Saturday morning at 8am on WCLK's The Local Take, we begin a series of interviews with the 2019 Clark Atlanta University School of Business Young African Leadership Initiative - Mandela Fellows. This highly competitive program, which began under the Obama Administration in 2009 brings the brightest young leaders from across the continent for an eight week intensive study program around entrepreneurship.
Although many universities have come and gone, Clark Atlanta University's School of Business has been a consistent partner, receiving high regards from all involved.
This week I speak with Corine Hounsou of Benin, who is an entrepreneur in the cosmetology field. Her company is VIVABLACK. Corine joined the natural hair and beauty movement that was rising in Benin. She develops products for skin and hair. Her lotions and potions are created specifically to enhance an African woman's natural beauty. She also trains underprivileged girls to become professionals in the haircare and braiding industry so that they can begin their own careers. Her favorite thing about Benin is that they have one of the largest open-air markets in West Africa, Grand Marche de Dantokpa. Corine shares that she imagines a gathering of hundreds of women all wearing her VIVABlack t-shirts in solidarity and pride.
Nana Prempeh from Ghana is a fintech mogul who has launched three payment processing solutions. His company, like many others, came about due to a need. Asoriba.com is a payment system developed specifically to meet the needs of the church community. He also provides financing to help farmers by allowing people to invest in accredited farmers who grow commodities. The site GrowForMe.com allows you to farm without getting dirty. This Forbes 30 Under 30 in Ghana recipient sees his country as a "great land of opportunities." He refers to Ghana as the Door of Return, a gateway for members of the diaspora to return to the continent. His third enterprise allows business to take digital payments for their goods and services, MyBusinessPay.com
For more information on the Young African Leadership Initiative
For more information about VIVABlack