Zahrock Khalfani Ahmedy
As Tanzania's economy grows, the middle class has become increasingly interested in finding new ways to spice up their home cooking. But good chiles, spices, and pastes are hard to find.
More than a decade ago, with only $15 and her talent for cooking, Tanzanian entrepreneur Zahrock Khalfani Ahmedy purchased raw materials to produce 20 bottles of flavorful sauce. She sold each bottle at $1 for a total profit of $5. Building on these humble beginnings, Ahmedy founded Rocky Products, an agro-processing company that specializes in high-quality natural spice products, such as garlic paste, black pepper, and curry powder.
Today, with help from the Agribusiness Innovation Center, Ahmedy is able to supply her products to major supermarkets, hotels, and restaurants in Tanzania. The center provides a variety of services to entrepreneurs, including coaching on business management, introduction to new market opportunities, guidance on certification and production improvements, and access to financial support.
In Ghana, few girls are encouraged to pursue a path in math, science, or engineering. Angela Koranteng co-founded STEMbees to empower girls by providing resources, mentorship, and in-depth training in these fields.
STEMbees offers two programs: a career awareness program to spark interest in technical careers, as well as workshops in coding, math, and other technical skills. STEMbees currently serves more than 300 students.
Traffic in Nairobi, Kenya, is a major challenge. Cars can spend hours stuck in gridlock, and there are limited sources for up-to-date traffic information.
Ma3Route was launched to provide crowd-sourced information on traffic around Nairobi through a website, mobile application, and text messages. Stephanie Njerenga joined Ma3Route as a data manager before bringing her talents to Open Capital, a management consulting and financial advisory firm that helps small businesses grow and scale.
The initial financing for Ma3Route came from a competition run by m:lab East Africa, an innovation hub in Kenya founded with support from infoDev.
Roxanne Wanliss is a serial entrepreneur: Her first app sold online tickets for events, her current startup facilitates DNA testing for paternity tests, and her latest initiative will help tourists safely rent cars in an often unreliable marketplace.
Wanliss attended infoDev's mobile startup bootcamp and has traveled to Chile, South Korea, and the United States to compete in startup competitions.