From New Caledonia, Audrey is passionate about creating the right conditions for entrepreneurs across the Pacific Islands to reach their full potential. Her work focuses on building innovative, sustainable, scalable and just solutions to society’s big problems. Audrey has supported over 200 early-stage ventures across Australasia and co-founded Malaika made (now Humanisms), a social enterprise that aims to provide dignified, safe and living wage work for marginalised communities. Audrey is yher's Regional Director for the Pacific Islands and heads ygap.co, ygap's consulting arm.
Kaitlin is a Co-Founder of ygap, Program Director for yher and manages the Global Acceleration Team. Her nine years of international development experience began with her leading a school for street-children in a Tanzanian slum and managing an HIV orphanage in a Kenyan village, before launching and growing the ygap model across Africa and the Asia Pacific. She has accelerated hundreds of impact entrepreneurs and overseen programs that have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people living in poverty. Having led and contributed to various female entrepreneurship initiatives, she is extremely passionate about supporting and championing the next generation of female entrepreneurs and leaders.
Having lived in various countries overseas for over a decade, Katleho returned home to feed her big appetite for entrepreneurship. Katleho is intrigued by the women entrepreneurship space and is an advocate for conscious business and this, is at the core of what drives all her endeavours. In the last three years, Katleho served as Founding Partner and Chief Business Officer at AMAZI, a feminist social enterprise using beauty as a tool for economic inclusion for marginalized women. She is also the co-creator of yher, an early stage female social entrepreneurship accelerator that currently operates in Africa and the Pacific Islands. Prior to this, Katleho owned a restaurant, BLISS in Johannesburg and was also CEO of ygap South Africa. Inspired by her experiences as an entrepreneur and her passionate belief that women are vital architects of society and the greatest levers for change, Katleho is on a mission to find tangible and creative ways to meaningfully champion women that are navigating the world of entrepreneurship.
Lwazi started her career in the US at one of the top three aerospace and future tech manufacturers in the world, where she led trans-continental campaigns and managed a portfolio size of USD $3bn. She brings several years of international and Pan-African experience in impact investing and innovative finance and was the first African to graduate from the prestigious IIX Global (Impact Investment Exchange) Impact Institute in Singapore in 2016. She later founded IIX Global’s South Africa Chapter, mobilizing both private and public sector commitments to structure Africa’s first Women’s Livelihood Impact Bond. In 2018, she founded HerHQ - Africa’s first digital, social, capital market democratizing access to knowledge, capital and markets for Pan-African female founders of colour.
Infiuss is a blood bank management system that connects hospitals with blood banks to hospitals without blood banks. They make use of simple technologies such as their powerful blood bank management platform to address increase of blood shortages across hospitals.
Think Creative Africa exists to combine truly African creativity and data-led insights to generate ideas that solve business problems and impact society. As a founder herself, Nkgabiseng believes 'women founded businesses are the drop of water that creates concentric circles of upliftment in our communities. From employment to upliftment of family structures, women raise as they rise. It is important therefore to empower the system of leadership that is being pioneered by women to aid global equality starting right here on the African continent.'
Palesa is the Country Director of ygap South Africa and a facilitator for yher Africa. The last seven years of Palesa’s career is testament to her passion for entrepreneurship and expertise in the sector. After experience with both Deloitte and Ernst & Young, she then moved on to head up entrepreneur services at Endeavor - a global organisation accelerating high impact entrepreneurs. Most recently she founded EnziAfrica, an entrepreneurship development organisation focused on assisting entrepreneurs to build sustainable enterprises. Palesa has also spoken at various global organisations including BBC Africa, Graca Machel Trust, SABC 1 Making Moves Television Programme, Gordon Institute of Business Science and London Business School and was nominated for the Desmond Tutu African Leadership Initiative Programme.
Sizakele Marutlulle has over 23 years experience in the business leadership, brand building, innovation & people development universes. She is a disruptive thinker, cultural creative, business architect, ideation activist and public speaker with experience across various sectors and geographies. She has the rare talent of having worked in the public and private sectors, with small and established businesses, as well as founding several ad agencies. She applies this deep and diverse knowledge to unlock sustainable commercial success for her clients. Given her specific work experience, corporate leadership, brand expertise and consumer engagement in South Africa, The Americas, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania and a working knowledge of Asia and Europe, top-tier companies engage her as advisor and consultant to advance their ambitions as well as imagine new futures. With a burning desire to positively impact Africa’s fortunes, she has a special focus on Fentrepreneurs©, as in female entrepreneurs, to help them build bankable and scalable, future-fit businesses.
With ancestral roots planted in Fiji, Talei has spent two decades managing multifaceted creative projects across New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. Her immersion in the region’s social enterprise ecosystem began twelve years ago when she established a community-led textiles label and then managed the first Pacific Islands presence at Australia’s Fairtrade Fortnight. Certified friend-maker, expert in tangled curls and yher's Pacific Islands Program Manager.
Zama Nkosi-Mabuye + Cuma Pantshwa
Asante Blush is a women-led marketing agency with a strong focus and specialisation on female consumers. We passionately craft personalised, authentic marketing and communication solutions for our clients, optimising for the nuances of different South African audiences. We strive to work with brands and organisations genuinely aligned to the needs and desires of women, though we never ignore men. We know the power of women. Empowering female entrepreneurs in Africa is essential if we are committed to moving forward as humanity. Not only are women very capable but in Africa we have a long history of women not only improving their own lives when they are empowered, but also empowering their entire communities. That kind of impact has the potential to change the world as we know it.