List of 10 Social Entrepreneurs in Africa
We noticed a rise in social entrepreneurship in African countries. Africa is not the only continent where civil society is a catalyst for social change.
This is something Africans are well aware of and have witnessed the demand for change in social entrepreneurs from Africa, with start-ups that range from clean energy to medical aid and many other things.
Although there are no exact numbers for the number of social entrepreneurs in Africa, the sector is growing thanks to the emergence of tech hubs.
Africa is embracing the growing movement of business for the good. Young people from Africa are coming up with innovative solutions to problems ranging from pollution to illiteracy.
Here are ten African social enterprises that had people talking in recent times.
Khalil Halilu is the first on our list, from selling ice blocks to neighbors to founding West Africa’s first eco-friendly Technology hub; Khalil Suleiman Halilu is a living testament that anything can be achieved if you give your mind to it. At the young age of only 23, Khalil already held several positions in various companies and established an outstanding reputation for himself in the business sector.
Today Khalil is linking his love for technology with his enthusiasm for finding viable solutions in his field of activity. His determination, dedication, and hard work have not simply added quality to humankind but also transformed the narrative of automation on the African continent.
Khalil is what one can call a “true born entrepreneur.” His entrepreneurial initiatives became apparent in the later stages of his life when he developed a passion for providing affordable yet sustainable technological solutions to businesses operating in the agricultural sector. His continuous efforts and willingness to help others have added value and positive impact to humanity positively changed the narrative of technological innovation in Africa and facilitated rural development.
Ellen Chilemba, at 22 years old, is the second on our list. She is already a force that must be reckoned with her entrepreneurial skills.
Ellen, aged 17, founded Tiwale in 2012, a social enterprise in Malawi. Tiwale’s mission is to help women escape poverty. They provide them with education and information and vocational skills training, social development, workshops, and interest-free loans in micro-finance to curb youth unemployment.
Tiwale has helped hundreds of African women start successful businesses in just a few short decades, which has improved their quality of life.
Forbes called Ellen a powerhouse and one of Africa’s most promising entrepreneurs under 30.
Hamzat Bala Lawal
Born in West Africa, Nigeria, Hamzat Bala Lawal is an anti-corruption activist. “Follow The Money” was founded by him. This initiative promotes social accountability and includes data analysts, journalists, activists, students, and activists.
Hamzat was devastated by his father’s death in the poisoning incident that occurred in Zamfara two years prior. He realized that no one talked about the disaster or the victims after killing more than 400 people. So he set out on a 14-hour journey to Bagega to find out more. He was inspired to become a community activist and to create a grass-roots movement called Follow the Money. This group uses data to hold governments accountable and demands action from them, which used to be a significant challenge. Hamzat Lawal is a finalist for the $120,000 Gothenburg Sustainable Award in March 2021.
Hamzat is also Chief Executive of Connected Development (CODE). This non-governmental organization empowers marginalized communities in Africa by providing information about how to engage their government to implement public services.
Chike Ukaegbu is our next African social entrepreneur.
He is Nigerian-born but lives in the U.S. and founded the Education and Entrepreneurship Leadership Fund of Nigeria in 2014. This fund has given academic scholarships and seed capital for youth entrepreneurs.
Chike founded the diversity-focused “Startup52” in 2015. Its goal is to improve capital access and other resources for entrepreneurs from non-usual communities. Chike is an expert in his field and is highly respected by others.
Jean Bosco Nzeyimana
Next up, Jean Bosco Nzeyimana from East Africa is Rwanda born.
At the age of 19, Jean was inspired to make waste products affordable and environmentally friendly in his community for rural women and girls.
His company Habona Ltd sorts and collects the trash to create bio-gas, organic fertilizers, and briquettes. The goal is to decrease the dependence on charcoal for energy.
Nzeyimana won numerous business awards, including Top Young Entrepreneur in Rwanda and the African Innovation Award.
Raquel Kasham Dan
Raquel Kasham Dan is sixth on our list. A teacher, social entrepreneur, and author of many books, including FLOW: A girl’s guide on menstruation. For her work with marginalized children, she has been awarded numerous awards in Nigeria. She is also a recipient of the African Luther King Heroes Awards. “Beyond the Classroom Foundation” was her response to the needs of underprivileged children. Nzuriaiki.com, an online platform connecting nonprofits to volunteers in Africa, was founded and maintained by her.
Joseph Chidiebere Osuigwe,
Born 26 June 1985, is an Igbo Nigerian anti-human trafficking advocate, Educator, and Social Entrepreneur. He is the Executive Director of Devatop center for African Development. This non-profit organization focuses on fighting human trafficking and gender-based violence, education support for vulnerable children, and women and youth empowerment—a list of some of his awards.
National Unity Merit Award
Hero of Humanity
Pollination Project Award
Humanitarian Award 2017.
Is a Nigerian social entrepreneur; she is an activist. After her daughter was born with no shinbone, she founded the Irede Foundation. Her foundation supplies recycled prosthetics for children aged 18 and younger. Crystal’s foundation has donated 120 prosthetic limbs to children under 18 years of age for 82 children in 17 states of Nigeria.
Crystal Chigbu received many awards for her work, including the Life Transformation Award by Wise Women Awards. Ebony Life Television sponsored the Sisterhood Award for Philanthropists of the Year (2014) and the Naija Diamonds Award (2014), sponsored by Diamond Bank.
Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Victor Ochen founded AYINET 2005 to bring peace and stability to war-ravaged Uganda.
Ochen was born in Northern Uganda. He is a product of war-ravaged communities and a victim of war. His interactions with others with similar experiences moved his heart.
These experiences influenced him and allowed him to make positive changes. The African Youth Initiative Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating justice and peace a reality for war victims and survivors.
This is a major initiative to provide victims with much-needed rehabilitative surgery and empower youth to lead and have a lasting impact.
Barclay Okari, 22. Okari got the idea to start his company after volunteering to teach at Western Kenya’s small girls’ high school.
Many of his students were missing classes because they couldn’t afford sanitary napkins. The sad reality of this realization and the desire to make things better led to AFRIpads, an inexpensive, reusable, washable, sanitary towel.
Okari’s company Impact Africa Industries has distributed more than one million Safi pads to low-income women in Uganda and Kenya. The young entrepreneur turned a $1500 loan from his parents into an impact product.
These inspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders are passionate about bringing change to Africa through education, healthcare, and training.
We invite you to join us in recognizing their efforts and those of others from our great continent.