A food manufacturer and packaging company, swimsuit line for African women and natural hair extensions brand emerged the winners in the 2015 She Leads Africa Entrepreneur Showcase sponsored by Guaranty Trust Bank.
Six of the most talented young female entrepreneurs from the continent and diaspora pitched their businesses in front of a panel of esteemed pan-African business leaders including billionaire Tunde Folawiyo, founder of EbonyLife TV Mo Abudu, IFC country chief Eme Essien, Sub-Saharan MD for the Carlyle Group Genevieve Sangudi, former Nigerian ICT minister Dr. Omobola Johnson, Lebanese multi-millionaire and CEO of IHS Towers Issam Darwish and GTBank representative Femi Nedd.
The finalists, who have ~3mn dollars in revenue and over 11,000 customers combined, competed for over $15,000 in cash prizes, mobile devices from Etisalat Nigeria, transportation credits from Uber, logistics credits from Zippy Logistics, branding support from Ellae Creative and 3 months marketing support from EbonyLife TV.
The winning startup, Omo Alata Foods was co-founded by Kasope Ladipo-Ajai and makes parboiled stew and pepper mixes. The “McPeppers” brand allows consumers to significantly cut down the time required to cook traditional Nigerian dishes. The judges were impressed by Ladipo-Ajai’s existing track record as well as the significant potential of her product which targets Nigeria’s large and fast growing middle class. As Ms Genevieve Sangudi, the Sub Saharan MD of the Carlyle Group noted, “innovations in the food industry in Nigeria are always exciting given the country’s large and growing population.”Omo Alata received a $10,000 cash prize sponsored by Guaranty Trust Bank.
Kamokini, a swimwear brand for the modern African woman founded by Kambili Ofili-Okonkwo was selected as the second place winner. The brand understands and caters for the unique body shape of women of African descent – a group that is often underserved by global consumer brands. With existing distribution in the US, Canada and Nigeria, Kamokini is well poised to be a leader in this niche market.
Third place was won by Ngozi Opara, founder of Heat Free Hair. Heat Free Hair creates hair extension that match the textures of natural haired women of African descent. With the black haircare industry valued at over $500bn a year and with more and more black women embracing their natural textures, Opara’s business is well placed to deliver significant returns to investors.
Finalists Imoteda Aladekemo of Heels in the Kitchen, Brenda Katwesigye ofInstahealth and Louisa Kinoshi of BeautyRevNG all delivered stellar pitches at the event which took place at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos.
Congrats to the winners and finalists.
Inspired by these amazing ladies, then enter our Fund Ya Hustle contest to step-up your venture or project… entry closes 20th october