Africa’s Business Heroes Semi-Finals: Three Female-Led African Startups Stand Out

By : Hikmatu Bilali  

Date : mardi, 05 septembre 2023 15:54

Last updated : mardi, 05 septembre 2023 18:15

The entrepreneurial landscape in Africa is thriving, offering startups opportunities for funding and increased visibility. Africa's Business Heroes plays a pivotal role in achieving this objective by identifying entrepreneurs and actively supporting their growth journey.

 Kigali recently hosted two days of intense competition among 20 African innovators at the Africa's Business Heroes (ABH) Semi-Finals. Three female-led startups stood out among the contest’s top 10 finalists, a significant achievement for gender diversity.

The three women are Bola Bardet (pictured) from Benin, Christina Gyisun from Ghana, and Nthabiseng Mosia from South Africa. They respectively operate in the healthcare, agriculture, and energy sectors.

Bola Bardet is the CEO and Co-Founder of Susu, a startup that revolutionizes healthcare by offering healthcare packages and insurance that diaspora Africans can finance for their relatives in three African countries - Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal, and Gabon.

Christina Gyisun is the CEO and Co-Founder of Sommalife Limited. Her company empowers smallholder farmers in Ghana through advanced software technology, connecting them to global food and cosmetic manufacturers.

Meanwhile, Nthabiseng Mosia is the CMO and Co-Founder of Easy Solar, a startup that provides financing for high-quality solar systems and appliances to those without grid access, with flexible payment options. Mosia operates Easy Solar in Sierra Leone.

These women join other finalists from Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa, spanning diverse industries.

The top 10 finalists will compete for a share of $1.5 million at the ABH Grand Finale in Kigali in November. The winner gets $300,000, the first runner-up $250,000, and the second runner-up $150,000. The remaining seven finalists will each receive $100,000, with $100,000 for additional training programs.

Africa's Business Heroes (ABH) is the Jack Ma Foundation's program that aims to nurture African entrepreneurs. Launched in 2019, it identifies, trains, and provides grants to outstanding African entrepreneurs. Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation, created the initiative after witnessing Africa's entrepreneurial potential during his 2017 visit.

“At ABH, we have long recognized the potential of entrepreneurs as engines of economic and social growth. Now in the fifth year of the competition, we are encouraged to see that ABH has grown into a truly pan-African initiative that is positively impacting the continent’s entrepreneurship landscape,” said Zahra Baitie-Boateng, ABH head of partnerships and programs.

As the ABH Grand Finale approaches, the world eagerly awaits the impactful solutions and innovative visions these finalists will present, shaping a brighter, more inclusive African business landscape.

Hikmatu Bilali





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