In order to change that tendency, she created a web page which makes it easier for women in Africa to purchase and discuss both local and international make up products. Her first pilot had an investment of $5.000 dollars and it quickly turned inti a $57.000 turnover company. He says her aim is simple. She wants people and the fashion industry to turn their eyes on African make up styles and think that it is as cool as any other make-up brand. Even better and more stylish.
Kamokini is a swimsuit company led by Kambili Ofili-Okonkwo. The story goes something like this. She wanted to purchase a swimsuit that allowed her to show some parts of her body but cover others that she thought were a bit too much to show. Having no other options, she had to look at the international market to purchase her swimsuit and there is where she saw an opportunity. With a good educational background, she started to create her own designs based on what women in Africa thought a good swimsuit should be like. Combined with her knowledge in engineering and supply chain management, she started her company to supply the African market. Now her presence is wide in the emerging beach, pool party and resort markets.
HEELS IN THE KITCHEN.
African food is not as popular as other cuisines such as the Italian or the chinese cuisine. This encouraged Imoteda Aladekomo to start her idea. She has always had the passion for kitchen as she had to cater for her family after long working hours, she enjoys crating and serving tasty meals that can be made easily. Her aim is to become the next big star chef in the TV with a program already filmed. She wants to makes her dishes well known around the world to non-African women and is planning to expand merchandising in the near future.
OMO ALATA FOODS.
Omo alata is the Yoruba name for “spice seller”. Kasope Ladipo-Ajai came up with the idea after understanding that she didn’t have enough time, after a full working day and hours among traffic, to get home and prepare the traditional stews for her family. After living abroad and seeing the quick service and pre-packaged meals industry worked, she came up with the idea with her husband. She is now tapping into the fast growing middle class market in Africa that are demanding high quality packaged products for their local Nigerian pepper, soups and stews for their meals. She also focuses on the natural ingredients in her products by not using any colouring or artificial preservatives in the production process.
This Uganda based start-up aims to become a pan african health app that can provide health information to lower income communities that don’t have good access to these services. Africa has a vast expansion in technology and some services such as education, electricity and health have not kept up with the change. Telecommunications engineer Brenda Katwesigye founded her business in her last year at Makerere University to enable users to directly connect with health centres, ambulances , specialists and consultation services using a geo-location and voice response system. It also provides first aid information to users that are in need of information but cannot be reached ion time by healthcare providers.
Africa is now an emerging country where violence has been left behind and new thriving businesses are popping up in every corner. Women are not behind in this trend and now you have glimpse of some of those startups that will have you talking, and why not, maybe looking for an investment opportunity.