SME100 Women 25 under 25 initiative is one that seeks to recognize the accomplishments of young enterprising females under the age of 25. The women on the list this year have made notable impact in the music, fashion, education and technology and creative industries.
Below is their profiles as seen on YNAIJA
Eseoghene Odiete, 25, named by YNaija as one of Africa’s 25 best entrepreneurs under 25 in 2015 and 40 under 40 Nigerian Entrepreneurs by Biz Watching. Ese is the founder and creative director of Hesey Designs, a fashion accessory outfit that produces one of the finest handcrafted Afrocentric fashion accessories. Right after graduating from Covenant University in 2013, she started her business with a $60 savings and little experience. Today, the millennial has been able to raise $60,000 (60,000) dollars equity free funds to further grow her business.
Yasmin Bello Osagie
As a big believer in female entrepreneurship and empowerment on the African continent, Yasmin Belo-Osagie (26) saw a gap to create a space for young women to become movers and shakers on the continent. In 2014, on her return to Nigeria after completing her studies in the US, Belo-Osagie seized the opportunity to form her own start-up, together with Afua Osei. They called it She Leads Africa. The business serves as a platform on which young women across Africa can create and share entrepreneurial ideas. It provides support for their ideas and access to professionals who can assist with advice and funding to turn start-ups into major business enterprises
Omonike Fowowe is easily one of the best symbols of relentless optimism you would find; this 25 year old entrepreneur has built a plethora of marketing communications and humanitarian brands under the holding company; Express MultiConcept Resources (EMR) Group Ltd; which she founded in 2011; fully focused helping organizations to be more visible and accessible to their customers; using the internet and several other veritable channels.
A mass communications graduate of babcock University. Theodora Mogo describes herself as a make up addict. She owns one of the biggest beauty oufits in the business hub of Ikeja, Lagos. Doranne Beauty’ is a make-up and skin care company that offers make-up services for all events and hair styling too.
Linda Iheme is an Award Winning Scholar who holds the record of the highest number of distinctions (6 distinctions) from the School of Dentistry, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin. She is also a passionate African Youth Activist, Public Speaker, a University of Connecticut trained Social Entrepreneur, an American Union of Neuro-Linguistic Programming Certified Business Success Coach, YouWIN! Mentor and selfless Volunteer for many National and International Health Care Outreaches, to mention a few. Linda Iheme is the Founder and CEO of the International Initiative for Youths Inspiration, Growth & Development, a Social Enterprise dedicated to helping youths get international experience and Public Speaking skills while counselling and mentoring them on social entrepreneurship. She is the Founder of Catalyst Academy Nigeria, where extreme academic success is promoted through a one-on-one mentorship method. Linda Iheme also hosts the Lunch with Linda Iheme show which was inspired by her passion to inspire and motivate young people to pursue their dreams passionately. Through the show, she promotes the African Cultural Heritage, Moral Values among fellow youths, Entrepreneurship and Oral Hygiene.
Tobore Oro Edema
In 2013, Tobore emerged as a finalist in the Future Awards Africa under the category of Advocacy and Activism. She was nominated for her advocacy for young women, and the significant impact reached through the maiden edition of her talk show – The BMW Series, where she hosted her pioneer guest on an interactive episode live on twitter, Tera Carissa Hodges, the founder of Life Now Ministries and Life Now Marketing, both based in Atlanta, U.S. The interview was later posted online and it had over 500 views from 19 countries across different continents, in less than a week. Recently, she was honoured as a Highly Commended Runner-Up under the 2015 Queen’s Young Leader Awards (QYL), an initiative of Her Majesty the Queen of England. The QYL in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, was created to recognize young exceptional people across the commonwealth, who are taking the lead in their communities, and using their skills to transform lives. As a runner-up, Tobore is currently receiving leadership training courses from the University of Cambridge, and will receive a 1-year mentoring for her work.
Most kids want to go out and play when they finish their homework early. But Zuriel Oduwole isn’t “most kids.” When she gets ahead of her work, she packs her camera and microphones, jumps on a plane and interviews presidents instead. Born in California to a Nigerian father and a Mauritian mother, Oduwole is often described as “the world’s youngest filmmaker.” Aged 12, she already has four documentaries under her belt — all of which focus on African issues.
Courtney Ozioma Dike is a Nigerian female footballer who plays as a forward. Courtney was eligible to play for Nigeria internationally through her parents who are natives of Nigeria. In 2014, Courtney received a call up to represent the Nigerian U-20 national team for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada where she scored the fastest goal in the history of the competition after just 13 seconds in a match against North Korea.Her performance in the tournament earned her three nominations at the 2014 Nigeria Sports Award. Courtney went on to represent Nigeria at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.On 12 June 2015, she made history by becoming the first native Oklahoman to ever play in the World Cup after coming on for Asisat Oshoala in a match against Australia.
Mariam is a young lawyer and Fashion entrepreneur. She is the brain behind Madmosielle Aglaia, an upscale fashion label. Earlier this year, she opened The Style Loft; a one stop center for everything fashion which she says has an input of each of her family members.
Miss Afolabi says even though she loves fashion and everything about it, she still considers Law as her main thing and is currently studying at the Nigerian Law School.
Kehinde Smith, born in Chicago, IL, took the popular term self-made to another level. After graduating with a degree in international business, Kehinde was unemployed for over a year and struggling to make ends meet. Although Kehinde was struggling financially, just like many other women who take pride in their appearance, she still managed to routinely purchase high end hair extensions. Kehinde knew she was not alone and that there had to be a way to get high quality extensions at an affordable rate. The journey was intimidating and the process laborious; however, with dedication, long hours and a team that shared her same vision, My Extensionz found success. In just over a year, My Extensionz evolved into a successful business with a thriving e-commerce site and two retail locations in Chicago. Kehinde’s goal is to expand the My Extensionz brand to all major US cities
Asisat Lamina Oshoala is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays for Liverpool Ladies. She was named best player and was the highest goal scorer at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. She was also named best player and second top goal scorer with the Super Falcons team who won the 2014 African Women’s Championship.
Vera Akporeha is a Creative Director and CEO of VeraNora Couture (VNC), an Urban African Fashion Label based in Warri, Delta State. She started VeraNora in 2009, inspired by her mother, Nora, who is a retiree, at the age of 18 while still in the University of Port Harcourt majoring in Biochemistry. VeraNora started out as a hobby with just one tailor in her employment and two dresses a week, four years later, it is now a Full Fashion house with specialty in Both Women’s and Men’s Fashion with more than 12 staff and interns in the training division and a factory that produces over 500 dresses a month supplied to a nationwide market.
In 2010, Chibundu Onuzo, a 19-year-old Nigerian undergraduate at the King’s College London made the headlines, from BBC to CNN, after signing a two-novel deal with revered British publisher of literary fiction, Faber & Faber, making her its youngest ever female author. She started writing The Spider King’s Daughter when she was 17, got an agent at 18, signed with Faber at 19, finished editing while 20 and got published at 21.
Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola
DJ Cuppy began her career as a DJ at 16 in London, buying second-hand equipment and playing in clubs. In 2014, she was the resident DJ at the MTV Africa Music Awards in Durban. She then played at the Tatler and Christie’s Art Ball in London and the Financial Times Luxury Summit in Mexico City. In July 2014, she released House of Cuppy, her first compilation mix in both London and Lagos. She then had a launch for House of Cuppy in New York City on September 2, 2014 where she recently moved. Also in 2014 she launched Red Velvet Music Group, a music management and content production business. In January 2015, she was featured on the cover of the Guardian Life as a new generation African woman. In March 2015, she was the official DJ for the 2015 Oil Barons Charity in Dubai, and the first African act to have ever performed at the event. She was featured in the 2015 April/May issue of Forbes Woman Africa. She is currently an intern at Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.As a producer, DJ Cuppy describes her sound as “Neo-Afrobeats” which is a fusion of Electro house and Afrobeats.
Known by her stage name Mo’Cheddah (sometimes stylized as Mocheeda or Mocheddah), is a Nigerian rapper and singer. She released her debut studio album, Franchise Celebrity (2010), while signed to Knighthouse Entertainment. The album was preceded by the 2009 promotional single “If You Want Me”. She parted ways with Knighthouse in February 2012 and established her own label, Cheddah Music.
Nkechi is the Open Data Manager of the Edo State Government Open Data portal in Nigeria, the first sub-national Open Data portal in Africa. She is an alumnus of Federal Government Girls College, Ibusa and the University of Port Harcourt, where she received her B. Eng in Electrical Electronics Engineering. She leads a team of professionals within the information Communication Technology Agency, Edo State Government who implement, promote the Governments agenda of transparency, collaborative and participatory governance. she has worked on various data driven projects for the past 3 years ranging from building applications/visualization with data, training/seminars on data to organizing/participating in data driven hackathons. Nkechi is the co-ordinator of SabiHub, a non-profit organization with a vision to solve social problems using technology where she manages a vibrant open data community and mentors entrepreneurs.
Ola Ojewumi is an activist, journalist, and a community organizer based in Washington, DC. She founded two nonprofits, Sacred Hearts Children’s Transplant Foundation and Project ASCEND. Intel, Clinton Global Initiative, Essence magazine, MTV, Glamour magazine, and the Huffington Post have praised her initiatives. Ola holds a strong passion for writing and speaking. The White House, CNN, Huffington Post, Marie Claire Magazine’s online publication, and the American Association of University Women have published her writings.
Miss Fab (as her friends call her), is a 20 year old graduate of management, who started Fablane by Derin in the Spring of 2009. Derin Fabikun has always been passionate about personal style, and she started out by making Kaftans, which became a complete hit within her network of friends. Before long orders started pouring in. Derin is known for playing with colours in her designs and for making sure her client’s needs are ‘fabulously met’.
Orode Ryan-Okpu is the personification of strength, courage and compassion. As a teenager, the tragic loss of her aunt to Breast Cancer pushed her to find ways to help other women battling with the disease. Despite getting limited support and even discouragements, she forged ahead and today is the brain behind one of Nigeria’s most relevant cancer organisations – the Pink Pearl Foundation (PPF). The foundation has successfully helped treat hundreds of women diagnosed with cancer and provides awareness and various forms of support to women living with cancer. It has also recorded several achievements including the production of a Breast Cancer awareness movie titled “Living Funeral“.
Ozinna is the Brand & Communications Director, StyleVitae.com; Stylevitae is an online fashion and style portal. Before cofounding style vitae she has created and developed personalized content to gain product and brand exposure for international brands in the Nigerian Market such as Guerlain & Grey Goose. As a PR professional has managed like MTN business, FCMB, Wrigleys, Mansard Insurance & SuNMaP
the Publicist for one of Nigeria’s top retail fashion store- Grey Velvet that has over 25 designers such as Tiffany Amber, Eki Orleans, Nichole By Haguanna, Toju Foyeh, DIDI, Tzar, Republic of Foreigner, DOT, Ejiro Amos Tafiri, Raly’s Rubys and many others partnering with them.
Omorodion is the CEO of Platinum Studios (formed in 2013), a company that produced First Court, which focused on the societal stigma attached to and consequent psychological burden that cloaks victims of rape which inevitably alters that perspective on life. Her wealth and knowledge of experience in this field is translated into her excellent production of cinematographic gold.
Tomiwa Oladele is graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. With a background in marketing and a passion for fashion she has managed to combine both successfully. She is the CEO of AYABA Couture, one of Nigeria’s fastest growing custom-made fashion brands. She is Editor-in-Chic of online fashion magazine Stylebyayaba.com and an image consultant. Haven handled PR for Rocket Internet Ventures in Nigeria, she is now Head of PR and Offline Marketing Kaymu Nigeria where she started the Entrepreneurs Club in Nigeria, a Quarterly seminar that empowers SMEs with skills to grow their businesses
Celebrity designer, Toju Foyeh (full nameToluwaloju Olowofoyeku) a qualified Lawyer: Toju studied Law at theUniversity of Reading and obtained her LLM in theUniversity of Manchester. Soon after that, she attended fashion school in Milan and then returned home to attend Law school, making her qualified to practice Law in Nigeria.
Ike-Onu is the CEO of the innovative shop, aptly named ‘the5kShop’. The5kShop is an independent online retailer that offers a variety of products ranging from branded products to its own label goods all at a flatrate of N5,000.