WIA ENTREPRENEURS HUB

The Entrepreneurs’ Hub is an exhibition space dedicated to women entrepreneurs during the WIA Club Annual Meeting/Regional meetings. It provides 15 to 20 women entrepreneurs with great visibility and access to high-level decision-makers and investors’ network. Discover their stories :

In collaboration with :

Ariane Umuringa

Ariane Umuringa is an engineer and serial entrepreneur. Ariane is passionate about creating new ideas that solve real life problems and loves building something new or improving on something old for people to benefit from. She cofounded Starlight, a social business that help refugees and off-grid rural population in Rwanda and neighboring countries by providing them cheap local made solar products so that families can easily earn, learn and feel safe after dark. Since launch, Starlight supply local customers and plan to scale in neighboring countries.

Principal vision: End use of kerosene lamps in rural areas and refugee camps of Africa

In addition to her work at Starlight, Ariane is passionate about girls empowerment where she started an initiative of establishing STEM clubs in Girls high schools with the purpose of raising awareness, involving more girls in STEM careers as well as in positive change in their communities.

Cynthia Mene

Cynthia is a serial social entrepreneur. Her ambitious start-up record includes EverGlow, a successful
liquid soap company that filled the niche for a non-toxic, plant-derived and biodegradable dish soap in
Nigeria; Kadosh Production Company (KPC), a cassava processing plant that has the potential to
revolutionize, the cassava industry in Nigeria, while improving the livelihood of women farmers. Her
third venture recently started in 2016, known as INSPIRE AFRICA, a Pan-African Institution established
to deliver high impact entrepreneurship and leadership education to African youths. Cynthia has a
Bachelor’s Degree in Textile Science and Polymer Technology at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and has
received certificate of participation for Business and Entrepreneurship course at Dartmouth College,
New Hampshire USA. She has received awards and accolades from an impressive list of international
organizations, including her recognition as President Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellow for Young
African Leaders, United State African Development Funds Award, Unilever Sustainable Living Young
Entrepreneurs Award, Global Good Fund Fellow, LEAP Africa (Social Innovators Programme), Global
Student Entrepreneurs Award, Innovation Prize for Africans Post prize Awards and Global Innovation
through Science and Technology Awards. She was a speaker at the Global Forum for Innovation in Africa
and The Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

Doreen Kessy

Doreen is a Chief Operations Officer at Ubongo, a social enterprise that creates edutainment content for learners in Africa. At Ubongo she is instrumental in the growth of the organization, distribution of its content throughout the continent, innovating, failing forward and finding ways to continually deliver fun learning to over 5 million kids in East Africa! As an education activist, Doreen strives to ensure more kids in Africa have access to quality education by leveraging existing technologies to bring fun learning, and help them thrive. She has an MBA and BS in International Business and Economics from Liberty University and has worked at the Int’l Justice Mission in Washington DC, Wells Fargo in Virginia and Smile for Africa in Zimbabwe. Doreen loves to have fun, she does the English voice of one of Ubongo Kids characters, Ngedere (a sassy monkey).

Khady DIALLO

Khady DIALLO is Co-founder and R & D manager of the startup E-cover. This young 22 year old Senegalese and his team found a solution to the problem of waste tires that clog the streets of their country. When she does not travel the streets to pick up tires, she works to help local food manufacturers improve the quality of their products.
In his free time this passionate chemistry and sports like doing gymnastics with her friends, reading ancient history novels and learn to be the worst football player ever. She is currently working on a thesis to make a 100% ecological binder for E-cover products.

Nonhlanhla Joye

Nonhlanhla Joye is a Social Entrepreneur and the Founder of Umgibe Farming Organics and Training Institute, passionate about food security and community empowerment. “Ma Joye” as she affectionately called, has developed Umgibe frugal climate smart growing system a viable model that brings solutions to social, societal and environmental issues.

Peace Kuteesa

Peace Kuteesa is a computer engineer with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, a certified IT systems and security professional who is currently pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration specializing in IT business management. She has 10years experience in security, encryption and internet safety. As a young student trying to figure out a career path way back in high school, Peace Kuteesa knew that she
wanted to pursue a technology career. After guidance from her mentors, and factoring in her love for computers and the internet, she settled for a career in Computer Science. Her goal is to inspire the future generation of women to pursue more STEM based careers through her work.
7 years ago Peace and her friends founded the Beautiful Modern Mamas association (BMM). An organization that aims to mentor young mothers on career growth and starting their businesses online.
The association quickly expanded and its online members reached over 1000 which led Peace and her team to believe that they could provide a platform where women can sell their products both locally and internationally in order to access wider market. This idea led to the birth of Zimba Women, a social enterprise that is working to create opportunities for women to actively participate in the economic market place
through providing cross-cutting e-solutions enabling market access. This will be made possible through the Zimba Mart online ecommerce platform, training, liaising with government bodies and business to business linkages.
When she is not fighting for gender equality and using technology to change people’s lives, Peace is reading, writing and raising her beautiful daughter.

Vena Arielle Ahouansou

Arielle Ahouansou

Arielle Ahouansou is a medical doctor and the CEO of KEA Medicals Pharmaceutics & Technologies. KEA Medicals is a company that improves the health care system in Africa through its electronic patient record management software. She is the initiator of the Universal Medical Identity project.

Her entrepreneurial and social  actions, were valued by ​​several international recognitions including the Africa Peace Builder Award in October 2016 by the World Peace Initiative; She was ranked among the top 20 most promising African women by the G20 in 2015 and recently ranked among the 25 most influential young women under 25 in Africa by the MOREMI Initiative.

Vivian Nwakah

Vivian Nwakah, was born and raised in the United States and completed undergraduate studies at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She attended business school at Georgia State, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and IAE de Sorbonne in Paris, France. She is an avid
traveler and traveled around the world over the last decade. Her entrepreneurial experience began when she helped create and operate home health care agencies that expanded across Illinois and Indiana. She went to Nigeria four years ago, after business school. In Nigeria, she
helped start a renewable energy company but found her true calling when she kept hearing stories of people dying from fake or sub-standard medications. Medsaf was created to help solve this issue.

MedSaf – is a US founded company that utilizes technology to make the process of buying and selling medication easy, and efficient. We improve the entire medication supply chain. We also provide value added services to hospitals and pharmacies such as; medications, inventory management applications, credit facilities and tech enabled logistics. We aggregate data from medications sales, scarce and in-demand medications, as well as locations and purchasing habits to help manufacturers improve their offerings to the public. This results in cost-effective and safe medication for everyone.

Astria Fataki

Astria Fataki is a young and passionate entrepreneur in the energy sector. French with
Congolese origin, she grew up with those two cultures, making her an open-minded person.
Incensed by development inequalities, she founded, in 2013 of the association Ligthing a
Billion Lives France, dedicated to rural electrification in Africa based on off-grid solar
technologies. This experience allowed Astria Fataki to witness the weaknesses of this model.
In January 2016, she decided for her association to move towards a new model based on
“made in Africa” technological innovation and youth entrepreneurship, thus becoming
« Energy Generation » and organize in June 2016 the first edition of the Africa Energy
Generation Prize (AEGP). The AEGP is the first Pan-African technical and entrepreneurial
innovations contest for alternative access to energy solutions, aiming to in order to reveal the
African youth resourcefulness. The initiative is now represented by a network of ambassadors
through 24 countries in Africa.
Based on the success of the first edition, Energy Generation launched the Africa Energy
Generation Prize 2017 edition.

DAMILOLA OLOKESUSI

Damilola graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos,
Nigeria. She has experience in Investment banking, Oil and gas gathered from ARM Investment
managers, Pan Ocean Oil and gas and Marine professionals.
As an entrepreneur, Damilola’s interest revolve around using Innovation and Technology, in solving
economic and social problems. She possess the ability to recognize opportunities in everyday
problems as well as the tenacity and diligence required to break barriers whilst solving these
problems.
Through constant frustrating experiences using the public transport in her city birthed her desire
to create an efficient system of transportation for professionals in Lagos using a multi-staff bus
system. This led to the establishment of a company she co-founded called Shuttlers.
She is the Co-founder and CEO of a transport & tech company called Shuttlers, currently
redesigning the way professionals commute around in metropolitan cities like Lagos. Damilola and
her partners designed an efficient bus-pooling system that enables professionals commute in
groups, using AC buses through their mobile devices by booking, paying and tracking their shuttles.
This startup is not only reducing the stress of commuting, it’s also reducing the number of privately
driven cars during peak times.
She has won competitions like; Demo Africa in Nigeria, Unreasonable institute and Aso Villa Demo
Day where she had the opportunity to meet the president and Vice president of Nigeria.
Damilola is fully committed to positively affecting Africa by building efficient systems.

Evelyn Namara

Evelyn joined the Internet Society in 2017 as the Policy Outreach Fellow, She works with the global policy team on policy work related to access and human rights. She also partly works on supporting the Internet Society’s communications campaign as well as focusing on special initiatives.

Evelyn is founder of !nnovate Uganda, a technology start-up focusing at developing technology innovations for sustainable development with a bias on the agricultural sector. Their flagship product the M-Voucher system was a 2016 World Summit Award (WSA) Winner in the category of fighting poverty, hunger and disease. The M-Voucher system also won the Uganda Communications Commission’s ACIA award (2017) in the ICT for Development category.

Evelyn is an Anita Borg ABIE Change Agent Award winner – 2012; recognized for her role in empowering women and girls in technology. She also sits on the Change Agent ABIE Award selection committee as the current chair of the committee.

Evelyn is passionate about the power of the Internet to change lives, technology for development, innovation as well as women in technology.

Her twitter handle is: @enamara

Marie Githinji

Marie is a co-founder and Director at Akirachix an organization that aims to inspire and develop
a successful force of women in Technology. She is also a co-founder of eLimu a platform
designed to help Kenyan Primary school Children learn using digital content. She’s passionate
about Technology and seeks to inspire leadership among women, in this traditional male
dominated field. She has a background in Business Information Technology.

Rita Kimani

Rita Kimani is the founder of FarmDrive, a Kenyan fintech company using simple mobile phones, machine learning and data analytics to drive capital to smallholder farmers through alternative credit scoring. Rita is a young ambitious changemaker and entrepreneur who strives to make a positive impact in the world and defy every boundary that society has defined for women. She holds a First Class Honours BSc. in Computer Science from University of Nairobi, has expertise in conceptualising and designing solutions for emerging economies and fostering scalable innovations, and is a data nerd. Rita is also a UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Seynabou Thiam

Seynabou was set to join the world of science, after earning a degree in medical biology in her native Senegal. Upon moving to France, she pivoted towards the pharmaceutical industry as a representative for one of the world’s largest laboratories. Then, a desire for further professional development prompted her to obtain a master’s degree in communications and marketing. In 2012, Seynabou felt the need to take her experience abroad and return to her country to be an active participant in its development. Being back home after many years away catalyzed what she calls her « professional coming out, » having secretly always loved all things ICT and digital. Since returning to Senegal, Seynabou has co-created Yaay.sn, the country’s first digital platform for mothers, to help shepherd them through the many difficulties she has personally experienced. Yaay is where modern lifestyle issues and Senegalese cultural matters meet. She integrated this 5000 women Facebook community into Nelam Services, a digital agency, for access to superior technical and creative ressources. After just one year, Yaay was awarded Orange telecommunications’ first prize for Female Entrepreneurship in the Digital sphere. Nelam Services is an award-winning creative digital agency, focused on helping companies, brands and institutions develop their digital strategies and presence.