Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs (Business Leaders) in Africa

Africa is home to a remarkable group of top female business leaders making significant contributions and breaking barriers in various industries. These women are reshaping the continent’s economic landscape and inspiring countless others to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. From Kenya’s Njeri Rionge, a pioneer in the IT sector, to Angola’s Isabel do Santos, the wealthiest woman in Africa, and Nigeria’s Folorunsho Alakija, a successful businesswoman in the oil and fashion industries, and Ethiopia’s Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, a prominent entrepreneur, has emerged as one of the top female business leaders in Africa.

Growing up in a humble neighbourhood in Addis Ababa, Bethlehem witnessed the prevalence of poverty alongside the presence of remarkable artisan skills within her community. Motivated by this realization, she embarked on a mission to transform these skills into a thriving business, giving birth to SoleRebels in 2004. As an eco-friendly footwear manufacturer, SoleRebels has achieved remarkable growth, become one of the largest footwear companies in Africa, and expanded its reach globally. With flagship stores in numerous countries, including Taiwan, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, the United States, Singapore, and Japan, Bethlehem’s venture has garnered international acclaim. In recognition of her efforts to empower Ethiopian youth and foster opportunities, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu has received numerous accolades. In 2011, she earned a coveted spot on the World Economic Forum’s list of Young Global Leaders, a testament to her exceptional leadership and impact.

Additionally, Forbes recognized her as one of the 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa, acknowledging her influential role in shaping the continent’s business landscape. Furthermore, Bethlehem’s accomplishments have positioned her among the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, solidifying her reputation as a trailblazer and inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs in Ethiopia and globally. With their boldness, ambition, and unwavering determination, these women are transforming their own enterprises and serving as role models for the next generation of African entrepreneurs. EBR

12th Year • March 2024 • No. 127

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