African-led Startup, She Leads Africa, Rings Closing Bell on New York Stock Exchange

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Digital media company, She Leads Africa (SLA), recently became the first African startup to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

As part of the NYSE’s outreach programme, the American stock exchange invited the firm co-founded by Ms. Yasmin Belo-Osagie, daughter of Nigerian business mogul, Mr. Hakeem Belo-Osagie, to highlight SLA’s success in 2016 in delivering business and career advice to 200,000 millennial, urban and engaged African women through in person workshops and digital training.

The NYSE is the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalisation at US$19.3 trillion as of June 2016.

According to a statement from the digital firm, the closing bell ceremony was featured on the NYSE website and on television networks such as CNBC, Bloomberg TV and Fox Business News, reaching 150 million of viewers worldwide.

SLA co-founders joined other notable leaders such as former South African President Nelson Mandela, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and African Union Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma who have had the honor of ringing the closing bell on the NYSE.

In 2016, SLA recorded significant growth by investing in local professional development events and enhancing the educational offerings available online.
Over the past year, SLA grew its community by 600% to more than 200,000 women across more than 30 countries and five continents.

To provide their community with additional opportunities to connect with business leaders, SLA took their SheHive bootcamp on an international tour hosting learning events in seven different cities in six countries across three continents.

SLA also worked with prominent global brands such as Huawei, Facebook and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc to help them connect to smart and ambitious African women.
Ms. Belo-Osagie was featured in a Microsoft commercial in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia and in two weeks of airing drove five times more digital return on investment than any other ad in its industry.

In 2017, SLA is planning to expand their digital offerings to introduce short form web series’ and podcasts to show the unique, inspiring and educational stories of African women across the continent and diaspora.

SLA will also be launching the SLAY Festival in January, to create a larger platform to put African women at the center of culture, innovation and technology.