Each year the World Economic Forum undertakes an ambitious mission – to scour the world to select 100 young leaders, under the age of 40, who are tackling the world’s most complex challenges with innovative approaches. Not only are women in the majority in this year’s class, but half the intake come from emerging economies, reflecting a trend towards greater diversity in global leadership. Four game-changing women entrepreneurs and socialpreneurs from sub-Saharan Africa make this year’s list.
The class of 2017 also includes amazing leaders from the not-for-profit and social-enterprise space who are working tirelessly to make our societies more inclusive. As global industry, government and civil society strive to bridge divides and promote an inclusive future, the WEF brings together a range of inspiring individuals who have distinguished themselves in their fields, whether it's gene-editing or building emotionally literate computers, leading multibillion-dollar companies in a sustainable manner or rebuilding wartorn nations. Selected into a five-year programme, this year’s class of 100 Young Global Leaders is split evenly between business and not-for-profit sectors – building a global community of peers who can capitalize on diverse talents, experiences and networks to bridge divides that exist in society and achieve more together than they could separately.
Four game-changing women entrepreneurs and socialpreneurs from sub-Saharan Africa make this year’s list. Firstly, Chido Govera, founder and director of The Future of Hope Foundation from Zimbabwe. Orphaned at the age of seven, she escaped a life of poverty and abuse in rural Zimbabwe. Now she's an activist, teaching mushroom cultivation to thousands of people in Eastern and Southern Africa and other developing countries across the world. Secondly, Jamila Abass, founder of M-Farm in Kenya. Jamilla set up this social enterprise at age 26. Her company M-Farm, gives small subsistence farmers vital market information via SMS and helps them reach buyers. Her work has empowered 100,000 farmers to collectively improve market access and bargaining power. Thirdly, Marie Lora-Mungai, CEO and Executive Producer of Restless Global, from Kenya. After working as a journalist, Marie founded Restless Global, a company focused on producing African stories for an international audience. Previously, she also founded Buni.tv, one of the pioneers of African video-on-demand. Finally, Rapelang Rabana, originally from Botswana and the founder and CEO of Rekindle Learning. Rapelang is a tech entrepreneur who runs an education company that uses innovative digital and online tools to enhance learning.
Commenting on the selection of the 2017 100 Young Global Leaders, John Dutton, Director of the WEF, said: “While these young leaders have already attained significant success, as part of the YGL Community they will be challenged to accomplish feats together that, individually, would be unthinkable. In a world that’s crying out for new models of leadership, I’m confident that this group will leave an indelible impact.”