Happy International women's Day to all the fabulous women across the world. Today's is the day globally we get the opportunity to celebrate how amazing we are and other women around us that have become a source of inspiration, motivation and encouragement. We encourage you all to take time to recognise your own efforts and the positive contribution you make to those around you from your family and friends to your extended community and/or place of work.
Today we are spotlighting these eight magnificent women whom we have admired as they remind us that passion, consistency and the need to excel can get you to greater heights and lead you to achieve dreams and goals even beyond one's imagination. May you be inspired by their achievements and their story of success be the motivation you need to actualise your vision:
Margaret Nyamumbo, Coffee Roaster and Founder of Kahawa 1893, Kenya
Margaret Nyamumbo is a coffee roaster and Founder of Kahawa 1893, which is a coffee roasting and retailing company that imports coffee beans from the Gusii highlands of Kenya where it is farmed by women farmers. She is an inspiring Coffeeprenuer who’s on a mission to challenge the world to include African women as part of coffee's history because they too farm the coffee plant.
Margaret’s story began when her grandfather was a driver for the colonial government and managed to get his hands on some seedlings to start his own coffee farm. As a result of growing up in a community of coffee farmers, Margaret witnessed the inequalities within the coffee industry despite the women notably providing 90% of the labour without owning the land.
After studying abroad in the USA, Margaret returned back to Kenya with ideas on how to bring Kenyan coffee to the world in a way that benefits women farmers the most. As it currently stands Kahawa 1893 sources its coffee directly from female farmers in Kenya and Rwanda and the organisation works to empower the women farmers and are committed to transparency.
Shomy Hasan Chowdhury, Co-Founder of Awareness 360, Bangladesh
Shomy Hasan Chowdhury is a multi-award winning Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activist from Bangladesh. Shomy is the Co-Founder of global youth-led org Awareness 360, an award-winning, global, youth-led non-profit, headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that empowers young people in 25+ countries to do community service projects in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Pre-pandemic, over 150,000 people benefited through their projects.
Shomy is a Schwarzman Scholar '21-'22 and is also a fellow for several reputable organisations such as Global Citizen Youth Advocate, a Global Changemakers Fellow, a Royal Commonwealth Society Fellow. She is also a TEDx Speaker, and she also spoke at the Global Citizen Festival 2017 in Central Park, New York, addressing a crowd of over 60,000 people. Shomy has received many recognitions for her social work of over a decade, notably the President’s Volunteer Service Award (Gold) in 2012 from President Barack Obama for her outstanding contribution to community service. In 2020, she became Asia Pacific's first Samsung Global-UNDP Generation17 Young Leader, being 1 of 4 leaders chosen from the world. In 2021, she was named Forbes 30 Under 30 and the Featured Honoree for Social Impact.
3.Betelhem Dessie, Founder & CEO of iCOG ACC (Anyone Can Code), Ethiopia
Betelhem Dessie is a 22-year-old Ethiopia’s leading youth technology education entrepreneur. She is named the young pioneer in the Ethiopian emerging tech scene by CNN and BBC. She was also included in the list for African innovators to watch for in 2019 by Quartz.
Betelhem was born and raised in Harar, Ethiopia, and since an early age of seven she had an interest in computers. She started coding at the age of 10, and since then has continued to learn more, mastering the key aspects of computer science and robotics by her mid-teens.
Her organisation iCOG ACC (Anyone Can Code) is a subsidiary of iCog Labs and is Ethiopia’s first Artificial Intelligence and robotics lab. The organisation works on community outreach and research with a focus on tech education and entrepreneurship. The projects at iCog ACC are aimed at decentralizing, democratizing and equipping children and youth with the necessary skills to innovate and create utilizing emerging technologies.
Navalayo Osembo, Co-Founder & CEO of Enda Athletic, Kenya
Enda Sportswear produces the first made-in-Kenya performance running shoes. Business Insider identified Navalayo as one of the 28 outstanding people of colour transforming the sneaker industry today and in 2019 she was listed under Business Daily top women under 40 list.
In November 2020 a group of runners challenged a record that had been unbroken for 25 years, running up and down Mount Kenya in the fastest time ever. They successful broke the record for both man and woman and set a new record on the challenging 48.5 KM climb and they did it while running with the Enda running sneakers.
The Enda team benefit majority of Kenyans where they currently employ 40 Kenyans who assemble the shoe at a factory in Mombasa. The brand continues to make a name for itself and in 2020 it sold 10 times more than it did before.
2% of its revenue goes to support community projects.
Athletes in Kenya are known to use the trainers as part of their training tool as they train for their races.
Brittany Pierre, Photographer and filmmaker, USA
In 2021, Brittany Pierre a black female photographer and filmmaker is shaping the creative space in the NFT sector and in a year she has made over $109,000 selling nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, of her photography and flipping other NFTs she bought for a profit.
But before that, Pierre was living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to pay rent on her Chicago apartment or afford groceries and bus fare, she told CNBC Make It.
Inn March 2021, Pierre learned about nonfungible tokens (NFTs) from her friend and fellow artist Elise Swopes had just sold an NFT of her work for over $17,600, inspiring Pierre to try and do the same. After continuing with research via YouTube and doing a Google deep dive, a month later, Pierre started to sell her first NFTs and was soon selling pieces for a few hundred dollars each, more than her physical art earned her. She now lives comfortable from selling her visuals through her open sea account and as a result of her success Pierre also prioritizes giving back to the NFT community by onboarding other women, inviting them to Foundation and paying their gas fees, she says.
Tessa Clarke & Saasha Celestial-One, Co-Founders of OLIO, UK
Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One are the CEO co-founders of OLIO, which is a global sharing movement app. The app connects neighbours with each other and Food Waste Hero volunteers with local businesses, to share food (and other things) rather than throw them away. OLIO's mission is to unlock the value of food that is wasted in the home and local community, transforming a ‘throw-away society’ into a ‘give away society’ by sharing more and wasting less. The organisation as a result also helps build communities by bringing neighbours together and driving employee engagement. OLIO now has 5+ million users all over the world sharing over 3.4 million portions of food. That’s the equivalent of preventing 2,898 CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere and eliminating 9,852,126 car miles from the road. OLIO also helps hundreds of businesses accomplish their zero food waste goals via their Food Waste Heroes programme.
Ada Nduka Oyom is the Founder of She Code Africa (SCA), Nigeria
Ada Nduka Oyom is the Founder of She Code Africa (SCA), a non-profit organisation focused on empowering young girls and women in Africa through technical skills, She founded SCA in 2016 and has since impacted over 10,000 women members across 15 African countries with her team, while championing gender diversity in tech through it.
She started out as a self taught Software developer in the university and has since become involved in several other organisations within Africa’s technology sphere. Her expertise in Developer relations and staunch advocacy for developers within Africa has earned her roles in several top organisations globally including her current engagement as the Ecosystem community manager for Sub-saharan Africa at Google, Ada is also actively involved in advocating for open source in Africa, hence co-founded ‘Open Source Community Africa’, one of the largest communities for open-source enthusiasts, advocates and experts across Africa. She has also been awarded as one of Ytech 100 honourees by the Future awards Africa 2019, Top 50 TechWomen of Lagos by TechCabal, role model award winner in the Booking.com Tech Playmaker awards 2020 and one of the Top 10 global women change-makers, Education category via the Women of the World(WOW) exhibition, (2021)
Wilglory Tanjong, Founder of Anima Iris, Cameroon & USA
Wilglory Tanjong was born in Cameroon but her parents moved to USA when she was two. Over the years her family was faced with hardship from her mother being diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 8, and at 14, her parents divorced, which led to her family experiencing extreme financial woes as a result. Fast forward to Wilgory’s life currently, at 26 she is a fully fledged successful entrepreneur. Starting out her business venture with a personal investment of $5K, Wilglory built Anima Iris, a technology driven luxury brand that is industrializing Africa through retail. Anima Iris soft launched in November 2019 and launched officially in February 2020 with Wilglory's unique and original handbag designs.
Her business continues to successfully grow despite the global pandemic and Anima Iris has garnered over half of $1M in revenue for the year 2021. The brand has grown rapidly, it has been worn and highlighted by Beyoncé and featured in Essence, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, InStyle, Elle. Anima Iris was also on Season 5 of HBO’s hit series: “Insecure,” featuring Issa Rae.
Anima Iris has extended beyond ecommerce and will be in Nordstrom’s flagship stores (LA, NYC, Houston, Miami) across America and Nordstrom.com. In addition, the brand will be available at Saks Fifth Avenue and is currently available at Revolve.com and TheFolklore.com. Anima Iris is well positioned to become a $1B company that completely reshapes the global luxury retail landscape, and for the first time includes Africa, her culture, and her people in its narrative.
This whole month we will continue highlighting more women through our Instagram platform so follow us and learn more about the magnificent things women are doing across the world. Please also do share in the comments below the women you admire and celebrate.
Once again we wish you all as our fellow sisters Happy International Women's Day!