Lionesses of Africa has selected 5 leading women entrepreneurs from Africa to pitch their innovative digital platforms, apps and solutions for big business, government, investors and influencers in Berlin on 26 October, thanks to a partnership between Lionesses of Africa and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
For many women entrepreneurs in Africa, getting access to key global markets is a real challenge. There is a need to provide powerful platforms where established and up-and-coming women entrepreneurs on the continent who are developing innovative solutions and products can showcase their businesses to the world’s buyers, influencers and decision-makers. Such a platform is about to happen in Berlin this month, where Lionesses of Africa, in partnership with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Germany, will be inviting 5 high impact women entrepreneurs from Africa to pitch their digital solutions at the first ‘Startup-Night! Africa’.
The call for nominations aimed at identifying five inspirational women entrepreneurs to best represent Africa at this unique event was made at the Lionesses of Africa Annual Conference held last month in Johannesburg, attended by over 300 women entrepreneurs from across the continent. There were some truly innovative digital solutions, apps, platforms and businesses nominated, but eventually, 5 were selected to participate and pitch to an audience of around 250 leading German companies, investors, VCs and government officials in Berlin on 26 October. These included: Vere Shaba, founder and Director at Shaba & Ramplin Green Building Solutions in South Africa; Brenda Katwesigye, founder of WaziVision in Uganda; Josephine Marie Godwyll, founder of Young At Heart GH in Ghana; Benji Coetezee, founder and CEO of EmptyTrips in South Africa; and Temie Giwa-Tubosun, founder of LifeBank in Nigeria.
Commenting on the selection of the five women entrepreneurs, Melanie Hawken, founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa said:
“We wanted to identify five women entrepreneurs who could really represent the depth of high impact innovation talent that exists on the African continent, and who could showcase the best of Africa to leading decision-makers and influencers in Germany. These five women have all developed game-changing digital solutions to key challenges that exist not only in Africa but elsewhere in the world. This important platform in Berlin provides each of these women with the opportunity to showcase their innovative work and their businesses in an important global marketplace.”
The programme for the Startup-Night Africa event, which will be held at the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy in Berlin, will be opened by Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy in Germany. She will provide the official welcome and also give an overview to what the Ministry is doing to support German-African economic development collaboration and partnerships, particularly in the field of digitization and innovation. Melanie Hawken, founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa, has been invited to give the keynote speech, talking about the growth of women’s entrepreneurship on the African continent and some of the game-changing businesses that are emerging. The highlight of the event will be the pitching sessions. The first round will focus on African startup enterprises creating innovative digital solutions for the African and German markets. The second round will be for German startup enterprises that have developed interesting business models for Africa. The third round will see well-established German enterprises willing to collaborate with African startups, including Airbus, Merck, SAP and Siemens.
Commenting on the aims and objectives of the Startup-Night Africa event, Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy in Germany said:
“I have seen for myself just how much drive there is in the African digital start-up scene. Germany wants to support Africa in harnessing its full economic potential. We have made it our joint goal to create jobs, promote vocational training and to lay the foundations for greater prosperity for all – including in Africa. This is why a few months ago I launched the Pro! Africa Initiative of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. It is designed to make our tried-and-tested instruments of foreign trade and investment promotion more effective and also comes with some new elements. Under this initiative, Germany will be extending its network of foreign chambers of commerce and industry and its market development programme, and will provide more training opportunities for African managers. But we also want to initiate a new German-African partnership for digitisation and innovation. A key goal is to bring together African entrepreneurs with German startups and German technology. One of the ways in which we are doing this is by hosting a Start-up Night! Africa.”
Temie Giwa-Tubosun, founder of LifeBank (Nigeria) – LifeBank App is an intuitive blood donor database that inspires committed Africans to give blood and save lives in their community. The App helps medical practitioners source for the best blood and blood products that patients need.
Vere Shaba, founder of Shaba & Ramplin (South Africa) – An App that can be used remotely by building facilities managers and building owners to monitor, control, report and track green building performance in real time on iOS and Android devices.
Brenda Katwesigye, founder of WaziVision (Uganda) – The WaziVision App brings quality eye care closer to communities, providing better and more affordable eye care for every school going child between the ages of 6-18 years.
Benji Coetzee, founder of EmptyTrips (South Africa) – EmptyTrips is an online trip exchange using smart technology to match and connect spare capacity on a truck, train, plane or ship to those requiring goods transported.
Josephine Marie Godwyll, founder of Young At Heart GH (Ghana) – Ananse the Teacher App harnesses local folklore to engage Ghanaian children in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.