Boston-born, Nigeria-raised Yasmin Belo-Osagie knows that she has enjoyed significant opportunities unavailable to most African women. She had a strong role model in her mother, a lawyer who started her own firm in Nigeria. Belo-Osagie went to boarding school in England, then graduated from Princeton University. She attended Le Cordon Bleu in London and Paris and did a stint as a pastry chef in Hong Kong.
As Belo-Osagie, a former McKinsey consultant, surveyed entrepreneurial opportunities for African women, she saw an overwhelming emphasis on thinking small: microfinance, microbusinesses, microprogress. But she knew smart, dynamic women who want to start medium or large businesses. She Leads Africa, which Belo-Osagie cofounded in 2013, has helped nurture hundreds of aspiring, ambitious female entrepreneurs, with support from companies including Intel, Guaranty Trust Bank, Huawei, and Etisalat.
In 2015, Belo-Osagie took five female entrepreneurs to China to meet with successful women entrepreneurs and China-based investors interested in Africa. Next, she’ll host versions of her professional boot camp, the SheHive, in Lagos, Nigeria, Johannesburg, South Africa, and other global cities. While continuing to grow She Leads Africa, Belo-Osagie is also pursuing a joint JD/MBA from Harvard Law School and Stanford Graduate School of Business.