Meet Afua Osei
My co-founder Yasmin and I started She Leads Africa in 2014 because we had a desire to see young woman on stage instead of on the sidelines when it came to top innovators and leaders in Africa. One of the first excuses you’ll hear from competition organizers or investors as to why there aren’t more women building businesses is that they can’t find them. After hearing that excuse enough times we decided to see if we could actually find them and we certainly did.
We put out a call for applications for high growth women-led businesses across Africa and the diaspora and received more than 400 applications from 25 countries in the span of just 6 weeks. Apparently, there are women out there who are passionate about business and looking to make their mark on the startup scene.
Since that first pitch competition, we have connected with nearly 200,000 young women from across the globe providing them with locally relevant business and career content to help them live their best professional lives. Our vision now is to build the #1 digital destination for smart and ambitious young African women.
There’s a young woman in our community named Ada. She has a regular corporate job but her real passion is to start an e-commerce platform showing the incredible talent in the African fashion and beauty industries. Unfortunately for Ada, when she goes online to search for business information or advice on how to deliver a pitch deck those articles never feature people who look like her. When she tries to connect with potential investors, they don’t really take her business seriously because she doesn’t fit the mold of what a successful entrepreneur looks like.
For Ada, having a community that shows that it is possible to achieve your dreams and be a successful entrepreneur as an African woman is invaluable to her. That is why she follows She Leads Africa and why issues of media representation are so important. There are millions of young women who feel like they don’t belong in the business or corporate world and we need to do something about it!
We’re a 21st-century digital media company – we create engaging digital content and learning events that are relevant for modern day millennial Africans. On our website you can learn how to start a business, launch your career and improve your skills. You can learn and gain inspiration from more than 50 African women from diverse fields such as agriculture to mining to fashion and transportation via the entrepreneur spotlights we publish on our website. If you want advice from an expert our weekly twitter chats, facebook Q&As and webinars give women in our community direct access to global business leaders. We democratize access to the information, resources and networks that typically are only available to some.
We didn’t plan to build a company, we just wanted to show the world that there are amazing young African women building cool things. Now we have a mission to create a media platform that encourages, informs and uplifts African women and helps activate them into agents of change for their communities, countries, and continent.
Click here to learn more about Afua.