Impact Stories from Entrepreneurship Policy Area
Fellow named Woman of the Year in digital technology
Fellow(s): Ines Nasri
2014 fellow of Tunisia Ines Nasri was named Woman of the Year in the digital technology category at the first ARVEA Women Awards held recently in Tunisia. The awards honor Tunisian women who inspire and encourage others to be bold, successful and follow a path of innovation. The jury was led by Tunisia’s former Minister of Culture and comprised leading women entrepreneurs, researchers and tech experts.
Ines is the founder of WebPower Tunisie, a recognized Tunisian digital web agency specializing in web and social marketing, web development and brand content. In a guest blog written shortly after her TechWomen experience, Ines described starting WebPower with limited resources and nearly no budget. Participating in TechWomen helped develop her leadership skills, making her a better communicator and more effective manager. “I came back from Silicon Valley with a HUGE amount of energy and felt empowered and so optimistic,” she wrote.
In addition to WebPower, Ines founded Tunisia Digital Day, an annual digital marketing event that brings together professionals, students and businesses to raise awareness about opportunities in technology fields.
Report Date...: 12/24/18
Fellow named one of Forbes’ top 50 women in tech
Fellow(s): Charity Wanjiku
2017 fellow of Kenya Charity Wanjiku was recently named to the World’s Top 50 Women in Tech list by Forbes. The inaugural feature identifies forward-thinking founders, technologists and engineers who are leaders in their respective fields. Charity is the COO and co-founder of Strauss Energy, a solar company whose solar tiles power off-grid areas in rural Kenya and beyond. Through her company, Charity hopes to solve a lack of access to sustainable electricity by providing cost-effective and renewable energy to households and businesses.
In a recent Forbes article, Charity spoke about Kenya’s limited grid capacity and the need for the solutions Strauss Energy provides: “This gives the opportunity to all Kenyans to have access to power and an improved living standard,” she said.
During TechWomen, Charity was a part of the seed-grant winning action plan Project Digniti, which addresses sanitation-related illnesses by installing toilets in rural Kenyan schools. The team recently completed their pilot project at Nengerpus Primary School outside Nairobi.
Report Date...: 12/10/18
Fellow’s company selected as top 100 African startup
Fellow(s): Ameni Mansouri
2018 fellow Ameni Mansouri’s company, Dabchy, was selected as a Top 100 African Startup at the Africa 2018 Forum held this week in Egypt. Selected startups, chosen for their demonstrated success and future potential, were granted the opportunity to connect with international investors, financial institutions, government officials and policymakers from the African continent.
Founded by Ameni in 2016, Dabchy is web-based fashion marketplace used by over 220,000 women across three countries in North Africa. In the coming months, Dabchy will be a part of Europe’s first fashion tech incubator, Look Forward, for their one-year program based in Paris.
Report Date...: 12/10/18
Fellow recognized as a leading Kenyan scientist
Fellow(s): Chao Mbogo
2017 fellow of Kenya Dr. Chao Mbogo was recognized as one of the Faces of Kenyan Science during Africa Science Week, a week-long initiative of the Next Einstein Forum that takes place in 35 countries across the continent. The Faces of Kenyan Science campaign features exceptional Kenyan researchers, practitioners, innovators, makers and educators making a difference in Kenya.
Chao, selected as one of 20 leaders out of 200 nominees, was recognized for being an award-winning mentor and founder of the initiative KamiLimu, a mentorship program for computer science students. During the week’s events, Chao gave a presentation for the segment “Stories Behind the Science,” where she spoke about her journey in science and her hopes for impacting future generations of computer scientists.
Report Date...: 12/3/18
Fellows nominated for digital entrepreneur award
Fellow(s): Mpara Faith, Horore Bebga
Cohort: 2017, 2018
Two TechWomen fellows are nominated for “Best Digital Entrepreneur” at the upcoming Bonteh Digital Media Awards, held next month in Douala. The award ceremony is part of Bonteh Media Network, a leading digital media and communications agency in Cameroon.
Mpara Faith (2017) is nominated for her work as the co-founder of New Generation Technologies, a software development and IT consulting company. 2018 fellow Horore Bebga is being recognized as the founder and CEO of Likalo 2.0, a digital agency and education center.
The event, the first of its kind in Cameroon, aims to showcase leading founders and entrepreneurs in the technology and communication fields throughout the country.
Report Date...: 11/26/18
Fellow wins Young Entrepreneur Award
Fellow(s): Nomso Kana
Country: South Africa
This month, 2013 fellow of South Africa Nomso Kana was awarded the Young Entrepreneur Award by the African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum. The annual conference brings together 1,200 female leaders with a mission to empower, educate and encourage sustainable economic development throughout Africa.
Nomso, selected out of 450 nominees, was recognized for Sun ‘n Shield Technologies, the telecommunications company she founded. Sun ‘n Shield provides fiber optic manufacturing services, bringing internet accessibility to South Africa and the greater African continent. “This award is amazing encouragement,” says Nomso. “It will help us forge forward and continue to put up broadband infrastructure in Southern Africa and Africa, ensuring essential seamless internet access for all Africans.”
Report Date...: 11/19/2018
Fellow selected as TEF2018 entrepreneur
Fellow(s): Oluremi Hamid
2016 fellow of Nigeria Oluremi Hamid was recently selected to participate in an entrepreneurship program run through the The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). The foundation, Africa’s largest philanthropic initiative, promotes entrepreneurship throughout the continent. Oluremi was among 1,400 entrepreneurs selected out of a total of 158,000 applicants. Soon, she will begin TEF’s 12-week program that equips startups with basic skills required to launch and run their businesses at early growth stages. Paired with a mentor to guide her through the program, Oluremi will learn how to more effectively start and scale a business and will learn tools for marketing strategy and product design. At the end of the program, each entrepreneur will receive a $5,000 seed grant.
Oluremi recently launched Hydren Energy, a business that builds mobile solar stations for small business owners. The stations harness solar power during the day, store it for use at night and allow business owners to move the unit between their home and workplace. The TEF seed grant will enable Oluremi produce three mobile solar station units for her target market.
Report Date...: 11/12/2018
Fellow wins entrepreneurship grant at United Nations conference
Fellow(s): Patu Ndango Fen
2017 fellow of Cameroon Patu Ndango Fen was awarded a $10,000 grant at this year’s Africa Youth Conference. The conference, sponsored by UN Women and supported by partners such as UNICEF and UNESCO, aims to create an avenue for young people to contribute to development of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Prior to the conference, Patu, a social entrepreneur and innovator, was selected as a finalist for the YAS Open Innovation Challenge, a combined initiative of the United Nations Development Programme and Accenture. At the conference, Patu and nine other entrepreneurs were announced as grant winners for their projects that directly support the fulfillment of the SDGs. Patu’s social enterprise, Closed-Loop System Ventures, specializes in waste management, transforming plant and animal waste into organic fertilizer that can be used in farming and aquaculture. With the grant, Patu plans to construct a warehouse and rent a large-capacity waste collection truck.
In addition to receiving her award, Patu participated on a panel at the conference centered around pitching, presenting and storytelling from a marketing and branding perspective.
Report Date...: 10/29/2018
Fellow wins Stevie Award for women in business
Fellow(s): Hiba Shabrouq
Hiba Shabrouq, 2017 fellow of Jordan, has won a Stevie Award for Women in Business. Selected by a specialized jury, Hiba was named as Employee of the Year in Telecommunications. The Stevie Awards were created in 2002 to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide. Hiba will join other Stevie Award finalists in New York City to receive either a gold, silver or bronze award at the Stevie Awards’ 15th annual gathering in November.
Hiba, the only Jordanian woman named in the telecommunications field, was recognized for her work as a product marketing expert at Orange, one of the largest operators of mobile and internet services in Europe and Africa and a global leader in corporate telecommunication services. While in the TechWomen program, Hiba was hosted by LinkedIn. Recently, Hiba was one of four fellows who participated in The Global Summit in Jordan.
Report Date...: 10/8/2018
Two fellows named to Kenya’s 40 under 40 list
Fellow(s): Topy Muga, Lucy Wanjiku-Mutinda
Cohort: 2016, 2017
Two TechWomen fellows were named Top 40 Under 40 in Kenya by Business Daily. Topy Muga (2017) and Lucy Mutinda (2016) are among entrepreneurs, academics, researchers, philanthropists and leaders in tech, all selected for the honor based on their influence and leadership in their respective fields.
Topy, the senior director of financial inclusion for Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa, was formerly the head of Airtel Money at Airtel Kenya. She is a mentor at Zawadi Africa Education Fund, and her team’s TechWomen action plan project, Project Digniti, was selected as a seed grant winner during TechWomen 2017. Lucy is the CEO and founder of Ecocycle, a company that provides zero-waste products and services. A product engineer by trade, Lucy turns sewage into clean water, installing water recycling machines in homes and hotels throughout Kenya and promoting water re-use and environmental conservation. Lucy’s action plan team was also awarded a seed grant for their impact project, One Desk One Child, during TechWomen 2016.
While in the TechWomen program, Topy was hosted at Big Commerce and Lucy was hosted at San Francisco Department of the Environment.
Report Date...: 9/24/18