Monday, 11 November 2013

Rising African women entrepreneurs

By JANET OTIENO | Monday, November 11  2013 at  10:02
This picture taken on June 6, 2013 shows South African businesswoman and anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele speaking to the media in Johannesburg. She is the boss of Circle Capital Ventures, a leading Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Private Equity firm. FILE PHOTO 
Some have worked hard for their wealth while others have enjoyed the trappings and proximity to power to catapult them to their present status. African women have gone beyond making handicrafts to become successful business managers with vast empires translating to high financial returns of over $50 million and creating millions of jobs.
Here are a few of them from different parts of the continent.
1. Ngina Kenyatta
Though, she leads a quite life away from public glare, the widow of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta has a lot of undeclared wealth, and runs several firms which are mostly not directly registered under her name ranging from farming, hospitality industry, banking, insurance, real estate, education among others.
Some of these include the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), Heritage hotels, Brookside Dairies, Media Max and Timsales Timber. The 80-year-old woman has never revealed the origin of her investment funds but Ventures magazine estimates her net worth to be $1 billion.
2.Valentina da Luz Guebuza
The youngest daughter of Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, her business interests run from banking, telecommunications, fisheries, transport and mining to the property sector among others.
The 32-year-old civil engineering graduate is also a shareholder in most family companies like Beira Grain Terminal among others. She also the boss of Chinese-owned TV company StarTimes.
Economic analysts have named her as a major player in her country’s economy. She has never disclosed her net worth though it is believed to be sizeable.
3. Isabel Dos Santos
Forbes magazine estimates that the oldest daughter of Angola’s President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos has a net worth of over $170 million with interests in oil, cement, diamonds and banking, among others.
The 39-year-old used her father’s status to get business deals with Portuguese companies. in which she owns major stakes such as in Energias de Portugal.
Isabel dos Santos
Isabel dos Santos.
4. Folorunso Alakija
She is the richest black woman in the world replacing US based television host Oprah Winfrey.
The 61-year-old Nigerian's business interests range from fashion, oil and gas exploration, and production firms. Her net worth is estimated at a staggering $3.2 billion.
5. Hajia Bola Shagaya
The 59 year-old Nigerian millionaire is the CEO of Bolmus International Limited according to Venture Africa. Her business interests range from photography, real estate, oil and gas, banking, cash crops export and fast moving consumer goods. She also owns properties overseas. Her net worth is estimated to be $600 million.
6. Mamphela Ramphele
The 66-year-old South African investor is the boss of Circle Capital Ventures, a leading Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Private Equity firm. Her net worth in mid-2011 was $90.9 million according to Mining Weekly.
7. Bridget Radebe
She is the founder of Makau mining in Johannesburg, South Africa dealing with chrome, coal, gold, uranium and platinum. She has a first-hand experience working in mines-managing shafts-before rising to own her own mining company. The 53-year-old is the first black woman to own a mining firm with her net worth estimated at $100 million.
8. Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu
Though the 33-year-old Ethiopian entrepreneur has never revealed her net worth, Forbes estimates that she makes at least $1 million in annual revenue. Alemu founded sole Rebels footwear- eco-friendly shoes made from natural fibre and handmade fabrics in 2004 with less than $10,000.