3 African entrepreneurs moving things
The African entrepreneur is the future of Africa, according to Nigerian entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Elumelu. For African countries to truly develop, aide needs to take the backburner while African entrepreneurs need to be encouraged. Rampant poverty comes as a result of lack of jobs, and most jobs are created by small and medium enterprises, which are headed by entrepreneurs.
Launching a business in an African country is not easy, considering most countries are notorious for government red tape which needs to be scaled to get permits. In addition to this, poor infrastructure hurts many young enterprises before they get a chance to grow.
With this in mind, we have listed three young entrepreneurs who are approaching African problems in innovative ways.
Clarisse Iribagiza is the founder of HeHe Labs. Based in Kigali, Rwanda, HeHe builds mobile technology solutions for the government and private companies looking to improve their operational efficiency and reach audiences faster. Iribagiza is another African woman who has excelled in a male dominated industry of Information Technology. She founded HeHe while still a computer engineering student and apparently receives over $200,000 in revenues annually. Through HeHe, Iribagiza is leading the mobile technological revolution in Rwanda. With the slogan “Invent the future,” HeHe is looking into creating more technologies catering to the African lifestyle.
Iyinoluwa Aboyeji made Forbes’ list of “30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa” last year. He is the co-founder of Andela, a talent accelerator that trains developers and matches them with employers around the world. A believer in young people solving problems using technology, Aboyeji through Andela develops skills in talented youth. The company searches Africa looking for the most capable and intelligent young people who are then trained and mentored to succeed as a developer and work remotely with companies across the world.
Affiong Williams started Reelfruit in 2012 after noticing a gap in the market and capitalizing on it. Reelfruit is a fruit processing company focused on packaging, branding and processing quality local fruit products. What started out a business run out of home, Reelfruit now employs 17 people and is based in a factory in Lagos. Williams’ products are now available in over 80 Nigerian stories, and even exports some products to neighboring West African countries. Reelfruit has won awards in Netherlands and Nigeria; however, Williams has bigger plans of becoming a household name in agribusiness.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Who is one Africa entrepreneur that you believe is moving things? Leave a comment below or reach me on Twitter @rafeeeeta