5 Richest Women Entrepreneurs in West Africa
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News around Africa - July 13, 2023

5 Richest Women Entrepreneurs in West Africa

The entrepreneurial landscape in West Africa is adorned with the remarkable success stories of women who have defied odds, shattered glass ceilings, and achieved remarkable wealth through their businesses. These trailblazing women have not only amassed substantial fortunes but have also made significant contributions to their respective industries, economies, and communities. 

Throughout Africa, these women have harnessed their business acumen, innovation, and determination to create thriving enterprises that have redefined the boundaries of success. In this article, we delve into the inspiring journeys of some of the top women entrepreneurs in West Africa, which could serve as a testament to the immense potential for women’s economic empowerment and their crucial role in driving sustainable growth and development in the region. Let’s dive in.

Divine Ndhlukula (Zimbabwe)

One shining example of women’s entrepreneurial success in West Africa is Dr Divine Simbi Ndhlukula, a Zimbabwean businesswoman who has achieved remarkable feats in the security industry. Through her company, Securico, one of Zimbabwe’s largest security companies, she has not only amassed wealth but also created a positive impact on her community. 

The company is the first security outfit in Zimbabwe to achieve an ISO (International Organization for Standardisation) certification and has over 4,000 employees. Having built her company from the ground up with just 4 employees, Ndhlukula story serves as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, emphasizing the potential for women to excel traditionally in male-dominated sectors and make a significant difference in their societies.

In August 2018, Dr Ndhlukula was also named in the top 10 CEOs in Africa.

Nafisa Bakkar (Gambia)

In the realm of entrepreneurship in West Africa, Nafisa Bakkar’s story shines as a beacon of inspiration. Hailing from Gambia, Bakkar cBakkar is the Co-Founder and CEO of Halal Gems, a company dedicated to curating and crafting memorable dining experiences for halal-conscious individuals. She is also involved with Amaliah, a London-based online media platform that strives to empower and amplify the voices of Muslim women. Her innovative approach has empowered countless women, offering them a space to express their identities and embrace their unique styles. 

Nafisa is a trustee for Free Word and EY Foundation, focusing on leveraging digital channels to enhance impact, reach, and engagement. Her contributions have been acknowledged through notable accolades such as Forbes 30 Under 30 and Ad Age Women to Watch Europe, amongst others.

Reni Folawiyo (Nigerian)

Nigerian businesswoman, Reni Folawiyo, has etched her name in the annals of West African entrepreneurship with her visionary approach. As the founder of Alara, a luxury concept store based in Lagos, she has curated a platform that showcases contemporary African fashion, art, and design. Folawiyo’s moment is marked by her unwavering commitment to promoting African talent on the global stage and redefining perceptions of African luxury. 

Through Alara, the former Nigerian lawyer has created an immersive retail experience that transcends borders, elevating African creativity and culture. Her entrepreneurial journey exemplifies the power of celebrating local artisans and nurturing homegrown talent to foster economic growth and cultural appreciation. 

Temie Giwa-Tubosun (African- American)

Nigerian-American health manager, Temie Giwa-Tubosun has made a significant impact in West Africa through her groundbreaking healthcare startup, LifeBank, a business enterprise in Nigeria working to improve access to blood transfusions in the country. Giwa-Tubosun’s moment represents a paradigm shift in the accessibility of blood supplies in Nigeria. 

Recognizing the urgent need for efficient blood distribution, she founded LifeBank, a platform that connects blood banks with hospitals in need. Through her innovative solution, Giwa-Tubosun has revolutionized the healthcare landscape, saving countless lives in the process. Her entrepreneurial journey embodies the power of leveraging technology to address critical societal challenges and improve healthcare outcomes. 

In March 2023, Temie Giwa-Tubosun was named among the 15 African Female Founders You Should Know In 2023″ by African Folder.

Fatoumata Ba (Senegal)

Senegalese entrepreneur, Fatoumata Ba, stands as a shining example of determination and resilience in the West African business landscape. Her moment is defined by her exceptional achievements and contributions to the technology and startup ecosystem. As the co-founder and CEO of Janngo, a digital platform that provides access to finance and other essential services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa, Ba has become a catalyst for economic empowerment.

Nafisa Ba, an experienced figure in African tech, is raising about €60 million fund to empower female entrepreneurs and support health tech and edtech. She aims to harness technology for socially conscious leapfrog development in Africa, going beyond market entries and exits. Ba has previously held key positions at Jumia, including founding CEO of its Ivory Coast office and managing director in Nigeria.

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