Its been 3 months since She Leads Africa launched the 2019 Accelerator program in Nigeria and this year’s boot camp is about to come to a close.
The SLA Accelerator program is designed to identify, support and fund the next generation of Nigeria’s brightest female entrepreneurs.
This year, the program went digital and out of about 300 applications, 16 women with innovative businesses were chosen to be a part of this 3-month program.
The top 5 finalists will pitch their businesses on Demo Day (November 2 from 11 am – 1 pm) in front of Judges and a virtual audience all across the globe, where the winner will be selected.
The winner of the Accelerator program will receive a 2 million Naira funding grant from SLA.
Find out all you need to know about the participants and their businesses below.
Mariam is a writer and the founder of TheBookDealer.
Her prose has appeared in the Guardian Ng, Brittle Paper, Arts and Africa, ITCH Creative Journal and Litro Magazine UK.
She writes monthly articles for ArtxJuJu, a brand committed to challenging the demonization of African culture, which Mariam also co-founded
In 2016, Mariam had a major depressive episode that caused her to fold inward and spend a lot of time alone, and avoid people. Books were her only companion.
In each book, there was a new story with new characters whose lives were different from hers. She had the liberty to travel far and wide within a book. For Mariam, reading a book was a form of therapy.
In a bid to share that warmth with people, Mariam realized that the average Nigerian is faced with inaccessibility to books.
TheBookDealerNG is an online bookstore that provides access to African Literature. African literature because the only thing better than the warmth of a good book is a book that sees and validates your existence.
Dr. Rebecca Achokpe Andeshi
Business: Awe Farms and Consult
Dr. Andeshi is the founder of Awe Farms and Consult. A cloud-based digital platform that provides farmers in rural areas in Nigeria with instant financing solutions and veterinary services with the use of a drone for efficient disease diagnosis and delivery of veterinary supplies in remote livestock farming communities.
She was motivated to start her business because of the inability of smallholder farmers to afford high-quality input.
This has always been a pain point for her as a third-generation farmer. Thus discovering that farmers live on less than $1.25 a day was a rude awakening for her.
Dr. Rebecca now provides digital input financing to smallholder farmers in Nigeria from recycled agricultural waste increasing productivity by 33%.
Nafisah Oseni Wahab
Nafisah is the founder of Nufaesah – a fashion line that provides workwear for the urban Muslim woman.
Her products range between pants, dresses, skirts, jumpsuits, shirts/blouses, jackets/blazers, scarves, and turbans.
As a working woman, Nafisah has had two major negative experiences in her career.
A judge at the High Court of Lagos State once sent her out of court because of her headscarf.
Secondly, it was so difficult finding workwear that made her look the part for work, that was fashionable while keeping within the Islamic guidelines of dressing.
These episodes made her design her workwear for religious women – both Muslim and Christian.
Cynthia Omokhekpen Asije
Business: The Adirelounge.
Cynthia is a multi-award-winning textile designer passionate about eradicating extreme poverty using capacity development and entrepreneurship, by infusing old cultural practices and technology.
She learned the trade from her mother who used her Tie & Dye making skills to get her family through school.
Cynthia has been recognized as the top textile artist by World Bank & International Finance Corp as one of the Next African 100 startups for building a sustainable textile industry in Africa.
Cynthia’s desire to sustain and promote Nigeria’s cultural heritage and indigenous method of hand-dyed fabrics, uses this method to empower women and the empowerment is reflecting in these communities by creating a sustainable industry.
She wanted to help others like her mother get more out of life, curb unemployment and preserve the Nigeria cultural textile heritage.
Business: Street Waste Company
Omoh is the founder of the Street Waste Company – a social enterprise in the environmental and waste management sector.
Their core focus is on waste recycling collection and waste upcycling training.
The company’s business goal is to encourage people to embrace a culture of waste reduction, reuse and recycle to attain a sustainable environment.
Her company also gives advisory services to corporate clients, collect recyclable waste and partner with organizations through their corporate sustainability programs.
Omoh’s motivation for starting the Street Waste Company was borne out of a passion for making an impact and creating a solution to the endemic waste problem around us.
Having studied environmental management at the masters level, she realized the basic solution to this menace is attitudinal. So she Co-founded SWCL where they encourage people to imbibe the culture of waste recycling through our incentive-based scheme.
INTERG brings to children the Fun and Learn Tablet.
This tablet comprises smart games with several stages of learning and engagement, providing an exciting new way to change the learning content as children grow.
In 2018, Tola volunteered to teach with an NGO to give back to her community. She realized how difficult and boring learning can be for the average Nigerian Child.
She spent a lot of time trying to find teaching aids online and eventually decided to create an app for mathematics, which was well-received by all her students.
Even though she was unable to create an app for all subjects, she had found a solution that she was determined to monetize. In many ways, INTERG is simply building a product that speaks to a historical problem with learning.
Lilian Chinweotito Uka
EduPoint leverages on Artificial Intelligence.
It is an innovative online platform that connects students with verified local teachers who deliver one-on-one lessons in any subject, skill or exam, to help students or learners meet their learning expectations and also enable passionate tutors to earn extra income.
As a little girl in primary school, Lillian struggled with learning and understanding in a class of over 40 students. Her aunt decided to take her to a personalized class.
This involved a peer to peer learning and within the shortest period of time, she emerged the best in class and since then has been an advocate of peer to peer learning.
This overwhelming class population density coupled with differences in student’s learning pace has resulted in a significant decline in learning outcomes of students in Nigeria over the past 10 years, reducing exams success rates from 40% to less than 20% in major exams.
Globally, conventional methods of education are transitioning from centralized to distributed, and from standardized to personalized.
This is why she created EduPoint, which serves as a solution that bridges the gaps between helping learners meet their learning expectations while improving the livelihood by providing employment for these professionals.
So far, they have delivered over 30,000+ hours of learning to over 100 learners directly and over 1000+ learners indirectly in Nigeria which includes K-12 children, youths and adults and has generated over $30,000 in revenue.
Business: The Balance Bowl
Andrea is the founder of The Balance Bowl.
She was motivated to start after she realized there was a lack of convenient, healthy, and affordable food for the busy African.
Balance Bowl is a tech-enabled health and wellness company that offers busy Africans access to delivered meals, licensed dieticians, fitness coaching, as well as other healthy living content from the convenience of the mobile app.
isabiDeliver started due to the increase in consumer’s need for on-demand delivery.
Ifeoma discovered that there will be a need for a more affordable and available service that meets that need which is what isabiDeliver is doing.
In 2016, Ifeoma decided to turn her hobby (Food blogging) into a business venture called iSabiFood.
iSabiFood is an online food ordering and delivery application where she experienced some inherent limitations of dealing with restaurants as a single vertical.
In 2018, she took the same last-mile delivery principle and applied it to other verticals.
It matched the expectations consumers have of the on-demand economy and smoothed out all of those inefficiencies in the operating model and that’s how isabiDeliver started.
Nyemachi Alexis Wokekoro
Business: Welima Tea
Welima Tea is about transforming rich African medicinal recipes into teas that would combat different levels of pain ( menstrual cramps), promote well-being, and actualize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)Goal 3.
Nyemachi got the opportunity to do her pre-clinical rotations in The Gambia. 10-15 days every month, pains were the order of the day because of the menstrual cramps she suffered.
For a while, she thought something else was wrong because the pains were unresponsive to any medication prescribed.
This continued till her doctor suggested she research on alternative medicine and analyze it with her knowledge in medicine and that was how Welima Tea began.
Business: Simbi Interactives
Oyindamola is the founder of Simbi Interactives – an edTech startup that is solving the problem of poor education in Africa by using Simbibot.
Simbibot is an artificial intelligence-powered product- that can give every child access to quality education and equal learning opportunities.
Oyindamola Adesina’s childhood ambition was to study medicine, because as an individual living with sickle-cell, she felt she needed the medical knowledge to help herself and others living with the disease live better lives, and, if possible, eradicate it.
She ended up studying Water Resources, Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology in the university motivated Oyindamola to help every pupil get access to quality education and equal learning opportunities regardless of the conditions that might hinder them.
Oyindamola is using Simbibot to ensure that quality education available, accessible and affordable to all kids.
Omobolanle Esther Oladapo
Business: Farm Hire
Esther started Farm Hire to give farmers access to the latest farm equipment, input, and information around them towards fully mechanizing agriculture in Africa and boosting food production.
Esther started farming with her co-founder in 2018 following the clamoring for youth involvement in Agriculture.
She had several challenges which included; where to hire equipment, get modern inputs and hire workers for the farm.
She later observed that millions of local and intending farmers in Nigeria have similar problems, which is why Farm Hire came to life.
Safehaus-UKNigeria is a concierge service which provides working mums with young children thoroughly vetted staff to look after their home.
Cynthia was motivated to start Safehaus-UKNigeria as a result of the inability of her older siblings, their children, expatriates/investors to visit because of the insecurity in the country.
Safehaus-UKNigeria also helps expatriates and Africans living in Diaspora, with a trustworthy and security-conscious logistics service, so they can focus more on their business and less worry about their personal safety and security.
Business: Amaranthine Media
Amaranthine Media is an indigenous storytelling machine, a content development firm and a production company that produces indigenous live-action and animated content.
They particularly focus on easily-accessible, entertaining and educational content for children and teens.
Jennifer started Amaranthine Media because writing, storytelling and creating content is second nature to her and she had worked in this industry for over a decade.
In addition, as she grew her family, she realized that there is a dearth of indigenous content for children and teenagers.
Jennifer then decided to transmute her life-long passion into a medium that would serve the dual purpose of providing educational and entertaining made-in-Africa content for children and teenagers.
Oncopadi is Africa’s 1st digital clinic improving access to “medically verified” information and survivorship services via integrated social features.
Oncopadi is a health-centered initiative that leverages data, research, digital technology and impact of scale to reduce the cancer burden in Nigeria.
In Adaorah’s 4th year of medical school, she lost a friend to hepatocellular carcinoma, 6months following diagnosis.
She remembered feeling helpless, as she watched him become socially withdrawn and its effects on his family.
During her LUTH clinical rotation, even higher numbers of cancer mortality were recorded. It was in this pain Adaorah found the strength and purpose to pursue a career in Oncology.
As a grassroots cancer physician, she has learned that patients have sensitive topics surrounding their diagnosis & care which they preferred discussing with survivors, as many were misinformed and some just needed a less bureaucratic means to access their doctors.
Business: EduLead Concept
Ifeanyichukwu saw the need for children to learn more effectively and express their innate creativity and that is her driving force.
Her business is solving the problem of unavailability of animation training platforms, with which children could learn more effectively and creatively.
EduLead Concept is a company that provides Educational Technology Services to children in the nursery, primary and secondary schools.
Their core service is Animation Kids Club, an after-school training activity for primary school children where they are equipped with animation skills with which their creativity can find expression and also improve in learning.
Find out more about the SLA Accelerator Here.