Tao, 24, grew up in Cape Town, where she later studied Economics at the University of Cape Town. While completing her B.Com Hons in Economics in 2020 she co-founded FoondaMate. FoondaMate aims to level the playing field in education by enabling access to online learning for anyone, from anywhere. This is done by building chatbots that can be used on the most basic devices, from WhatsApp or Facebook messenger. This allows anyone with access to a basic smartphone and social data to study online. Since launch in August 2020 the company has grown to over 200,000 users across 3 continents and 30 countries.
Cynthia Asije is a multi-award winning textile designer and Creative Director of The Adirelounge. The Adirelounge works at curbing unemployment and creating job opportunities for women and youth. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Benin in 2007. She worked in a financial institution for two years. Cynthia also has a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from the prestigious Fate Foundation and Enterprise Development Center in Lagos.
As a result of her work, she was recognized on the Ynaija Power list 2018 for Fashion and Style and 100 Africa’s Next Start Up by International Finance Corporation-World Bank Group. A certificate from Lagos Business School in “Non Profit Leadership Management Program” 2019.
Ivy Barley is a social entrepreneur who is shaping a world where more African women will be daring enough to lead in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. She is the co-founder of Developers in Vogue, an organization that trains females in the latest technologies and connects them to opportunities in the tech industry. In 2018, Ivy was one of the 30 women featured in the Women in Tech book by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. Ivy currently works as a Program Manager at Microsoft and holds a Master’s Degree in Mathematical Statistics.
Hadiya is one of the prominent and respected Agribusiness Women Entrepreneurs. She has established and successfully managed different business enterprises engaged in agriculture, agro-industry, freight transport, trade and commerce and other related activities such as supermarkets. She has served as Board Member and Founding Member of different private business institutions plus both Ethiopian & Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce. She also served as president of Ethiopian Women Exporters Association.
Josephine Takundwa is a leading businesswoman in Zimbabwe operating in the electrical power protection sector in Zimbabwe. She is founder and CEO of Earthlink Technologies, a company that specializes in voltage regulation, lightning protection, surge protection and power back up systems that include renewable energy solutions. Through its product lines and solutions, Earthlink Technologies supports clients’ sensitive equipment in Mining, Healthcare, Telecoms, Education, IT applications and many other sectors.
She has won numerous awards in Zimbabwe, and sits on various boards in Zimbabwe. She holds an MBA (Zimbabwe), Diploma in Strategic Management (Sweden) and is an Economic Empowerment Fellow (USA)
Gudula Naiga Basaza is the Managing Director and founder of Gudie Leisure Farm and Gudie Incubation Center and an associate Professor of Bishop Stuart University. Gudula is a business leader, an academic and social infopreneur. She holds a PhD from the University of Ghent, Masters Degree in Science Education from the University of York and Bachelors Degree from Makerere University. She is an author of 2 books, 12 songs, 55 manuals and is an inventor of organic farming products. She works in 352 Parishes in 27 districts of Uganda reaching 112,521 value chain linked Youth.
Djénéba is a social entrepreneur. She co-founded Suadela, a non-profit organization that aims to increase girls’ agency by building their negotiation skills. Suadela operates in Mali and aims to develop in Africa.
A graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School and ESCP Europe, Djénéba is also a consultant to the World Bank where she provides support to governments on education and gender equality. She is the recipient of several awards and fellowships such as Forbes 30 under 30, 100 Young Leaders of the French African Foundation and the Fulbright Program. She previously worked as a financial auditor in Africa and Europe.
Margaret Hirsch is the Executive Director of the Hirsch’s Group, the largest independently owned Appliance and Electronics retail outlet in Southern Africa that is now in its 41st year. She is already the enviable recipient of many international and local awards for her business, social and charitable work which has uplifted communities around the country. For many years, she has been heavily involved with Women and Youth Empowerment projects throughout Southern Africa. Margaret is passionate about women in business and entrepreneurship. She runs networking clubs at all her branches for Women In Business, encouraging mentorship programmes. Her door is always open to women who want advice on how to make their businesses grow. As the Executive Director of the company, Margaret sees to the day to day running of all Hirsch’s stores and their concept stores. As well as their 13 branches spread throughout KZN, Gauteng and the Western Cape, Hirsch’s own four Samsung Concept Stores – Sandton City, Mall of Africa, the Pavilion Shopping Centre in Westville and the Samsung shop at Gateway shopping centre in Umhlanga. Hirsch’s has experienced really good results in all the concept stores as they are considered to be an extension of Hirsch’s culture and philosophy which has enabled the Hirsch’s story to be one of constant expansion and success.