Young African entrepreneurs keep making things happen. They are taking more risks than ever and are setting up phenomenal businesses that are tackling the difficulties they face and creating jobs in the process.
For the seventh year in a row, this annual ranking of the 30 most promising young African entrepreneurs brings to the fore some of the most outstanding young talents and innovators in the current African professional world. These thirty names were selected from more than 650 nominations sent by email, studied by a small team and approved by a panel of expert judges, to ensure that they deserve their place in this ranking.
In a wide variety of real estate, financial services, industry, media, technology, green technology, agriculture and fashion sectors, the 30 young African entrepreneurs selected are eager to change things on this continent. Together they represent the entrepreneurial, innovative and intellectual elite of their generation. Some of the names below have been on this list in the past, but most of them are new.
Here is the 2018 promotion of the ranking of the 30 most promising (unordered) young African entrepreneurs, who are transforming Africa today.
Temitope Ogunsemo, Nigeria
Founder of Krystal Digital
Born in Nigeria 33 years ago, Temitope Ogunsemo is the founder of Krystal Digital, a rapidly expanding technology education company, specializing in the creation, development and deployment of custom-built, software-based software applications. the service for educational institutions in Nigeria. The company was founded in 2010 in Lagos, and its flagship product is MySkool Portal, an internet application for the school data management system, which stores and archives this data and has been adopted by more than 50 public high schools in the country. , with over 65,000 active student users. Krystal Digital now has more than 150 employees and annual sales of more than $ 3 million (€ 2.4 million).
Nthabiseng Mosia, South Africa
Founder of Easy Solar
At age 28, Nthabiseng Mosia is the co-founder and CFO (as well as marketing director) of Azimuth, better known as Easy Solar. This commercial enterprise has a social mission: it seeks to make clean energy cheaper for West African communities that do not benefit from the national grid. It distributes and finances high-quality, solar-powered appliances that remain affordable through a rental-based rental system that works with Pay as you go technology, where the user pays according to its use. This operating model is backed by a trusted brand built on excellent customer service and a network of local agents ready for all efforts, to make sure that solar power is available to a wide range of underserved customers. Easy Solar is present in Sierra Leone, where more than 87% of the 7 million inhabitants live without electricity. In rural areas, only 1% of the population has access to this energy. Since launching its operations in 2016, the company has supplied electricity to over 40,000 people in the country. It has 35 employees and 40 agents, with outlets in 8 of Sierra Leone’s 16 districts. Today, Easy Solar has raised more than $ 2 million (€ 1.6 million) from investors such as Acumen, Gaia Impact Fund, Cordaid, the African Business Fund, MasterCard and the SIMA Fund.
Oluwatobi Ajayi, Nigeria
Co-founder of Jetvan
Oluwatobi Ajayi, 30, is the co-founder and CEO of Jetvan Automobiles Limited, Nigeria’s largest seller of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. He began his career at Mercedes-Benz Nigeria, where he became a department director (industrial vans) at age 24. In 2015, he brought together a group of investors and founded Jetvan, which sells more than 500 vehicles a year.
Paul Kihiko, Kenya
Founder of Wing It Nairobi
Thirty-year-old Paul Kihiko is the founder of Wing It Nairobi, the first and only fast-food restaurant serving only chicken wings. Their first restaurant at the Galleria Mall in Kenya was a huge success, with a 6-digit annual turnover. Last year, Wing It raised $ 75,000 (€ 61,000) from two investors for a minority stake in the Kenyan edition of Dragon’s Den. They have to open a new restaurant this year.
Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed Falalu, Nigeria
Founder of Falgates
Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed Falalu, 27, is the founder of Falgates, a company that grows and processes rice. It has a rice mill with a capacity of 15 tonnes per day, and a rice crop that employs more than 180 people in the state of Kaduna in northern Nigeria. In 2017, its turnover reached $ 400,000 (€ 325,000).
Etop Ikpe, Nigeria
Founder of Cars45
Cars45, founded by Etop Itke, is Nigeria’s largest auto sales and auction company. Last May, she raised more than $ 5 million (4 million euros) for Frontier Cars Group Series A. Etop Ikpe is an experienced entrepreneur who has worked in the fields of transportation, automotive, mobile communication technology and marketing. He was previously the commercial director of Konga, one of the country’s largest e-commerce platforms, and prior to that he was the chairman and co-CEO of DealDey, Groupon’s competitor in west Africa.
Obinna Okwodu, Nigeria
Founder of Fiber
Obinna Okwodu, 27, is a graduate of MIT and a former analyst at Morgan Stanley Investment Bank. He is also the founder of Fiber, a property rental startup in Lagos that allows middle-class tenants to pay rent on a monthly basis. Renting residential properties in Lagos, Nigeria, might not be obvious. Not only are homes overvalued, but homeowners generally ask potential renters to pay the first two years of rent in advance. Fiber is growing rapidly and is gaining popularity among many middle class households in Lagos.
Gossy Ukanwoke, Nigeria
Founder of Edutech and BAU Executive Education
Entrepreneur in education, Gossy Ukanwoke, 30, is the founder of BAU Executive Education, which offers executive education programs to professionals, executives and students looking to develop their business or managerial skills, both in line and face-to-face. Its holding company, BAU R & D, has just completed investments in two traditional universities in Nigeria. He is also the president of EduTech Nigeria, a technology company that works with universities to automate online student pathways, diploma enrollment, helping traditional African universities to pass their on-line degrees online with the implementation of the best technologies, process management, recruitment, admissions and advice.
Rahma Bajun, Tanzania
Founder of MnM CLothing Line
Aged 29, Rahma Bajun is the founder and Artistic Director of MnM Clothing Line, a popular clothing brand in Central Africa in Tanzania that offers affordable men’s and women’s clothing, wallets and accessories for women and men at affordable price, designed in the popular Kitenge fabric of East Africa. The company has 7 full-time employees and sells its products throughout East Africa.
Idris Sultan, Tanzania
Founder of Sultan By Foremen
Idris Sultan, a 25-year-old Tanzanian, won the Big Brother Africa reality show in 2014 and won $ 300,000 (€ 244,000). He made good use of this money. In 2017, he founded Sultan By Foremen, a footwear brand that has become very popular among urban Tanzanian youth. The young company had a turnover of more than £ 200,000 in 2017.
Anerlisa Muigai, Kenya
Founder of Nero
Anerlisa Muigai, daughter of the well-known Kenyan industrial tobacco company Tabitha Karanja, sets out on her own path. At 30, she is the founder of Nero, a beverage company that produces and sells the successful Executive Still Water brand across the country.
Fahad Awadh, Tanzania
Founder of XYTZ Agro-Processing
Fahad Awadh, 30, is the founder of XYTZ Agro-Processing, a cashew processing company that brings value locally while creating jobs and increasing farmers and community incomes in general. The company’s flagship processing site is Zanzibar with a capacity of 2,500 tons per year. Last year, XYTZ Agro-Processing raised $ 500,000 (€ 407,000) in investments from the African Business Fund to build a new treatment site in Mwtara, in the south-east of the country.
Jean Bosco Nzeyimana, Rwanda
Founder of Habona Ltd
Jean Bosco is the founder and CEO of Habona Limited, a company that provides integrated waste treatment services and transforms them into affordable, green fuels such as biogas or biomass briquettes. It is also diversifying into the installation and maintenance of green power plant sites, which range from solar to wind, including biomass and hydraulics, but also in ecological agriculture.
Patricia Majule, Tanzania
Founder of Unique Favors
Patricia Majule, 24, is the director and founder of Unique Favors TZ, a company that develops and locally makes custom party supplies, gifts and boxes for informal and corporate parties throughout Tanzania. She founded her company in 2014, when she noticed that many Tanzanians imported their supplies from abroad. She has grown her company gradually and now employs ten people.
Ricky Rapa Thomson, Uganda
Founder of SafeBoda
Ricky Rapa Thomson is a 29-year-old Ugandan entrepreneur, co-founder of SafeBoda, the Ugandan “Uber” taxi motorbike. It has been one of the pillars of SafeBoda’s growth, which today brings together a community of more than 1,000 drivers who have embraced the technology that came with the SafeBoda app.
Doreen Estazia Noni, Tanzania
Founder of 102.5 Lake FM
Doreen Estazia Noni is the founder of Eskado Bird, a Tanzanian brand of clothing and fashion, which produces accessories inspired by East Africa’s Kitengetypic fabric. She is also the owner of 102.5 FM, a commercial community radio station in Mwanza, Tanzania.
Ronke Bamisedun, Nigeria
Founder of BWL Agency
Ronke Bamisedun, 30, is the founder of BWL Agency, a leading public relations agency based in Lagos, Nigeria. BWL Agency has advised multinationals such as Pandora, Moet Henessy, Pernod Ricard and Universal Music Group, as well as numerous non-governmental organizations. It is also the only subsidiary of Grayling in Nigeria.
Mostafa Kandil, Mahmoud Nouh, Ahmed Sabbah, Egypt
Co-founder of Jetvan
These Egyptians, all under 27, founded Swvl, a quality public transport system, which provides bus service throughout the suburbs of Cairo. It allows users to share a trip in a van or bus during morning or afternoon rush hours for a fixed price, without price changes. With a mobile app, you can book a ride for an affordable amount. Last year, the Dubai-based Careem travel booking application invested $ 500,000 (€ 407,000) in Swvl to own a minority stake. Swvl, launched in March 2017, already has a team of more than 30 people and 100,000 trips a month in Cairo and Alexandria.
Rodrique Msechu, Tanzania
Founder of Anza Strategy
After working at the Business France office in Nairobi, Rodrique Msechu returned to Tanzania in 2016 to found Anza Strategy, with a clear mission and vision: to encourage economic progress by promoting the participation and empowerment of African entrepreneurs of changes. The company provides business advice and has collaborated with more than thirty companies from four continents for market research and entry strategy in Tanzania.
June Syowia, Kenya
Founder of Beiless Group
At just 22 years old, June Syowia runs Beiless Group, an “experiential and digital” marketing agency that is growing rapidly and has been supporting marketing campaigns for more than 50 popular Kenyan brands over the last two months. The young entrepreneur received the 2017 Kenya Entrepreneur Award.
Ibrahima Ben Aziz Konate, Ivory Coast
Founder of Golden Poultry
Ibrahima Ben Aziz Konate, 23, is the founder of Poultry d’Or, a company that produces and distributes fresh poultry and other agricultural products. The animals are slaughtered, cleaned, prepared and delivered in the same day. The company specializes in the production and distribution of agricultural food products and hopes to sell chickens at competitive prices directly to consumers. The young founder has already won the prestigious 2017 Anzisha Award.
Nasir Yammama, Nigeria
Founder of Verdant Agri Tech
Nasir Yammama is the founder of Verdant, an agro-technology value chain company that aims to support farmers to improve their production through mobile phones. The company offers mobile extensions, market information, support for management, and access to financial services for small farmers.
Simbarashe Mhuriro, Zimbabwe
Founder of Oxygen Private Energy Limited
Simbarashe Mhuriro, 32, is the founder and director of Oxygen Energy Private Limited, an independent energy producer that develops renewable energy and specializes in industrial-scale power plants and rooftop projects. In 2017, the African Renewable Energy Fund, managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), approved a grant of $ 965,000 (€ 780,000) for Oxygen Energy Private Limited to support the preparation of a solvent project for the installation of solar panels producing 20 MW, on the roofs of buildings of the Old Mutual Property Group, the largest real estate investment management group in Zimbabwe. Once the project is complete, it will provide competitive and reliable food for hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses across the country.
Abdellah Mallek, Algeria
Founder of Sylabs
This 28-year-old Algerian entrepreneur founded one of Algeria’s first start-up incubators, called Sylabs. It is a space for co-working, creation, and a talent incubator located in the city center of Algiers, which combines art, technology and entrepreneurship specific to start-ups to encourage creativity and creativity. Talent development
Gloria Michelle Otieno Muka, Kenya
Founder of Recours For Kenya Consultants Limited
In 2013, 31-year-old Gloria Michelle Otieno Muka founded Recours Four Kenya Consultants Limited (R4Kenya), a rapidly expanding human resources professional services company located in Nairobi, Kenya. She started her business with $ 2,000 from her savings and in four years she has grown to a $ 400,000 annual business with over 15 employees. Recourse Four Kenya offers professional HR services in consultancy, recruitment, training, psychometric testing and outsourcing of staff. Her clients include the World Bank Group, Kenya National Exam Board, USAID, GlaxoSmithKline and Sportpesa.
Brigitha Faustin, Tanzania
Founder of OBRI Company
Brigitha Faustin, 31, is the founder and director of OBRI Company, an agro-industrial company whose main activities include the production and bottling of edible oils of the OBRI brand. This company has the status of cooperative social enterprise. In this form, OBRI has empowered more than 230 local Tanzanian farmers, organized into cooperatives, by opening up sustainable markets for their products. OBRI’s cooking oils are sold at retail throughout the country.
Harold Okwa, Nigeria
Founder of Jetseta
Harold Okwa is a 30-year-old Nigerian entrepreneur who founded Vestates, a luxury real estate agency based in Abuja. He also founded Jetseta, a company that offers simplified and affordable access to air and helicopter shuttle services, using a mobile app that connects travelers directly to airlines at attractive rates worldwide, live.
Rajiv Mehta, Kenya
Founder of Tangerine Investments
Rajiv Mehta; 32 years old; is the founder of Tangerine Investments, an advertising company that uses public transport vehicles, garbage cans and street lamps to highlight the products of its customers throughout Kenya. Founded in 2008, the company has worked for Kenya Airways, Pizza Inn, Subway and Coca-Cola HP. It recorded in 2017 a turnover of more than one million dollars (814 000 €).