top of page

Meet some of Africa's finest businesswomen

African excellence is not only to be celebrated, it also ought to be unearthed and highlighted. Women across the continent are starting businesses that thrive and go on to give scores of people livelihoods. In this article we take a look at ten of Africa’s biggest names in business.


Founder: Bridgette Radebe

Company: Mmakau (Plantinum, Coal, Chrome, Gold)

Industry: Mining

Country: South Africa

Ignited Woman Top 10 list

About: Mmakau Mining is a leading African mining company with a “mining with a conscience” approach, promoting sustainable practices and involving local communities through procurement, management partnering, and entrepreneur development. With over 170 years of expertise, the company has grown from contract miner to ownership and development of its own mines. Mmakau Mining acquired a 36% shareholding in Shaft Sinkers (Pty) Ltd, a world leader in shaft-sinking and underground construction, leaving a lasting legacy of valuable skills and experience.

Founder: Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu

Company: Solerebels

Industry: Footwear

Country: Ethopia

Ignited Woman Top 10

About: Bethlehem brought the soleRebels brand to life in 2004 in an attempt to create jobs in her community in Ethiopia. By innovatively fusing artisan skills and entrepreneurial wisdom, she has created a globally recognizable brand that produces excellent fair trade shoes sold and distributed in more than 30 countries around the world. Every pair of footwear we produce is hand-crafted in our workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and we ship to every country in the world.

Founder: Saran Kara Jones

Company: Face Africa

Industry: Health and business leadership

Country: Liberia

Ignited Woman magazine Top 10 African women

About: Face Africa is a community development organization focusing on improving water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure in rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Their interventions have impacted over half a million lives through community-based WASH programs, focusing on local solutions and training residents in health, hygiene, financial management, and maintenance. They also aim to reduce gender inequality by ensuring at least half of their WASH committees and staff are women.

Founder: Mogau Seshoene

Company: The Lazy Makoti

Industry: Food

Country: South Africa

Ignited Woman magazine Top 10 African women

About: As the world increasingly becomes modernised, people tend to lose some aspects of their culture and traditions, including making those traditional dishes that define them. Mogau Seshoene, 34, realised that while most people she met knew how to whip up some Western cuisine, many didn’t know how to make South African dishes, So she started The Lazy Makoti, a cooking startup that teaches its clients how to make local meals, The Lazy Makoti is not only about teaching people how to cook but its also a platform that celebrates South African food and it’s ability to bring people together and create memorable experiences

Founder: Olatorera Oniru

Industry: Clothing

Country: Nigeria

Ignited Woman magazine Top 10 African womenIgnited Woman magazine Top 10 African women

About: is a fashion-focused, online retailer of fashion, beauty, and health products. The company retails various sophisticated styles from premium designers globally, with products that are sourced locally and globally as Africa’s Most Fashionable Online Retailer. Its founder, 29 year-old Olatorera Onirus is becoming one of the prominent names in Nigeria’s booming e-commerce sector because of her brand.

Founder: Anna Phosa

Company: Dreamland Piggery

Industry: Farming

Country: South African

Ignited Woman magazine Top 10 African women

About: Anna Phosa is one of the few successful black female commercial pig farmers in the country. She started Dreamland Piggery & Abbatoir even though pig farming wasn’t something she was familiar with. The Vanderbijlpark based farmer bought four pigs in 2004, believing in the possibility of successful commercial pig farming. Although she began with four small pigs, her company has scaled to numerous countries across the African continent, making her one of the top entrepreneurs in the continent. She signed a multi-million rand deal with Pick n Pay, to supply them with 300-350 pigs a week, from her own farm and from other local farmers.

Founder: Celeste Margo Le Roux

Company: React24 and React Training College

Industry: Construction

Country: South Africa

Ignited Woman magazine Top 10 African women

About: Le Roux is a South African female entrepreneur who destroyed stereotypes in the South African construction industry. She is a co-founder and chief executive officer of React24 and a co-founder of React Training College. She also contributed to meaningful change in gender empowerment in the country. This role earned her the 2020 Woman Mentor of the Year, which was bestowed to her during the first Empowerment and Recognition of Women in Construction Awards.

Founder: Iman Abdulmajid

Cuompany: Iman Cosmetics

Industry: Beauty

Country: Somalia

Ignited Woman magazine Top 10 African women

About: The IMAN brand philosophy holds that women with skin of color represent many races, cultures and ethnicities. IMAN Cosmetics are designed for African American, Asian, Latina and multi-cultural women with skin tones in a myriad of shades. The brand offers skincare and cosmetics, including 16 foundation shades. IMAN Cosmetics are sold throughout the world including the United States, Canada, UK, France, Africa, and the Caribbean.

Founder: Dina Dash

Company: Dash Management

Industry: Marketing

Country: Egypt

Ignited Woman magazine Top 10 African women

About: DASH Management is a digital marketing company that does everything from campaigns to product and store launches, to photo shoots and social media management. Through her company, Dina organised Egypt’s first beauty conference in 2015, Dash Beauty Con, bringing together models, online influencers, celebrities, and fashion lovers in one place. She was only 21 when she ventured into business, and now Dina Dash, 22, is already shaking up Cairo’s PR and marketing scene.

Founder: Sibongile Sambo

Company: SRS Aviation

Industry: Aviation

Country: South Africa

Ignited Woman magazine Top 10 African women

About: Sibongile Sambo is a successful entrepreneur in the Aviation industry. She wanted to start a career as a flight attendant. However, South African Airways rejected her application due to height requirements. The best thing is that Sambo did not give up and founded the first black female-owned company, SRS Aviation. The company is the African distributor of new and overhauled aircraft spare parts for the commercial, commuter, corporate, Military and Cargo aerospace Industries. Today, it is one of the successful companies in the aviation industry.



Top Stories

WhatsApp Image 2023-01-18 at 05.24.49 (2).jpeg

Editor's note

American novelist Louisa May Alcott said it best when she said “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

Ignited woman poster.png
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
bottom of page