8 Successful Women Entrepreneurs Leading Technological Transformation in South Africa

By: GWL Team | Wednesday, 16 August 2023

Women have historically encountered difficulties and restrictions in South Africa, as well as in many other nations, while trying to enter and succeed in the entrepreneurial sphere. Some of the difficulties faced by women entrepreneurs have been listed as gender inequities, getting capital, and cultural issues. However, there is a growing understanding of the need of encouraging and supporting women in entrepreneurship, and a number of projects have been started to address these issues.

In the ICT sector, South Africa has seen the rise of some outstanding and extraordinarily successful women entrepreneurs. These inspirational leaders have not only overcome gender stereotypes but also displayed great talent, originality, and tenacity. Beyond only financial success, their influence also includes serving as role models for aspiring businesspeople, particularly women, across the nation and abroad.

These technologically smart women have used their knowledge of software development, artificial intelligence, e-commerce, and other areas of technology to their advantage. Their businesses have not only introduced innovative solutions to the market but also greatly aided in the expansion of the South African IT sector.

These women have shown that creativity knows no bounds and that gender diversity is crucial for advancing the tech sector via their dedication, leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit. Their success stories encourage us all to push the envelope of what is conceivable, to question accepted wisdom, and to have a significant influence on both the corporate sector and society at large.

Dineo Lioma

Dineo Lioma is a powerful force in biotechnology who drives significant breakthroughs. She is revolutionising healthcare in Africa with three businesses. While CapeBio is a leader in molecular biology enzymes and Deep Medical Therapeutics uses AI to improve healthcare, Incitech provides quick tests even at home.

She collaborated in the creation of a local COVID-19 kit during pandemic, reducing reliance on imports. She was named one of Forbes Woman Africa's Top 20 Wealth Creators for her ground-breaking achievements. Accoding to Dineo, “find your speciality”. Driven by her love of health and desire to help others, she came back to support South Africa's development of micro and nanotechnology.

Nneile Nkholise

True African innovator Nneile Nkholise shines with admiration. Her talent was recognised by the World Economic Forum and Forbes Africa, which included her on the 30 under 30 list. She creates revolutionary prostheses and bio-implants as the founder and director of iMED Tech, giving those who have lost bodily parts new hope.

She entered the 3DIMO market in 2018, revolutionising the traceability of livestock by combining her varied talents in mechanical engineering, biotechnology, and animal husbandry. Embrace your power as a woman and solve genuine problems with effective answers. These are the sage words of Nkholise. iMED Tech is more than simply a business; it is proof of how influential women can be in the field of medical technology.

Arlene Mulder

Arlene Mulder is recognised as a leader in innovation. She Loves Tech and Forbes Woman Africa have both recognised her brilliance. She wants to democratise education and strengthen Africa's digital capabilities. She co-founded WeThinkCode to empower African youth and close the digital skills gap after leaving the banking industry. Mulder's most recent achievement, BiB, Africa's first audio library app, uses technology to preserve history and provide jobs for artists.

According to Arlene, “Your values should guide your behaviour. Saying "no" to distractions is much easier with a clear objective”. Free education is seen as a non-negotiable at WeThinkCode. Her journey is an example of how technology, values, and vision can work together to improve an environment.

Darlene Menzies

A real pioneer, Darlene Menzies is the CEO of Finfind (Pty) Ltd. She was named one of the 2017 Five Top Female Tech Entrepreneurs in Africa by the World Economic Forum. Darlene, a seasoned businessperson, is familiar with the challenges of establishing and expanding companies in Africa. She approaches the problem of generating money with doable, portable solutions. SMEasy is one of her innovations that helps small companies.

The Department of Small Business Development of South Africa, USAID, the Banking Association of South Africa, and Business Leadership South Africa support Finfind, an online financing access solution. Darlene, a recipient of the South Africa Innovation Entrepreneur Award, promotes entrepreneurship as a tool for eradicating poverty by cooperating with institutions of power and corporations. She often said, "Resist an ordinary approach."

Baratang Miya

For women and girls in the computer industry, Baratang Miya, the founder and CEO of GirlHype - Women Who Code, is a transforming force. By bridging the gender gap and digital divide, her nonprofit offers essential programmes and app development training. She is a regional coordinator who provides digital skills training to females in Cape Town.

For people who are struggling, Baratang's work is a ray of hope. Her transformation from an outstanding leader to a self-taught programmer exemplifies the strength of perseverance. She emphasises empowerment, inclusivity, and self-efficacy while using technology to elevate. The example set by Baratang shows how people may overcome obstacles and change the world.

Fara Ashiru Jituboh

Co-founder, CEO, and CTO of Okra, Fara Ashiru Jituboh, is a pioneer in African internet firms. She obtained a coveted $1 million pre-seed round for her Nigeria-based "super-connector" network, which works similarly to Plaid for Africa in securely distributing real-time financial data across users, applications, and institutions.

Fara was inspired to establish Okra by her own problems with Nigeria's restrictions on banking applications. Her technological know-how and foresight convinced TLcom, a partner with a long history of investing in Africa, to support Okra. A significant investment, it highlights Fara’s inspiring story and the possibilities of African women entrepreneurs in the ICT sector.

Nunu Ntshingila

Nunu Ntshingila is the regional director of Meta Africa, previously Facebook, and is a prominent player in the African tech scene. She has a remarkable 35-year career and has carved a name for herself in a number of corporate leadership positions in the African IT industry, where she has helped with branding, marketing, and technology-driven growth.

Nunu's goal now includes social development thanks to Ntinta Investments, which she founded and which actively collaborates with digital firms all throughout Africa. Her important knowledge has not only catalysed innovation but also helped digital businesses achieve worldwide notoriety, further establishing her as a key player in Africa's technological advancement.

Lebo Mokgabudi

Lebo Mokgabudi is an African fintech trailblazer who has contributed significantly to the development of the sector with his extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for financial inclusion. She brings unrivalled knowledge to the table with a spectacular 15-year career in the payments industry that has included crucial roles at Visa, Mastercard, and venture capital companies.

Eaglequest Africa's CEO and founder, Lebo, leads the company's objective by establishing alliances between banks, telecoms, and governments to bring about digital financial solutions and promote a more inclusive digital economy. Lebo has demonstrated her commitment to advancing fintech projects and organisations through her mentoring, speaking engagements, and advisory services, paving the way for Africa's financial revolution.