All Articles Tagged "african women in business"
At 35, Kenya native Isis Nyong’o has already held senior management positions at MyJobsEye (Kenya’s leading job site), MTV and Google. Now the Stanford and Harvard grad is working to take on a slightly new challenge as the vice president and managing director of the African operations at InMobi, the largest independent mobile advertising network in the world.
“InMobi is in the business of connecting brands to consumers through their mobile devices,” she said to Forbes. “In simple terms we partner with developers who have created applications (or software) for mobile phones, and publishers who have mobile websites such as news or sports websites. We then find brands who want to advertise something to these people visiting these mobile websites or using these applications, and we display their banner adverts on these platforms. We then pay the publisher or developer a percentage of the revenue that was received from the advertiser.”
And the InMobi business is working. Currently, each month the network reaches 35 million consumers month in Africa and serves over eight billion ad impressions.
Nyong’o’s job to stay on top of the operations of the company’s millions of African consumers is no easy task. Every week, Nyong’o says she may be in five different countries sitting in on various meetings and conferences. As InMobi is a global company based in San Francisco, the meetings can take place at any time of the day. Still, Nyong’o enjoys the work.
“I find media and tech to be the most exciting and challenging industries in Africa,” she said to Forbes. “This is where the level and speed of innovation is at its highest; when it comes to media, the continent is experiencing the same paradigm shift facing global media houses.”
According to Nyong’o, InMobi research shows that “Africans (South Africa 79%, Kenya 89%) are more receptive to mobile advertising than consumers are in the rest of the World (66%).” With Africa’s growing influence on the technology scene, Nyong’o is working to ensure consumers on the continent will feel an economic change.
“My long term goals are to grow the mobile eco-system in many more African countries,” she said. Currently the main players are Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Egypt, so we have many places to help grow this eco-system. By growing the mobile eco-system, many jobs are created which in turn enriches the lives of Africans.
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Many people’s view of Africa is outdated, and, quite frankly, inaccurate. The Western world continues to be shown images of poor, uneducated women in villages with no access to the modern world.
Where are the progressive images of young women using social media to share their stories, or women heading technology companies in places like Nigeria and Kenya? These questions were asked at Monday’s panel “Africa, Tech & Women: The New Faces of Development” at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive Festival. Led by Project Diaspora co-founder TMS Ruge, the hour-long discussion shed a different light on the role of women on the continent. The panel featured such notable figures as Vice President of InMobi AfricaIsis Nyong’o and Ebele Okobi of Yahoo!.
Read the rest at BlackEnterprise.com
Finding the right skin care products isn’t always easy. And for women of color, that search can get even harder depending on location and skin sensitivity. Business Daily Africa reports that Alice Odera soon realized this the hard way when she was living in New York.
“The beauty industry is worth billions of dollars but only a little part of it is geared towards ethnic minority women,” she said to Business Daily Africa. But Odera didn’t simply make an observation. She decided to do something about it. When every skincare product she tried began to irritate her skin, an interest in beauty and skincare ingredients developed. She nurtured this interest by taking a skincare specialist course. Through her research she learned that skin cancer was on the riser, especially in West Africa, as many of the population used skin bleaches to lighten their skin.
She discovered a ban on hydroquinone and Retinol A in the West that left manufacturers with tons of banned products. So they turned to Africa to sell their goods. After working as a skincare brand manager for a company in Kenya for about two years, she left and decided to start her own business.
“It was a huge risk, but I knew two things, that I was capable and that if I stumbled I had enough courage to get up and keep moving,” Alice said. In August 2010 she launched Beauty Logic Image Management. Unfortunately after opening its doors in September, she was forced to close her business in April 2011 due to lack of profits.
“I do not postpone decision-making or get emotional, no matter how difficult, especially when it comes to my business,” she tells Business Daily Africa.
At the time Odera was also consulting on skin problems such as acne, and offering facials and treatments. That’s when she made an important discovery. “It is this focus that made me discover that the male clients were more responsive to skin treatments than women. Men were a more consistent source of income. They make referrals if they like the results,” she said.
“This is the business direction I want to take, offering services for men only.” In addition to her newfound track as a men’s image consultant, Odera also operates First Impressions, a program that teaches corporate grooming to high school girls. She soon also plans to include boys.
After experiencing a failed business and several ups and downs in her professional track, Odera has mastered the art of business and opportunity. Her new angle is doing so well in fact, that last year it earned her the Pillar Africa Award for “Entrepreneur of the Year.”