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Catherine Wijnberg

Catherine Wijnberg

She is an advocate for change, women, and entrepreneurs.

In 2006, she founded Fetola with a mission to deliver sustainable solutions addressing the triple threat of unemployment, inequality, and poverty on a massive scale.

Under her leadership, Fetola has evolved into one of South Africa’s leading business growth agencies.

Renowned for its national business accelerators, Fetola empowers emerging SMEs, fueling economic growth and creating vital employment opportunities.

Catherine positions Fetola as a key player in nurturing healthy SME ecosystems across industries, contributing to the overall vibrancy of the business landscape.

Beyond her role at Fetola, she is a keynote speaker and author passionate about effecting scalable impact at the ecosystem level, leadership development, and innovation.

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Wale Ayeni

Wale Ayeni is a champion of Africa’s startup ecosystem and an advocate for venture capital and investment on the continent.

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Hilda Moraa

Hilda is an award-winning Kenyan innovator and author with a mission to empower African entrepreneurs.

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Dr. Ola Brown

Ola is a Nigerian-British medical doctor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a true visionary in the world of healthcare.

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Omar Shoukry Sakr

Omar Shoukry Sakr

He is the Founder and CEO of Nawah Scientific, an online platform that receives experiment requests, collects samples, conducts tests and returns results digitally.

Founded in 2015, the biotech startup aims to enable scientists to conduct higher-quality research, regardless of location and owned lab facilities.

Omar is a pharmacist by education and holds a PhD in pharmaceutical technology from the University of Geneva and an MBA from HULT Business School in London.

His career extends over 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical field in academia and industry.

Omar’s research focuses on nanotech applications for the controlled delivery of small molecules and biological drugs.

He has also authored and co-authored several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in top journals.

Omar holds several scientific and business awards, including the prestigious Jack Ma award, Africa Business Heroes (2019).

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Winnifred Selby

Winnifred is an award-winning, multi-talented Ghanaian social entrepreneur who strongly advocates for women’s empowerment.

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South African Shipping Startup TUNL Secures $1 Million for Expansion

New Investments

South African Shipping Startup TUNL Secures $1 Million for Expansion

TUNL, a South African e-commerce logistics platform, has secured $1 million in pre-seed funding to tackle exorbitant international shipping costs and empower local businesses.
 

The investment, led by Founders Factory Africa, Digital Africa Ventures, E4E Africa, and Jozi Angels, will fuel TUNL’s expansion within South Africa and pave the way for entry into other key African and emerging markets.

Founded in 2022 by CEO Matthew Davey and COO Craig Lowman, TUNL was launched out of Davey’s firsthand experience with the inefficiencies and high costs of international shipping.

Recognizing the challenge faced by e-commerce merchants, particularly SMEs, TUNL aims to level the playing field with a transparent and democratized pricing model.

“Cross-border shipping in Africa results in an estimated annual loss of $50 billion for businesses,” Davey explains.

“Even high-quality goods like textiles and camera accessories can be priced out due to exorbitant shipping fees, despite the presence of major couriers. TUNL partners with these same couriers, like UPS and FedEx, but negotiates favorable rates and offers significant cost savings to our merchants – up to 50% to 75% for SMEs.”

On the TUNL platform, merchants can offer customers flexible shipping options at checkout. This includes an “economy” option with shipping costs built into the product price, enabling free delivery via TUNL’s courier service with a slightly longer timeframe.  

Since its launch, the platform has experienced a 35% month-on-month increase, boasting over 700 merchants and facilitating over 8,000 international parcels in 2023, representing R19.5 million worth of exports from South Africa.

With monthly revenue approaching $60,000, TUNL plans to utilize the funding to enhance merchant onboarding, streamline the platform’s user experience, and drive sales growth.  

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“We are delighted to partner with ISA to support the development of solar energy in Africa,” said Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50. “This partnership will help to accelerate the deployment of solar energy in Africa and improve the lives of millions of Africans,” he added.

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IFC Invests in Biovac to Boost Africa’s Vaccine Production

Key Developments

IFC Invests in Biovac to Boost Africa's Vaccine Production

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced an investment and advisory support package for Biovac, a leading South African biopharmaceutical company.
 

The IFC’s investment includes a $7 million rand loan to support Biovac’s current production of various vaccines, including those for HPV, meningococcal disease, cholera, and several pediatric vaccines.

Beyond the financial support, the IFC and Biovac have established a formal collaboration agreement.

The IFC will provide project development assistance for Biovac’s ambitious plan to build a new multi-vaccine production facility in Cape Town.

This facility is expected to significantly increase Biovac’s production capacity, from the current 150 million doses to a remarkable 560 million doses per year.

The funding will not only enable the production of traditional bacterial-based vaccines but also empower Biovac to venture into messenger RNA (mRNA)–based vaccines. This strategic move aims to strengthen African vaccine value chains and ultimately reduce the continent’s dependence on vaccine imports.

Biovac’s Chief Financial Officer, Craig Mitchell, expressed his excitement about the partnership with the IFC, highlighting its crucial role in advancing research and development, drug substance, and achieving end-to-end manufacturing capabilities in Africa.

Biovac stands out as one of the few vaccine companies in Africa with robust product development capabilities.

It currently supplies approximately 80% of South Africa’s routine pediatric vaccines and has delivered over 450 million vaccine doses since 2003 to public healthcare facilities in South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Namibia.

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