2022 is here. The new year presents its challenges, opportunities and possibilities in equal measures. Entrepreneurs from different backgrounds, race to bring their set of skills and knowledge aided by individual perspective and experience to the table while navigating their journey. The entrepreneurial terrain in Africa is unique in its way. Entrepreneurs in Africa face enormous challenges and as such, they should be seen as superheroes. Their stories vary in detail and are unique in their way. It is our wish that their stories will inspire you.
1. Sangu Delle
Sangu is the Chairman and CEO of Africa Health Holdings. A West African based innovative tech company focused on developing a sustainable blueprint for Africa’s healthcare future. Sangu is a graduate of African studies and Economics, a doctor of law and an M.B.A all acquired from Harvard College, law school and Business school respectively. Already, African health holding operates over 40 medical facilities, pharmacies and laboratories in three Africa countries. They serve over 200000 patients annually. They have a telemedicine mobile app MyCareMobile that provides patients with various healthcare services ranging from access to test results, medical consultations and 24-hour emergency response. In 2022, they will be looking to expand their frontiers in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya with an eye on reaching the rest of Africa. With the increasing rate of mobile penetration in Africa, this is achievable and with Sangu’s penchant for revolutionary innovations, this project is one to keep an eye
2. Jumoke Dada
Jumoke is the founder and CEO of Taeillo. Taeillo is a brand that produces furniture and makes sales through leveraging mixed reality. Jumoke obtained her first degree in Architecture, M.Sc. in Architecture, both from the University of Lagos. She made first class in her first degree. Jumoke focuses on making Afrocentric furniture to fulfil the needs of an existing market of urban dwellers in Africa. Jumoke is using AR/VR to revolutionize the experience of her potential customers. Taeillo’s website has an AR feature that allows visitors to see how the furniture looks and also fit into the space they have in mind. Taeillo has more than 50 employed workers excluding interns. Jumoke’s passion for brand furniture with an Afrocentric identity has made her unique among her competitors, the reason we look forward to seeing how her business evolves in 2022.
3. Favour Ori
Favour Ori is a techpreneur, software engineer and the founder of Payday. He is a graduate of Computer Science and Information from Southern Arkansas University. Payday was launched in July 2021 in Rwanda. Payday is a payment product created to solve cross border payment problems for Africans globally. It also functions as a multipurpose app that delivers payment of tuition, application fees and online shopping.
Payday has reached a series of milestones in less than 10 months of its existence.
In October 2021, PayDay secured over $2m from investors to solve cross border payments problems for Africa. The company recently reached over 17000 users, and it is expected that the growth will be exponential this year. Favour is building something phenomenon at Payday, and it will be interesting to see how the ‘PayPal of Africa’ unfurls in 2022
4. Ham Serunjogi
Ham Serunogi is the Co-founder of Chippercash. Ham is from Uganda. Chipper Cash is a financial service startup that facilitates free, instant cross border mobile money transfers across Africa and all over the world. Chipper cash was founded in 2018 and its progress has been rapid over the years. They are present in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenya.
In Nov 2021, they attained unicorn status. When quizzed about his plans for 2022 by Africa Business insider. He said
“2022 will be a year of continued expansion and growth in new and current markets. We’re are planning on opening more countries in Southern Africa and a few key central &West Africa countries. Our compliance and regulatory teams are working tirelessly to deepen partnerships with regulators and this will continue at a furious pace in 2022”
We can conclude from the above excerpts that the progress of Chipper cash is one we should look for in 2022.
5. Khadija Elbedweihy
Khadija is the founder of Praxilabs. In Nov 2021, she emerged as the winner of Africa’s Business Heroes 2021. Taking home the prize money of $300000 to further develop the company’s virtual 3D science lab platform. Praxilabs is dedicated to providing solutions to pressing issues in education and training. Praxilabs is an online platform that provides an interactive science lab for students and also enables scientific experiments not done in the laboratory. The Praxilab innovation is largely self-funded, but it is believed that with the injection of $300000 and the publicity that followed the Africa Business Heros award the startup will raise more funds and expand its reach beyond Egypt, the USA, Saudi Arabia, the UK, Peru, Singapore and Thailand.
6. Eric Mulli
Eric Mulli is a Kenyan born entrepreneur. He is a graduate of Babson College in Wellesley, United States. Mulli’s Journey as an entrepreneur started in school. He started a marketing company called Jossle in school. After school, he also founded Alpha force security limited, a company that provides security guards to offices and homes in Kenya. Mulli founded Lipa Later in 2018. Lipa Later is a pan-African Buy Now company that allows consumers to shop for items and pay over time. Lipa Later has grown into one of the leading buys now pay later platforms in East Africa. They started with putting hundreds of phones in the hands of their employees (At Alpha force Security limited) in Kenya and later external people. Today, they have more retail options like electronics, furniture, home appliances, e.t.c. Four weeks ago they raised $12million in pre-series A funding. A figure that takes the company’s funding to $16 million. Mulli believes the funds will help Lipa Later expand operations beyond Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda to the rest of Africa. Lipa Later has started 2022 on a good note, and it will be interesting to follow their progress as the years unfurls. Be on the lookout for them.
7. Honey Ogundeyi
Honey is a techpreneur and the former country director UK-Nigeria Tech Hub. She founded Edukoya in May 2022. Edukoya is an app that enables students to learn and increase their chances of passing school and entrance exams. Edukoya offers a free, supplementary learning platform, as well as subscription packages and exam preparation. They also expect to expand the online curriculum and infused helpful tutoring features into the app to improve user experience. A little less than a month and a half ago, Edukoya secured $3.5 million in pre-seed funding which it will use to transition from beta to live launch, build its team and customer base. It is expected that in 2022, everything will gradually fall in place for Edukoya to attain its vision to redefine learning for the new generation in Africa through high-quality education.
8. Ikenna Nzewi
Ikenna Nzewi is the founder of Releaf. He is a graduate of Computer Science at Yale University. Releaf is an agri-tech startup industrially food processing in Nigeria. They use technology to produce crude vegetable oil in Nigeria. The industrialization of the oil palm has led to the introduction of de-shelling technology that will make high-quality raw materials available to local factories. Palm oil and palm kernel oil is adjudged to be the fastest-growing oil in the edible oil category and Relief through their innovation has aligned itself to the future. Releaf is backed by Y Combinator, Breakthrough Energy, Samurai Incubate Africa, Future Africa. In September 2021, Releaf secured $4.2 million in a mix of investments from Samurai Incubate Africa, Future Africa, Consonance investment Mangers, the challenge fund for Youth Employment USAID. Releaf has a bright future ahead of them and in an industry that has less competition, you could almost be forgiven if you think, that it will be easy for them to thrive. It is not that easy, that is why we have to be on the look for Releaf
9. Emeka Ajene
Emeka Ajene is the co-founder of Gozem. Gozem is Africa’s Super App operational across Francophone and Central Africa. Gozem provides diverse ride-hailing services as well as grocery delivery and other related offers. Emeka was born in Lagos. He moved to the US at a very young age. He got his degree in Mathematics and Quantitative Economics from Morehouse College, Atlanta. Emeka also pursued his MBA in Entrepreneurial Growth Strategy and Finance.
Emeka had stints at various e-commerce platforms in Africa before he launched Gozem in 2018 intending to reduce inefficiencies in personal transportation in West and Central Africa. Gozem is operational in Togo, Benin Republic and Gabon. Gozem recently raised $5 million in series A financing, the fund will be used to expand their operations across Africa and also exploit the emerging markets. They hope to launch in Cameroon, Mali, Senegal and Ivory Coast by the end of 2022. The app has been downloaded more than a million times on the google play store, and they have also completed more than 4 million rides to date. Gozem, a super app that provides a host of services — including transport, e-commerce and financial services in Francophone Africa — has raised $5 million in Series A financing, the company confirmed to TechCrunch.
10. Nghombombong Epaphrate Minuifuong
Nghombombong is a results-driven entrepreneur. He is the founder of Bongalo. Bongalo is a booking platform that allows users to book accommodation online and pay with either mobile money wallets/or credit cards or book through agents and pay with money wallets or cash. It equally allows hosts to list empty furnished rooms and apartments and get bookings from guests (travellers). Bongalo is currently present in Cameroon and Rwanda Founded in 2019, the startup has grown albeit minimally, but it is expected that with the increase in technology adoption in Africa, Bonogalo can truly live up to Nghombombong vision.
The business world is forever changing and now more accessible to pretty much everyone with a smartphone, these entrepreneurs have changed their way of thinking and have chosen to make lemonade out of lemons, persevering through these unprecedented times.