Top35-Under35CEO Awards Winners: Young Entrepreneurs Shaping the Future of Africa
On October 17, Under35CEO launched a continental campaign to encourage and promote entrepreneurship amongst young Africans. The goal of the Under35CEO Awards is to highlight and provide recognition to 35 young entrepreneurs under the age of 35 who are making change happen through their entrepreneurial endeavors, in Africa.
The winners were determined by the Under35CEO Judges with a focus on impact, risk-ability, perseverance, unwavering passion, creativity, leadership skills, innovation and ability to come up with new idea(s) to solve Africa’s or the world’s complex problems.
The following are the Top35 young entrepreneurs shaping the future of Africa. We celebrate you all. Congratulations!!!!!!!
Under35CEO Most Enterprising Students
#1 Khalad Shady (Egyptian), Founder of Mubser
Why He Made the List: For inventing Mubser, a wearable belt with a Bluetooth headset for visually impaired people that guide them to move and navigate in a safe, quick and easy way. It also let them recognize the most common objects/obstacles they would face in their daily life.
#2 Adelard Kakunze (Burundian), Co-founder/CEO at Burundi 3.0
Why He Made the List: For engaging to tackle the issue of youth unemployment in his country through Burundi 3.0, a mobile phone solution that provides daily alerts on jobs from NGOs, private enterprises etc. Since it was launched in March 2013, over 5000 young people have signed up to Burundi 3.0’s job alerts! Recently, he got an opportunity to speak at the One Young World Summit 2013 during a special session on youth unemployment where he showcased his initiative that have been successful in lowering youth unemployment in his country. Adelard Kakunze is a young entrepreneur from Burundi, one of the world’s poorest countries.
#3 Takunda Ralph Michael Chingonzo (Zimbabwean), Co-founders of Neolab
Why He Made the List: For creating a technology company that pushes the frontiers of technological advancement by implementing new and up-coming concepts to solve impending socio-economic challenges faced by organizations in the third world economies.
#4 Kibirige Apollo Kasujja (Ugandan), Founder of Numb3r
Why He Made the List: For starting Numb3r with less than 100USD and growing it into what it is today. Numb3r is a training school where anybody can go to learn full rage ICT skills. It also offers a “Start and Improve Your Business” training package in conjunction with the International Labor Organization.
#5 Ibrahima Yves Ghislain TCHOUANTE (Senegalese), Founder of P’Taxi & Carapid
Why He Made the List: For creating a mega-factory to make available to the Senegalese people bus transit called “carapid” that fit their needs. And for initiating the creation of a transportation company that specializes in private taxi with trained staff.
#6 Gonjetso Chinyama (Malawian), Founder of Pakwathu.com & Twenty2 Creative
Why He Made the List: For making the search for real estate in Malawi more comfortable through Pakwathu.com. And for also connecting brands to customers in a results-oriented, totally integrated, top-to-bottom manner, via Twenty2 Creative Agency.
#7 Gideon Byamukama (Ugandan), Founder/CEO of Hello World
Why He Made the List: For starting an ICT firm that inspires innovation and progressive experiences through practical and evolutionary ICT solution. Gideon is a 22 year old student at Makerere University Kampala in Uganda, pursuing a Bachelor of Information Technology. He’s known for his entrepreneurial skills and ability to provide the simplest solutions for the seemingly most complex of solutions.
#8 Linda Iheme (Nigerian), Founder of International Initiative for Youths Inspiration, Growth and Development [IIF-YIGAD]
Why She Made the List: For selling the idea of social entrepreneurship to Nigerian students through One-on-One mentorship program. International Initiative for Youths Inspiration, Growth and Development (IIF-YIGAD) has been in existence since August 2011 bearing its former name Great Youths In Motion. Linda is a 5th year student in School of Dentistry, University of Benin, Nigeria.
#9 Amin Swai (Tanzanian), Founder/Director at OnSpot Magazine & Aspire Youth International
Why He Made the List: For publishing OnspOt Magazine (formally known as TeenSpot), a quarterly magazine that has become one of Tanzania’s leading youth lifestyle publications. OnspOt Magazine is credited as being the most successful magazine launch in recent years and currently has a circulation of 6,000 readers from all over East Africa.
#10 Kokie Nkposong (Nigerian), Founder/CEO of Kokie’s World of Gifts
Why She Made the List: For making Kokies World of Gifts a success story and keeping it up and running for three years, even as a student. She’s a third year student at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, studying Information Technology.
Under35CEO Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs
#1 Rosebill Satha (Malawian), Founder of JARDS Products
Why She Made the List: For committing herself to solving youth unemployment and addressing economic empowerment for the women in her community through the establishment of her social enterprise, JARDS Products. Her company makes unique Eco-friendly bamboo products and equips the youth and women with weaving skills and also trains them in entrepreneurship skills. Rosabill was named the 2012 Role Model Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Association of Business Women (in Malawi) and at 28, she is the youngest recipient of the award. This award inspired her the more to make a much bigger impact so that she recently received a grant from the One Young World presented by the father of social businesses himself Prof. M. Yunus. She is a very promising young entrepreneur.
#2 Ameer Sherif (Egyptian), Co-founder/CEO of BasharSoft
Why He Made the List: For building the future of online recruitment. BasharSoft is the only software solution provider in Egypt fully focused on online recruitment, talent management, and workforce planning software systems. He is one of the creators of Wuzzuf.com, Egypt’s #1 online recruitment job site.
#3 Daniel Macharia (Kenyan), Founder/CEO of East Africa Institute of Certified Studies
Why He Made the List: For creating the first digital college in Kenya mandated to empower Kenyans socially and economically by use of ICT. East Africa Institute of Certified Studies is a place where people can learn new skills and plan for the future.
#4 James Bayanai (Zimbabwean), Founder of Zimbabwe Youth Development Foundation Trust
Why He Made the List: For his literacy project in Zimbabwe’s rural communities which has been described by many as one of the best youth led initiatives in promoting the Millennium Development Goals. He has changed the lives of many marginalized children through providing them with adequate learning materials such as books and school fees. Over the years, James has fought relentlessly to secure educational resources for hundreds of rural students throughout Zimbabwe. He has so far acquired and distributed over 100,000 reading books to various rural schools. These books came as a result of his long standing partnership with International Book Project, Bisila Bokoko African Literacy Project and IOLANI Peace Institute. James has also established a community library in the Chirumanzu rural community and has also partnered with The Tutu Desks a Desmond Tutu led Foundation for the provision of over 20,000 portable school desks to rural schools in Zimbabwe.
#5 Joy Ndlovu (South African), Founder of Ndlovu Holdings
Why She Made the List: For running a successful consulting, training and research company since 2011 whilst also studying and raising a family. Joy is a phenomenal young woman who has achieved much in her young life. Her company aims to empower the youth and women of South Africa through education and knowledge, which she believes is the key to true freedom.
#6 Adekunbi Adeoye (Nigerian), Founder of SESEWA
Why She Made the List: For founding SESEWA as an undergraduate of OAU (Obafemi Awolowo University) and building it into a company that is well known for tackling the diversified problems of recruitment and unemployment in Nigeria, even after her graduation from the university. Adekunbi is daily impacting lives through her social enterprise and contributing to societal development.
#7 Manige Merabu (Ugandan), Founder of Youth Empowerment in Enterprise Development Uganda
Why He Made the List: For training over 10,000 youth in Uganda in practical entrepreneurship through her organisation. This has reduced the high level of unemployment in Uganda by at least 5%, as most of these youth are directly and indirectly employed through these hands on enterprises. She has also trained youth in sustainable agriculture for food security purposes and through it she has spear-headed mushroom growing project in Uganda and have been in position to add value making mushroom porridge and soup. Currently Youth Empowerment in Enterprise Development is also employing 8 youth.
Why He Made the List: For founding one of the fastest growing web design firm in Nigeria and empowering the youth through his company, Concise Value, a career management and human development company that helps with recruitment, manpower training and business development. Wale is a vast and experienced personal & business development coach.
#9 Oghenero Ogheneovo (Nigerian), Founder of T-Shirt Factory Nigeria
Why He Made the List: For building a brand that is gradually becoming a household name in Nigeria, Ghana and other parts of the world. Oghenero represents what you would call the Spirit of the Nigerian Youth – the Spirit of an entrepreneur. He started his business 6 years ago while in the university. The company currently provides employment for 6 permanent Staff and more than 10 casual workers.
#10 Melody Okwuazu (Nigerian), Founder of THE INCREDIBLE PRODUCTION
Why He Made the List: For choosing to be an INCREDIBLE young man and setting the pace for others to follow. He’s the brain behind The Incredible Production, an entertainment and media business specializing in harnessing youth talent and energy in music, dance, performing arts and entertainment generally.
Under35CEO Best New Startup Founders
#1 Dominic Nsikan (Nigerian), Founder of TechClass Inc
Why He Made the List: For founding TechClass Inc, one of the fastest growing online video contents service provider for teachers in Northern Nigeria. TechClass utilizes the power of online video technology to provide top quality educational materials and real time online classes through YouTube and Skype to empower teachers in Yobe, Maiduguri, Gombe, Damaturu, Zaria and other Boko Haram insurgence communities where there is little or no access to quality textbooks , training manuals and research facilities as a result of the over three years of continues destruction of educational facilities by the activities of the dreaded terrorist group. Using this innovation of distance-learning video technology, Dominic has successfully trained 700 teachers empowering them with the tools they need to scale up quality and sound education in their various communities.
#2 Emmanuel Tokunbo Darko (Ghanaian), Founder of Babaoo Foods Ltd
Why He Made the List: For founding Baboo Foods, a unique agricultural social enterprise that seeks to constructively reinvest in the long-term growth of agribusiness. Baboo seeks to become continental leader in the supply of quality foods to consumers by constructively re-investing in the long term growth of agribusiness in Ghana. Unlike existing agribusinesses in Ghana, Babaoo is operating a business model that seeks to strategically engage a significant number of educated and skilled young people in the entire value chain. Babaoo Foods has developed a model with the potential to provide the productivity breakthrough for Ghana’s agricultural sector. The solution is to set up ‘Hub Farms’-large scale commercial farms in all regions that explore opportunities in using improved farming systems, expand market opportunities and develop higher value chains through an active engagement of young people and fostering a new wave of “Agribusiness Entrepreneurship”. Babaoo has started the first of such farms in Akrade in the Eastern Region.
#3 Hule Aondokator (Nigerian), Founder of Kator Hule Enterprises
Why He Made the List: For starting Hule Aondokator Enterprises, an agricultural company committing cutting-edge, efficient and environmental-friendly technology to the production and sale of finest quality, hygienic, and nutritive crayfish products gleamed to suit specific consumer needs.
#4 Ayoola Ajebeku (Nigerian), Co-founder/CEO of Nearest Locator
Why He Made the List: For developing a location based mobile app that helps people easily and accurately find nearest places like: ATMs, Banks, Eateries, Hospitals, Pharmacies, Police Stations, Events and Promos/Deal etc., closest to people, with their detailed information like contact info and location on map.
#5 Olufuwa Tayo & Dele Bakare (Nigerian), Co-founders of JobsInNigeria.com.ng
Why He Made the List: For creating JobsInNigeria, a social recruitment solution that makes recruitment easier and cheap for small and medium enterprise. It’s one of Africa’s fast growing job board with over 150,000 members in over 15 countries and territories around the globe.
#6 Elvis Austin (Nigerian), Founder/CEO of SpellAfrica Initiative
Why He Made the List: For helping African youth improve their English vocabulary through technology. Elvis started SpellAfrica out of the desire to improve on his poor educational background. SpellAfrica was recently selected as a semi-finalist in the 2013 Echoing Green Fellowship Program. He was also recently invited to participate in the 2013 Social Enterprise World Forum in Calgary, Alberta Canada and was a Skype guest at Microsoft Bizpark show.
#7 Uche Okoli (Nigerian), Founder/CEO at Reel Radio
Why She Made the List: For starting a new revolutionary online station marrying visuals with radio. Uche started Reel Radio on the 25th of April 2012. Reel Radio is all about REALNESS. It makes it possible for listeners/viewers to witness uncensored radio at its best.
#8 Edison Gbenga Ade (Nigerian), Founder of AgroPro
Why He Made the List: For his tremendous passion to improve Agriculture in Africa. Edison Gbenga Ade, founder of AgriPro seeks to connect investors and agribusiness entrepreneurs in Africa. He also advocates for sustainable agriculture. He started his organization in November 2012 yet he’s chocked some success that an average year-old organization won’t be able to.
#9 Marouane Itou (Algerian), Founder/COO at MegaComp
Why He Made the List: For starting a company that arduously works to help young people build, implement, develop and share their ideas and also link idea generators to investors, and spreads entrepreneurial culture among young people in Algeria and the MENA REGION POPULATION.
#10 Sam Wakoba (Kenyan), Founder of TechMoran.com
Why He Made the List: For founding TechMoran, a technology media company profiling Africa’s tech scene by breaking news on latest innovative web, mobile and hardware startups and exclusively profiling the cool guys and girls behind the innovations.
Under35CEO of the Year
#1 Bunmi Otegbade (Nigerian), Co-founder of Generation Enterprise
Why He Made the List: For co-founding Generation Enterprise, an international team creating sustainable businesses and jobs across developing world. Through this remarkable organization, Bunmi is connecting young people (aged 18-28) with skills, mentors, and resources they need to launch their own businesses and pull themselves out of poverty.
#2 Joel Mwale (Kenyan), Founder of Skydrop Enterprises & Gigavia.com
Why He Made the List: For transforming rain water into purified drinking water and giving the world gigavia.com, a portal that seeks to bring social media and education on the same platform. According to report, Joel recently sold shares of his company, SkyDrop, for 500,000 USD to an Israeli-based firm.
Why She Made the List: For giving young people all around the world Opportunity Desk, the one stop place for all opportunities, including conferences, scholarships, fellowships, jobs, internship, competitions, fundings and many more. And also empowering young secondary (high) school graduates in Nigeria through Rype Initiative, an after-school youth development program.
#4 Ashley Uys (South African), Founder of Medical Diagnostech
Why He Made the List: For creating Real World Diagnostics to develop products that are absolutely necessary at prices those who need them most can afford. This young man and his team of scientists have made Medical Diagnostech the R&D partner of choice for several local and global initiatives to bring a novel rapid diagnostic test to market.
#5 Ludwick Phofane Marishane (South African), Founder of HeadBoy Industries
Why He Made the List: For inventing DryBath, the world’s first germicidal Bath-substituting skin lotion/gel. This lotion moisturizes the skin, kills germs, and leaves the user smelling fresh. His anti-bacterial lotion made him the youngest patent holder in South Africa.