Sub-Saharan Africa

Lauren Thomas

In 2007, when Lauren Thomas was a successful young financier on Wall Street, she felt that something was missing from her life and left New York to do an international MBA in Spain. ‘I love crunching numbers and am passionate about finance but thought it was time to experience different cultures and languages and make more of an impact.’

Cheikh Tidiane Mbaye

Cheikh Tidiane MBAYE, 50 years old, is a specialist in the Telecommunications sector. He was Director of the Post and Telecommunications office in 1984. He has been Chief Executive Officer of the Senegalese National Telecommunications Company (SONATEL) since 1988, a position which he still holds.

Judy Malan

Judy qualified with a master's degree in law, after studies at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and then at Oxford. On finishing her studies in 1998, Judy however forsook the law to join management consultancy McKinsey & Company, out of curiosity to learn more about the business world. She has remained with McKinsey ever since, largely because of the unique opportunities it offers to explore complex systemic challenges and resolve them. In 2004 Judy was elected a partner at McKinsey.

Saloua Karkri-Belkeziz

Saloua Karkri-Belkeziz (Morocco), began her career creating Professional System, a data processing service company acquired later by the French group GFI and later renamed GFI-Maroc. Saloua Karkri-Belkeziz presently runs GFI-Maroc and has been recognised "Business Woman of the year in Morocco" (2004) by l'Express, a French weekly magazine. GFI-Maroc has established itself as one of the leading data processing companies in Morocco. Mrs. Belkeziz is also famous for creating the AFEM, the Moroccan Women Entrepreneurs Association, of which she held the presidency during six years.

Essma Ben Hamida

Essma Ben Hamida is director of Enda Inter-Arabe (Enda), which she co-founded in 1990 with Michael Cracknell and President of the microfinance network of Arab countries Sanabel.In 1995, Enda launched the first microcredit institution in Tunisia, which today reaches around 40,000 active clients, mainly women, in the poor areas of Tunisia.

Zoë Dean-Smith

As part of her role with Vital Voices, Zoe manages the Global Ambassador program which is a signature program between Vital Voices and the Bank of America. This is a mentoring program, partnering a small group of very high-level women mentors and a group of emerging leader mentees for a few select countries.

In 2012, Zoe briefly joined the Coca-Cola Foundation as Program Manager.

Wendy Luhabe

From corporate employment to social entrepreneurship and the boardrooms: bridging the gap between women and the economy. Wendy has a portfolio of interests and has been a social entrepreneur since 1991 after 10 years in corporate marketing. Her first business was in Human Resources Development to bridge the gap between management and employees to optimise performance.

Loïc Sadoulet

Loïc Sadoulet holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University. He has been teaching at INSEAD since 2000 in executive development programs, the MBA and executive MBA programs. He formerly worked at the World Bank and at the European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) in Brussels, and in a microfinance institution in Guatemala.

Lee-Anne Kassel

It isn't easy to be stylish when you're the mother of a new baby. Lee-Anne Kassel discovered this first hand when her daughter, Cheyanne, was born and she decided to breastfeed. Unable to find a comfortable yet fashionable maternity bra that would prevent breast milk from leaking onto her clothes, she decided to create one instead.

Lee-Anne founded Kasselot (Pty) Ltd., a company devoted to maternity lingerie. Its signature product, the Evanesse breastfeeding bra, is an elegant, leak-proof bra that draws moisture away from the breast using patented evaporative technology.

Bosede Edwards

Small businesses are a dynamic area of growth in Nigeria today. Encouraged by government-led tax incentives, soft loans and micro credit grants, thousands of new micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have sprung up over the past decade. Despite such promising initiatives, the success of these start-ups is often undermined by a lack of education and business skills.

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