Did you know organisations that prefer women in leadership roles achieve 90% retention rates, according to Impact group? Stats like that emphasise the importance of female entrepreneurs and why the world needs more of us! At Future Females we celebrate the rise of female entrepreneurs daily, and these five women are the biggest inspirations to us currently…
The words “skincare” and “philanthropy” don’t often go hand-in-hand. But lawyer, yoga instructor, community builder, and female entrepreneur Minji Cho is taking soft skin to the next level. She founded Soffli (pronounced “softly”) in 2020 – the year a lot of people actually just want to forget. But for Minji, it was the start of a company the world hasn’t seen before – the first-ever global skincare company which donates 100% of its profits to charity. Yes, 100%! The second impressive aspect of Soffli is that the (mindful) skincare products are made with no more than 15 clean and dermatologist-approved products. Minji believes that, “just like food items you consume, you don’t need 50+ ingredients, your largest organ doesn’t need that either.” For this powerhouse female entrepreneur, purpose and benefiting society is more important than profit and we feel inspired by her work ethic.
Whenever we talk about female entrepreneurs changing the future of technology, we get extremely proud. One such entrepreneur who has been on our radar is Cynthia Rudin – a professor of Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Statistical Science, Mathematics, and Biostatistics & Bioinformatics at Duke University in North Carolina. A lot of people believe the main objective of AI is to enable computers to perform intellectual tasks such as decision-making and problem-solving. It’s all about improving algorithms so that these computers (or machines) could be more efficient, right? For Cynthia, however, that is not necessarily the case. Her entire research focuses on machine learning tools that help humans make better decisions, mainly interpretable machine learning and its applications. She is determined to take advantage of the power of AI to serve humanity and help society. Her biggest wish? “That AI could solve the refugee crisis, reverse climate change and help end extreme poverty.”
Interesting fact: Cynthia’s work (in collaboration with her team at Duke University) on seizure prediction in ICU patients won the 2019 INFORMS Innovative Applications in Analytics Award.
To be called an entrepreneurial powerhouse is something many women strive for. Especially when talking about the tech industry – the industry of 2022. So, when you’re in your twenties and the co-founder of the first-ever personal savings and investment online app, you know you’ve got the universe on your side. For Odunayo Eweniyi, that’s exactly what happened. When she co-founded Piggybank & PiggyVest in 2016, at the age of 24, she knew the sky was her limit. Especially since PiggyVest is one of Nigeria’s most successful fintech startups today – with over a million users being empowered to manage and save their money in better ways. But that’s not all Odunayo managed to turn into a huge success story. In 2021 she also co-founded FirstCheck Africa, an angel fund and investor community that is run by women, for women. We are so clapping for this girl right now because we too believe that the future of technology is female.
One of our favourite quotes by her: “I’ll learn anything I need to learn as long as it moves the needle. That’s just how it is.”
Karen G. is the founding Executive Director of GovGrowth (Pty) Ltd, Company Secretarial & Corporate Governance, and a kickass businesswoman. She has also joined the Future Females Business School in the past. In a recent interview on Africa.com, she said: “Being accepted into the Future Females Business School in partnership with UK South Africa Tech Hub could not have prepared me more for my business. The opportunity came at the time when I needed it most and an opportunity for which I will always be grateful. I will encourage all female entrepreneurs who are starting a business to find an entrepreneur support group and reach out to other founders.”
Ever wondered how it must feel like to be the richest female musician in the world? Well, Rihanna knows exactly how that feels. In August 2021 she became a billionaire, worth $1.7 billion according to Forbes, making her the richest female singer, and the second richest female entertainer (after Oprah Winfrey) in the world. However, it’s not only her beautiful voice that’s made her a billionaire. Most of her money comes from her cosmetics company, Fenty Beauty, which is “a 50-50 joint venture with French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH (run by Bernard Arnault, the world’s second-richest person), launched in 2017 with the goal of inclusivity,” according to Forbes. The rest of her riches lie in her lingerie company, Savage X Fenty, combined with her earnings as a musician and actress.
The best part – she recently became a mom! We can only be inspired by a powerhouse like her.