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5 young female entrepreneurs to inspire you this Youth Day

Image: @shelleymokoena/Instagram
Image: @shelleymokoena/Instagram

On Youth Day 2022, we pay homage to the generation of young people who came before us who fought for our right to a free and equal education for all.

Nearly 50 years on and young people in South Africa (and the rest of the continent) are thriving in different industries. While some have take the professional route, and secured the degree of their dreams, others have used their creativity and natural talents to make a name for themselves, and are enjoying success on their own terms.

One thing we know for sure is that there is no shortage of entrepreneurial spirit amongst our youth - and we are particularly proud of the phenomenal ladies who are doing it for themselves.

From fashion designers and social media sensations to lawyers and women in STEM, here are 5 young female entrepreneurs to celebrate this Youth Day

Charlette N’Guessan

28-year-old Charlette N-Guessan is a Johanessburg-based software designer and founder of BACE Group. Through observations in the industry, she noticed that Africans across the continent are sceptical and untrusting of the growing innovation of facial recognition technology. She saw a gap in the market for a similar technology designed by someone locally and set out to create an African-specific facial recognition software. In 2020, she won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa prize for innovation - the first women to ever win the award. Her motto, “By Africans, For Africans” underpins her innovations. We love a forward-thinking queen.

Image: James Oatway/Facebook

Shelley Mokoena

Shelley Mokoena is the designer behind South African fashion brand Connade. Her contemporary, minimalistic and architectural pieces are inspired by her heritage, everyday experiences and personal connections. As a creative, she also draws inspiration from “the women who have come before us and who have cultivated us to be the women we are today.”

Last year, she showcased at the SAFW trade show for the first time - and she’s been on the rise ever since.

Rabia Ghoor

How could we have a young entrepreneurial list without the OG? 7 years ago, at 14 years old, the Pretoria-born entrepreneur founded Swiitch Beauty in her bedroom. With just two products and Instagram page, the now digitally-savvy makeup brand has harnessed over 100 thousand followers, relies on user feedback to inform their product innovations, and has grown into one of the most-loved South African makeup and skincare brands - and it contiues to adapt and keep up with the times.

Elsa Majimbo

We love us some Elsa. The Kenyan-born comedian rose to prominence in the heart of the pandemic, filming humorous, satirical videos in her bedroom. Her tongue-in-cheek content and relatable authenticity gained her a global audience and she was soon appearing on magazine covers, designer campaigns, and hanging out with celeb A-listers. She’s selling herself and we should take entrepreneurial tips.

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