1. Magatte Wade 37 years Sanegelese
Magatte Wade is one of the most notable female entrepreneurs to emerge from Africa. Born in Senegal and educated in France, she is the original founder of Adina World Beat Beverages, a San Francisco beverage company that manufactures coffee, tea and fruit juices based on indigenous traditional beverage recipes from across the world, using organic ingredients sourced from small-scale farmers across Africa and Asia.
Wade started the company in 2004 and within five years had raised $30 million in venture capital. That was great news but had drawbacks. Other parties became increasingly influential regarding the styling, positioning, and content of the brand. Wade did not like the direction, so she stepped down as Adina’s CEO in 2009, but held onto a stake.
Wade then went on to start Tiossan, a company that produces luxury organic skin-care products based on traditional Senegalese skin care recipes, in New York. The name is a play on “Thiosane” a Wolof (Senegalese) word which means“origins.”