Kenyan innovator puts Africa on the map as Aurora Tech Awards announces 2023 winners



African female tech innovators are changing the game and putting Africa on the global tech map. This International Women’s Day, the Aurora Tech Award announced the winner of their latest edition, and this year, a Kenyan woman took the lead. Elizabeth Mwangi, founder of Gwiji, stood out among 400 applicants worldwide for her groundbreaking startup that connects cleaners in Nairobi’s slums with local clients. With 11 African women making it to the shortlist, Elizabeth’s win is a testament to the rising number of female innovators solving Africa’s challenges.


Launched in May 2022, the project thus far has been able to complete more than 2,000 cleaning orders and increase a cleaners income from $2 to $10 per day.


“Through Gwiji, we have been able to economically empower more than 150 women that live in extreme poverty in Nairobi by connecting them to over 500 clients.” stated Mwangi, “These women are the breadwinners in their families and finding work ensures that their families eat, and their children go to school.” she added.


“This year’s Award not only recognizes the efforts of these remarkable founders, but supports the winners with cash prizes to help them reach their goals,“ said Ekaterina Smirnova, Executive Director of the Aurora Tech Award, “we will continue to support our participants offering mentorship resources to contribute to their startups’ further development” she concluded.


Iva Gumnishka from Bulgaria won second place and a $20,000 cash prize with Humans in the Loop, a company providing data annotation services for computer vision to refugees and people in conflict situations. They offer remote work that can be done safely from home and provide essential training for AI model supervision. Rocket Learning, created by Namya Mahajan from India, won third place and a $10,000 prize for organizing digital teacher-parent communities to make early childhood education accessible to low-income families. The project aims to improve women’s empowerment, labor force participation, and children’s learning and life outcomes through early childhood development.


Founded in 2021 by inDrive, a US-headquartered global mobility and urban services platform, the Award supports women entrepreneurs who are using technology to develop their communities, with the overarching goal of challenging gender inequality in IT.


On this important date, inDrive and the Aurora Teach Award recognize women who have become the driving force behind development, and that connect communities to vital educational, health, and financial services.


Learn more about the Aurora Tech Award and receive helpful tips for women entrepreneurs by signing up to the digest here.

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