According to the World Economic Forum, Africa is expected to be home to 1 billion youth by 2050. Currently, South Africa alone has a population of 20.6 million youths which is roughly 35.7% of the country. The youth in South Africa are playing an active role in society and the digital economy through their online purchasing behaviour using the internet, apps and social media. They are creating huge amounts of value for cultural goods and services, brands, businesses and even themselves!
Africa is home to some of the most ambitious, highly motivated and vibrant youth in the world. This month, we want to highlight some of the amazing African youths that are making a huge impact on society and the digital economy. Here’s our top 5 Young Entrepreneurs to look out for!
Rabia Ghoor - South Africa
Rabia started her ecommerce makeup and skincare brand, SwiitchBeauty, at the young age of 14. After her first sale, she dropped out of high school to focus on her business. Years later she has been featured in Forbes Magazine as one of the leading Women In Business and has grown Swiitch beauty into a million-rand business. She uses social media as a huge driver for her business, building up a following of over 100,000 beauty lovers.
Thobo Khathola - Botswana
Thobo is the CEO and founder of Lion Tutoring, an on-demand app matching students with teachers all over the world. After university, Thabo was passionate about improving the educational pass rates of students in Botswana. He started Lion Trading from the boot of his car and grew the company from there. They have since expanded globally, offering their services in South Africa, Namibia, Canada with plans to continue their exceptional growth.
Shamim Nabuuma - Uganda
25 year-old Shamim is an entrepreneur with a background in medicine. She founded Chil Artificial Intelligent Lab out of her personal experience of surviving cancer. She started out with a mobile cancer screening service evolving into using an artificial intelligence guided e-oncology service to identify cancer. Today her business was recognised as one of the top 10 AI companies founded in Africa by Google for Startups.
Theo Baloyi - South Africa
Theo founded Bathu Shoes after seeing the need for Africans to have a local sneaker brand they can connect with. In 2016, their Bathu website was launched and the site crashed due to high amounts of traffic. Thanks to great marketing and an authentic message, orders went through the roof and everyone was talking about Bathu shoes. Today Peach Payments is a proud online payment partner to Bathu Shoes and continues to watch this incredible brand grow to 25 retail stores nationwide and an ever expanding online audience.
Joy-Lee & Amber Burns - South Africa
Joy-Lee founded Adore Couture in her early 20s, after undergoing 4 years of chemotherapy. She started with a robe to feel comfortable and more confident after the intense treatments. From one silk robe, the range and brand grew to include sleepwear and from her first Instagram post she ignited an online craze. With the help of her sister, Amber, the brand found its way into thousands of homes and won the hearts of many men and women across the globe. Adore Couture has been featured in Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair to name a few. This is just the beginning for this dynamic duo and we can’t wait to see what they’ll do next!
We hope this list of youth entrepreneurs has inspired you to take the plunge to cultivate your future. Remember, it's never too early or too late to just start! We totally believe in you!
*youth defined as individuals between the ages of 18-30.