WE4A: Meet Some Of The TEF Alumnae Who Will Receive 2nd Stage Funding of Up to €50,000
Angela Kimani of Ranks Leather
Angela Kimani is a 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation Alumni and Founder of Ranks Leather.
Ranks Leather is a leather goods manufacturing and social enterprise company, specialized in making leather footwear and accessories. It is popularly known as ‘The World of Leather’ in Kenya, where the business is located.
Angela is one of 100 women entrepreneurs who are beneficiaries of the Foundation’s partnership with the European Union (EU) and the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS). Through this partnership, these100 women entrepreneurs have received training, mentorship, local ecosystem integration and network connections, and funding of €10,000. The top 30 start-ups will receive up to an additional €50,000.
Owing to the benefits of this partnership, Ranks Leather successfully set up a pop-up shop in Nairobi. The pop-up ran for 5 weeks and aims to give better understanding of Kenya’s leather market and evaluate whether it’s a potential space for a permanent shop. Angela has also been able to set up a temporary shop to sell her leather goods.
Princess Adeyinka Tekenah of Happy Coffee
Happy Coffee is an indigenous Nigerian coffee brand and coffee solution company. Its vision is to become the number 1 purveyor of coffee centered solutions in Africa. It was founded by Princess Adeyinka Tekenah, 2015 Tony Elumelu Foundation Alumni.
For over 6 years, the Happy Coffee Brand has advanced in its mission of creating awareness about the Nigeria Coffee value chain, whilst creating solutions that are improving the production and consumption of locally sourced Nigerian coffee.
What started off as just an idea, has since grown to 10 coffee retail products and 3 coffee experience centers in Lagos, Nigeria, after undergoing the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme in 2015 and receiving the seed capital of $5,000. Happy Coffee also pioneered the 1st ever Lagos Coffee Festival in 2019.
Princess is also one of 100 women entrepreneurs who are beneficiaries of the Foundation’s partnership with the European Union (EU) and the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS). She has been trained, mentored, integrated into the local ecosystem and network connections, and will receive funding of €10,000.
Rita Idehai of the Ecobater Company
Rita Idehai, 2017 TEF Alumni is on a mission to build to phase out the “waste” idea, and create a zero-waste world, where at the initial end of life every material is 100% reintroduced into another production line or biodegrades. She is able to achieve this through her social enterprise known as Ecobarter.
Ecobarter operates integrated waste management schemes- a cost effective recycling collection system that places young people on the frontline to connect more communities to its recycling network via the Independent Recycling Hub and Affiliate Vendor Programs. Through her business, Rita is also empowering women and youths in local communities to start microbusinesses in waste management under the Waste to Resource Empowerment Program (WREP).
To further advance its mission to build a culture of responsible consumption and production across Africa, Ecobarter is installing a community recycling collection hub in one of Abuja’s biggest housing Estates- Sunnyvale Estate. This adds 1,500 households to its network with the potential to remove more than 9,000kg of household wastes from the environment.
Grace Bwogi of Bwogi Farms
In February, we were lucky enough to be featured by the BBC!! Additionally, once a year, we mobilize goat and sheep farmers all over East Africa to bring in the best breeds of Boer, savanna and karahari reds from South Africa. It’s a costly venture that the farmers themselves cannot embark on single handedly. We pool resources and Bwogi Farms spearheads the process of bringing in the animals. On 25th
January, we brought in 30 goats and sheep from South Africa to Uganda. Why these goats and sheep? These goats and sheep, once crossed with our local breeds, give us offspring that mature faster, add on meat fast and bring in big returns as compared to our local goats that take years to reach a market slaughter weight of 30kgs. We are counting on the government of Uganda to build a facility where all farmers can get semen straws and training at an affordable price.
Nkem Okocha of Mama Moni
Nkem Okocha, 2015 TEF Alumnae and Founder of Mama Moni, grew up with a widowed mother who had to raise four children singlehandedly, with no vocational skill or source of income. Living through a childhood where feeding and access to education were major challenges for her family, she was inspired to empower the poor women in her community and other communities she had visited.
In 2013, Nkem established Mama Moni, a Fintech Social Enterprise that is closing the credit gap for low-income female entrepreneurs in rural and urban slum communities in Nigeria through easy access to finance. Mamamoni’s web platform enables socially conscious individuals to invest in low-income women by lending to them to fund their businesses.
More recently in January 2022, MamaMoni has received international recognition for its impact with low-income women in Nigeria. Nkem has also been recognised internationally for her spirit of support and success in elevating women to be empowered.
Mama Moni is also one of 100 women owned businesses to benefit from the Foundation’s partnership with the European Union (EU) and the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS). She has been trained, mentored, integrated into the local ecosystem and network connections, and will receive funding of €10,000
Jacqueline Bakari of Jbbling Business Portfolio
Jacqueline Bakari, CEO Jbbling Business Portfolio, developed a comprehensive learning program for skills development for entrepreneurs in Cameroon and other neighbouring countries.
She has now been confirmed as a 2022 Tony Elumelu Foundation Mentor and invited to join the Global Tony Elumelu Mentorship Guild.
“I am humbled and ready to support the foundation in their mission to guide young Africans towards business success in a bid to facilitate the social and economic development of the continent. Being a mentor for TEF also aligns with our start up goals of unlocking the potential of African entrepreneurs through a comprehensive learning programme.” Jacqueline said.
Idayat Briggs of Ibeez Gems
Idayat Briggs created Ibeez Gems with a vision to create affordable furniture and home decor without sacrificing quality. The furniture company specializes in customized office and home furniture solutions. They also offer reupholstery services, furniture cleaning services and workspace redesign.
Speaking on the impact of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme on her entrepreneurial journey, Idayat said “…our business eventually took off after we won a $5,000 grant from the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Since then, we have grown. Now we don’t only make furniture, but we also refurbish to clients’ taste.”
Through the WE4A programme, Idayat has been able to define the value proposition and has identified Africans in Diaspora as a new customer segment for her company, Ibeez Gems.
“We just exported our first set of African Print Duvet Covers to Delaware, USA.” Idayat also added.
Onyinye Oguego of MyStash
Onyinye Oguego launched MyStash in August 2021, along with her co-founders. MyStash lets users choose a percentage of their spending or their earnings for saving.
When asked about her biggest takeaway from participating in the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme, Onyinye stated that it was certainly the network she built with fellow TEF Alumni. “There were entrepreneurs at different stages so there was experience to draw from. My biggest win from that experience is the people I met” she said.
MyStash is also one of the selected start-ups for the Women Entrepreneurship for Africa (WE4A) program, where they qualified for a grant of $10,000 and have undergone training, mentorship, local ecosystem integration and network connections.
Thanks to the grant received from this partnership, MyStash will be investing in its product and talent acquisition to enhance efficiency.
“We have over 5,000 users now. We know that people need, like and enjoy our products but we need to be able to create a seamless product. That’s the goal. We want to expand our engineering team and ensure that the product is top notch.” Onyinye added.