SmartBlade co-founder among 22 finalists shortlisted for 2019 Awief Awards

Featured image: Supplied

Dr Caroline Corbett, the co-founder of Cape Town based medtech startup SmartBlade, is among 22 finalists shortlisted for the 2019 Awief Awards.

Corbett, whose startup in June secured a R9.5-million investment from the Savant Venture fund (see this story), has been nominated for the Tech Entrepreneur Award along with two Cameroonians — AppsTech founder and CEO Cameroonian Rebecca Enonchong and Engineering Consulting and Services Diane Temogne.

The annual awards are an initiative of the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (Awief) and are meant to celebrate women leaders and entrepreneurs across the continent.

The 2019 Awief Awards will take place on 30 October in Cape Town

In addition, the awards aim to promote excellence in entrepreneurship and innovation among women-owned business in all sectors across the continent’s 54 countries.

The awards are part of Awief’s Conference and Expo which will take place on 29 and 30 October in Cape Town at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. This year’s event marks the annual conference’s fifth anniversary.

The winners of the awards will be announced at a gala dinner on 30 October. The other finalists shortlisted for the awards are:

Young Entrepreneur Award:

  • AfriAgric Products (Tanzania) Beatrice Haule
  • Lagos Executive Cardiovascular Clinic (Nigeria) Lola Alli
  • Flying Doctors (Nigeria) Ola Orekunrin Brown

Social Entrepreneur Award:

  • Rural Women’s Movement (South Africa) Sizani Ngubane
  • Dislabelled (Ghana) Efua Asibon
  • Zip Zap (South Africa) Laurence Esteve

Agri Entrepreneur Award:

  • Vouch Digital (Uganda) Evelyn Namara
  • ProFish (Ghana) Caroline Pomeyie
  • ReelFruit (Nigeria) Affiong Williams

Empowerment Award: 

  • Njia Empowerment Organisation (Kenya) Mary Inzofu
  • WeCreate (Zambia) Nambula Kachumi
  • Mukuru Clean Stoves (Kenya) Charlot Magayi

Creative Industry Award:

  • Mangishi Doll Co. (Zambia) Kapasa Musonda
  • Paradise Fashion (Ethiopia) Genet Kebede
  • House of Irawo (Nigeria) Abby Ikomi

Lifetime Achievement Award: 

  • Lifeline Energy (South Africa) Kristine Pearson
  • Festival International du Wassulu (Mali) Oumou Sangaré
  • Lufodo Group (Nigeria) Joke Silva

Awief founder and CEO Irene Ochem noted in a statement last week that women-owned businesses are a vital part of the African economy, and that its women are its “most valuable, untapped resource”.

“Each year the entries to the Awief Awards grow in number and this response signifies the importance of recognising and celebrating women in Africa for their achievements and contribution to Africa’s economic and sustainable development,” said Ochem.

Ochem said the finalists were “rigorously assessed” in terms of the sustainability of their businesses, as well as the documented or prospective impact on community development and the economy.

Frost & Sullivan business development director for Middle East and Africa Birgitta Cederstrom, who is this year’s head judge, said over 200 entrepreneurs had been shortlisted for the awards before the 22 finalists were selected.

Cederstrom said the judging panel was “delighted” to see the high standard and quality of entries coming through to Awief.

“We are hoping that investors are signing up for the upcoming Award Programme Subscription that will be launched in 2020 to help identify the best female startups in Africa across key industries such as agri, tech, fintech, chemicals and healthcare,” she said.

Featured image: Supplied



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