Africa’s growing crop of young entrepreneurs will transform the continent and rewrite its future. And they are taking charge of that destiny now. Today, a growing number of Africans are building innovative technologies and businesses that are solving critical socio-economic problems, while creating job opportunities for Africans. It’s in entrepreneurial boom. The young folks are taking the lead – and are making fortunes for themselves in the process. As they should, because what good is entrepreneurship if it doesn’t create wealth?
While there are only a tiny handful of under-30 entrepreneurs who have succeeded in building million-dollar businesses, there is a rising number of young Africans who are building fast-growing companies in food manufacturing, engineering, technology, hospitality, and any other industry you can think of. They are creating jobs, paying taxes, igniting the entrepreneurial spark amongst their contemporaries, and ultimately, playing pivotal roles in the continent’s renaissance
Uche Pedro, Nigerian
Pedro, 30, is one of Nigerian most popular new media entrepreneurs. BellaNaija, the Nigerian lifestyle, entertainment and fashion website which she founded, attracts more than 10 million page views every month from readers all across the world.
- Trushar Khetia, Kenyan
Founder, Tria Group
Khetia, 28, is the founder of Tria Group, a Kenyan outdoor transit advertising firm that uses public transit vehicles to market leading consumer goods in Kenya. Tria, which was founded in 2013, already has annual revenues exceeding $1.3 million.
- Sangu Delle, Ghanaian
Founder, Golden Palm Investments
Delle, 28 is a co-founder of Golden Palm Investments, a holding company that invests in early stage venture and growth financing across Africa with a strong bias for Real Estate, healthcare, agribusiness and technology. GPI has backed startups such as Solo Mobile in Nigeria, mPharma in Ghana and Zamsolar in Zambia. He is also the co-founder of cleanacwa, a non-profit working to provide access to clean water in Ghana’s underdeveloped regions. Sangu, who previously worked at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Valiant Capital Partners, is currently an MBA candidate at Harvard.
- Isaac Oboth, Ugandan
Isaac Oboth, 25, runsMedia 256 LTD, a film and television production company in East Africa. Media 256 was founded in 2011 and has a client list that includes Coca Cola, UNDP, USAID, the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange, Marie Stopes International, the African Leadership Network, and the African Leadership Academy.
- Adii Pienaar, South African
Adii Pienaar, 29, is the founder of Woothemes, a company that designs and develops customizable commercial themes and plugins for WordPress. Adii built the business with a bootstrap budget, and the company today generates over $3 million in annual revenues from the sale of its themes. Woothemes also develops and sells themes for other content management systems, including Tumblr. Pienaar also runs PublicBeta, a service that allows successful entrepreneurs to transfer knowledge to new startups.
- Ally Edha Awadh, Tanzanian
Founder, Lake Oil Group
Tanzanian oil trader Ally Edha Awadh, 33, is the founder and CEO of Lake Oil Group, one of East Africa’s fastest-growing energy trading companies. Lake Oil Group is now one of the 5 largest distributors of petroleum products in Tanzania and exports to neighboring countries including D.R.Congo, Zambia, Burundi and Rwanda. The company also has a 35 million-liter storage depot at Kigamboni, Dar es Salaam and another depot in Mbeya, a commercial city in the country’s southwest region.
- Clarisse Iribagize, Rwandan
Founder, HeHe Ltd
Iribagize, 26, runs Kigali-based mobile technology company HeHe Limited, which builds custom mobile applications for businesses, provides 24/7 online and offline support and cloud storage services. Iribagize founded the company in 2010 after winning a $50,000 grant from Inspire Africa, a Rwandan TV entrepreneurial contest. Iribagize’s clientele includes a number of government agencies in Rwanda.
- Christian Ngan, Cameroonian
Founder, Madlyn Cazalis
Ngan, 31, is the founder of Madlyn Cazalis, an African hand-made bio cosmetic company that produces body oils, natural lotions, creams, scrubs, masks and soaps. Madlyn Cazalis products are sold and distributed across more than 30 chemist stores, beauty institutes and retail outlets in Cameroon and neighboring countries in Central Africa.
- Senai Wolderufael, Ethiopian
Founder, Feed Green Ethiopia Exports Company
Wolderufael, a 28 year-old Ethiopian entrepreneur, is the founder of Feed Green Ethiopia Exports Company, an Addis Ababa-based outfit that produces and exports popular Ethiopian spice blends such as Shiro, Mitmita, Korarima and Berbere. Wolderufael founded the company in 2012 primarily to serve the needs of the Ethiopian diaspora in the United States and Europe, but as demand for Ethiopian spices increased significantly, Feed Green began exporting to new markets within Africa. The company employs only women.
- Issam Chleuh, Malian
Founder, Africa Impact Group
Chleuh, 28, is the founder of the Africa Impact Group, an international organization focused on directing investment to socially and environmentally beneficial ventures, an asset class called Impact Investing. The company’s services include data & research, news, advisory services, and start-up incubation. Africa Impact Group’s clients include impact investors, private equity firms, family offices, leading African corporations, governments and nonprofits.
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