Ann Brown

  • How A YALI Fellow Overcame Stigma Of Female Entrepreneurship In Uganda

    By Ann Brown, 11:41 am AFKI Original

    Starting a business in Uganda is hard when you’re a woman. The elders in some communities think you should get married and have kids instead. You have to prove your worth. Jamila Mayanja took something as simple as washing clothes and turned it into a business that’s helping empower women in Kampala. Mayanja participated in U.S. President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative in 2015.

  • How A Nigerian Tech Millionaire Turned $250 Into $6M

    Q&A With Nigerian Tech Millionaire Abasiama Idaresit By Ann Brown, 9:56 am AFKI Original

    He turned $250 in startup funds into more than $6 million, and may be on his way to becoming Africa’s first tech billionaire. His company is one of Africa’s leading digital marketing agencies. He wants Nigeria to have more exportable technology and services that can compete globally, and like other global tech entrepreneurs, he’s bcoming a venture capitalist. “We are just starting,” said Abasiama Idaresit, 36.

  • More Than Just Salt: Exploring Sal, Cape Verde’s Tourist Hub

    By Ann Brown, 9:09 am

    there’s a lot more going on in Sal, Cape Verde’s most popular island, than meets the initial eye. The island is teeming with luxurious all-inclusive five-star resorts, mostly opened by foreign investors, and many well-known global brands. There’s a lively town center full of restaurants and music venues. Lush white sand beaches lure you to the sand and turquoise sea. You can also venture out on a various nature, historical, and water sports excursions.

  • Cachupa! Taste-Testing The National Dish Of Cape Verde

    By Ann Brown, 6:30 pm

    I went on a cachupa tasting test in Praia, trying the dish all around town. That’s when I discovered that everyone makes cachupa differently — and you can get it everywhere. Almost every restaurant serves it. On Saturdays you can find people cooking it in large kettle pots outside of their homes for hours and serving it up to everyone in the neighborhood — sometimes for money, sometimes for free. Men and women alike cook cachupa. And some of the best I have had were actually cooked up by men.

  • How A Cosmetics Firm Uses African Ingredients To Target Black Women

    By Ann Brown, 11:23 am AFKI Original

    African women often struggle to find beauty products that cater to their skin tone and hair texture. Many are desperate for high quality, natural and organic skincare products, says the Kenyan-Australian CEO of skincare line Afya Organics. Highly wired and open to change, Africans are also very vocal about what they do and don’t like. This has created a bold and aggressive marketplace. Neva Mwiti-Read saw an opportunity to create a global cosmetic firm that capitalizes on the beauty secrets of Africa. Check out her AFKInsider interview.

  • Rwandan Entrepreneur’s Solar-Powered Mobile Kiosks Charge Phones, Create Jobs

    Solar-Powered Mobile Kiosks By Ann Brown, 11:26 am AFKI Original

    Cell phone use is growing exponentially in Africa, but with electricity scarce, charging those phones is a challenge. Africa-born, U.S.-educated entrepreneur Henri Nyakarundi saw a business opportunity. He developed a franchise system that lets other entrepreneurs run his solar-powered mobile kiosks as their own businesses in Rwanda. Now he’s developing software for content providers.

  • African Diaspora: Why A Social Entrepreneur Chose Kenya For Her Firm

    By Ann Brown, 7:57 am AFKI Original

    What do you do for an encore when you’ve been a World Bank executive, worked at JP Morgan in London, and done policy analysis for the U.N. in New York? If you’re Canadian-Kenyan Wandia Gichuru, you strike out on your own. Not in finance. In fashion — fashion with a social goal. Gichuru has lived in Mozambique, Sudan and Uganda. She spoke to AFKInsider about why she chose Kenya for her business, Vivo Activewear.

  • Unreasonable East Africa, Startup Accelerator Tells Young Africans It’s OK To Fail

    By Ann Brown, 4:00 am AFKI Original

    With some world-class funding (Rockefeller Foundation) this Uganda-based startup accelerator encourages young African entrepreneurs to experiment and benefit from failure. “We believe in militant transparency and thus find it OK to tell the world where we have had false starts,” said co-founder Joachim Ewechu in an AFKInsider interview. “We know we are going to fail sometimes. The magic for us lies in recognizing when we have failed, understanding why and working to improve.”

  • Kenyan Woman Returns From Diaspora To Start Global Cosmetics Firm

    cosmetics industry in africa By Ann Brown, 7:31 pm AFKI Original

    The only makeup Suzie Wokabi could find was imported and overpriced, so she started her own cosmetics company in Kenya. Wokabi trained at MAC Cosmetics in the U.S. but said she always planned to return home with experience to “build my Kenya and its beauty industry.” Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o is now a fan. Wokabi spoke to AFKInsider about her most important business lessons.

  • Q&A: Push Ismokol Building A Trendy South African Clothing Company

    By Ann Brown, 1:15 am AFKI Original

    There is more to Push Ismokol Clothing than just selling clothes. The co-founders behind the South African-based company, Nkululeko “Bibi” Maseko and Karidas Tshintsholo, have many more goals for their venture than being a successful clothing company. The pair wants to create “African solutions to African problems.” The strive to encourage consumers to buy African-made fabric over Chinese textiles.