This year has surely been the year of the woman, and though there is much more progress to be seen in terms of economic and career advancement equality, it’s undeniable that women have been making power plays that have impacted the world at large.
The following women are global leaders who hold pivotal positions of power, are influential to innovation, and will have a pivotal role in forging changes in 2016, from the U.S. to Africa to the Caribbean and beyond. Whether rising stars or seasoned professionals, all will be watched in their roles in driving the success of their countries’ industries and the world at large.
NIGERIA: Afua Osei and Yasmin Belo-Osagie
Founders of SheLeadsAfrica.org, this tenacious duo has built an international business that gives female entrepreneurs from Africa and the Diaspora a resource to thrive and survive. The startup provides support including information on startup funds, events, and pitch competitions, awarding innovative women tens of thousands of dollars. Osei, 26, of Ghanaian descent, and Belo-Osagie, 28, of Ghanaian and Nigerian descent, are both scholars, having earned advanced studies degrees from the University of Chicago and Princeton.
The two launched an entrepreneurship showcase competition which drew close to 400 applications from 27 countries and diverse industries, with the first being held in September 2014 where the $10,000 winner was Cherae Robinson, the young African American powerhouse behind Rare Customs, the world’s only mobile app dedicated to booking and buying experiences in Africa by tourists.
She Leads Africa heads to Accra, Ghana this month to provide more than 15 sessions of training and mentorship for African women on leadership, negotiation, business development, and more.