The recent African Travel Summit brought attention to one very energetic and flawless entrepreneur who has opened up a door for young African women looking to build successful career. Afua Osei is the co-founder of She Leads Africa – a platform that claims to be the largest online community for African millennial women in the world. The budding entrepreneur took time to explain in an interview with one news outlet, how she got started and her journey to establishing a community with over half a million people.
Osei talked to Black Enterprise about her journey and the milestones she has completed in order to get where she is right now. When asked about how she started her company, she said, “My first time in Lagos was in 2012 and I was an intern during business school. There was so much attention focused on how to get the right job and present yourself. When I spent my summer in Lagos, I realized that very few people have access to that kind of coaching. You hope that someone’s gonna hook you up, someone’s gonna take care of you, someone’s gonna help you navigate, but if you don’t know anyone, if you don’t have those ‘in’ connections, you literally are kind of navigating the professional space blind.”
“I wanted to create a platform that would help break through some of those challenges that people were facing and provide them with access to resources, access to information, and access to opportunities, but also doing so in a way that’s relevant to young women. Business and career don’t have to be boring or stuffy. It can be interesting but, it can be helpful as well,” she added.
Osei went on to explain that so far her company has managed to reach about 500,000 women spread out across the continent. Additionally she explained how her company has been able to work with brands like Samsung, L’Oreal, Google, and others for brand development.
Osei who has an eye for good business also talked of how she came to meet Airbnb. She recalled that, “Two years ago, during Women’s History Month in South Africa in August, they wanted to shine a light on some of their hosts because so many of the hosts on the platform, particularly in South Africa are women. So really, it was just about showing them that, not only is this a great opportunity and a way to show culture but it’s a great business opportunity. That’s what we are all about, how do we help women find and use the resources that they have to really expand their economic impact. Since then, we’ve always been supportive about showing opportunities to monetize, showcasing the stories of some of the women that are on the platform, and so when they were planning the summit they reached out and we were happy to be involved.”
In the same interview Osei emphasized the importance and advantages of using the online platform to not only connect but also to expand.