Kasope Ladipo-Ajai, founder and owner of a Nigerian food production startup calledÂ Omo Alata Foods, has won the She Leads AfricaÂ 2015 Entrepreneur Showcase for women entrepreneurs.
The She Leads AfricaÂ Entrepreneur Showcase is hosted annually to promote and boost women entrepreneurs on the continent.
Ajai was among six finalists chosen from over 400 applications that came in from 30 African countries to pitch for their chance to win a $10 000 (around R140 000) prize, including cash andÂ direct access to potential investors as well asÂ business support.
The computer science graduate was crowned the winner at theÂ Motherland Mogul Week event held at the She Leads Africa offices in Nigeria from theÂ 20th to 26th September.
Omo Alata Foods focuses onÂ sourcing commonly-used Nigerian fresh produce, and employs best practices for cleaning, processing and packaging it that would benefit consumersâ€™ health.
Second place and a $5 000 cash prize went toÂ Kambili Ngozi Ofili-Okonkwo, owner of womenâ€™s swimwear startupÂ Kamokini, whileÂ Ngozi Opara, owner of theÂ Heat Free Hair MovementÂ company, took third place andÂ $1 000 cash.
When asked what she would do with her prize money, Ajai said she wants to grow itÂ into a brand that will be a household name and make a difference in society.
Her words to other aspiring entrepreneurs were,
â€œâ€¦itâ€™s going to be tough but donâ€™t let that stop you from starting. Join a support group of other entrepreneurs. It helps to speak to people who are going through similar experiences because they understand you in ways others may not. These are the people who will keep you going.â€
[Source and image â€“ She Leads Africa]