Women4Africa 2014 Finalists_Business Woman of the Year_Maryanne JemideFinalist: Maryanne Jemide

Country of Origin: Nigeria

Maryanne Jemide is the publisher of Nigerian Watch. In March 2012, Maryanne Jemide set up independent publishing company Green World Media Ltd to launch the Nigerian Watch newspaper. Maryanne has propelled Nigerian Watch forward from a humble start-up to the UK’s leading African newspaper with the largest circulation. 50,000 copies are distributed each month, not to mention the additional copies distributed internationally reaching thousands of readers in Lagos and Abuja, and a very strong online following with Facebook likes approaching 100,000 in less than two years.

A natural networker, Maryanne has forged strong relationships with key influencers within the Nigerian community including the Nigeria High Commission and the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK, which has extended the newspaper’s influence and reach within the UK and abroad in 2013.

Find out more about Nigerian Watch HERE.

Women4Africa 2014 Finalists_Business Woman of the Year_Stephanie MensahFinalist: Stephanie Mensah

Country of Origin: Ghana

Stephanie Mensah launched Styles Afrik in 2012 with co-director Harrison Ofosu. Styles Afrik’s mission is to introduce African Fashion and Designers into mainstream fashion worldwide.  They do this by working with new and established designers internationally.

Since its launch Stephanie has worked with Fashion moguls such as Hilary Alexander from the Daily Telegraph, Olympic Athletes, Presenters and BBC Radio. Stephanie was also interviewed by the Metro News Paper in 2012, becoming the first person to showcase African Print in the “What I Wear”  style column.

Along with her team Stephanie is forever breaking the barriers and stereotypes surrounding African Fashion.

Find out more about Styles Afrik HERE.

Women4Africa 2014 Finalists_Business Woman of the Year_Annie MuhlwaFinalist: Annie Muhlwa

Country of Origin: Zimbabwe

Annie Muhiwa went from making newspaper purses, recycling her mother’s magazines into her own masterpieces and a dip in her mom’s ‘haberdashery’ to having a line at Trinity Place Department store in the heart of New York. Born and bred in the City of Kings, Annie is the second of three children. With a creative mother their Matsheumhlope home was a jackpot of “raw materials”. This London based mother of three is pulling out all the stops in creating a handbag legacy. She admittedly has had her fair share of ups and downs including struggling with her residency in the UK during her earlier years that would later taint her name but certainly not dishearten this accomplished young woman, mother and wife. She has indeed come full circle as the founder of a brand that is fast becoming global as it continues to expand from Southern Africa to Asia and the Americas. T-Redz is the name of her range of bags with her most noted creation to date it the “Bassenger Bag”, a big hit on huge websites such as MYTRND comfortably in the company of some of the world’s fashion giants such as Dolce and Gabbana, Miss Sixty and LK Bennett. A true testament to grabbing life by the horns despite circumstances.

Find out more about T-Redz HERE.

Women4Africa 2014 Finalists_Business Woman of the Year_Tosin AdenijiFinalist: Tosin Adeniji

Country of Origin: Nigeria

Tosin Adeniji has a passion for creating and mixing pleasure with business. With her roots firmly planted in the entertainment world, she started Be Box – a monthly beauty subscription service for women of colour in August 2013 after having the idea on a plane to make her interest in all things make up into an actual business. Having partnerships with the likes of Giovanni, Weleda, Covergirl, Mixed Roots, Mazuri, Activilong, Fashion Fair and more involved in Be Box, each month the contents get better and better. Catering for all hair types and providing make up and skincare, it’s the perfect compact box for all women of colour containing all they need to add to their product collection and look and feel their best. Since then the “Be the best YOU can Be!’ mantra Tosin follows everyday has motivated young women of colour in the UK with features on the website including Virgos Lounge and Eryca Freemantle, daily inspiration and encouragement, providing a community for young business women alike and has been nominated for a Shell Live Wire Award.

She also led the Be Woman conference, bringing popular American -Heather Lindsey of Pinky Promise, extraordinary YouTuber – Beauty By JJ, Mulan from Britain’s Next Top Model and 200 young women in one room to encourage and empower them. Focusing on inside and outside beauty, it was a platform for major upcoming designers and make-up artists alike and an inspiring evening all round.

Her passion for helping others, also led her to set up a creative social enterprise called Collabocart held throughout the year at Google Campus. She has also been awarded for the innovative work as one of Nokia’s Remarkable Women. With Be Box growing, she currently is working with international brands and charities to propel the women of colour movement across the globe and helping everyone be the best they can be!

Find out more about Be Box HERE.

Women4Africa 2014 Finalists_Business Woman of the Year_Jackie AnimFinalist: Jackie Anim

Country of Origin: Ghana

Jackie Anim founded Do Yourself a Favour in 2009 following her struggle to find practical and affordable favours for her own wedding – something that wouldn’t get left behind on the day or discarded once guests return home. With a guest list of 250+ she was unable to afford a lot of what was being offered on the market. She eventually found the perfect wedding favours but had to get them shipped all the way from China! – Sandalwood fans to ward off the August heat. They were greatly appreciated by everyone and today these are her best-selling favour.

Do Yourself a Favour has since grown, offering 100s of beautiful and versatile favours that would be perfect for any special occasion. The product range now also includes accessories, gifts, venue decorations and most recently, items like bird cages for hire.

As well as serving customers from all over the world including Germany, Spain, Israel, Dubai and South Africa, Do Yourself a Favour has also provided favours for many corporate affairs and have been the proud sponsor of local and charitable events.

Jackie is continually sourcing new products to offer her customers the very best choice and she is currently in talks with artisans in Ghana to bring some exciting new products to the site and give them the opportunity to showcase their talents. There is a huge gap in the market for more culturally influenced favours and in the future, she would like to be able to offer products from all around the world that reflect the cultural diversity of her customers.

Find out more about Do Yourself a Favour HERE.

Women4Africa 2014 Finalists_Business Woman of the Year_Sonia MajaFinalist: Sonia Maja

Country of Origin: Nigeria

Sonya Maja is a provider of private after school care. Her MSE Play Clubs are a place where children can develop their skills and build new friendships while parents can feel secure in the knowledge that their children are safe.

Sonya opened her first club in 2007, inspired by her experience as a working parent and a passionate desire to provide a higher standard of after school care than those available in the community.

Her Ofsted registered clubs have expanded. She now runs four with her team of 15 staff. Feedback from parents and carers reflect a high level of customer satisfaction. Sonya’s achievements are outstanding. She is an excellent role model for aspiring black women who want to start up their own businesses.

Find out more about MSE Play HERE

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