// By Nneamaka Nwadei
There are myriads of platforms that make our lives easier in the 21st Century. From editing apps to networking sites, payment, savings and investment platforms, craft and creativity hubs, the list is endless. While history records the contribution of women to the sciences, there is still gender disparity, and resulting advocacy for more women to be involved in tech, and STEM.
This article celebrates some platforms that have changed the game in different areas of society and the women who have made them possible.
Melanie Perkins, Australia: Canva is a multibillion-dollar graphics design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content. It was founded in 2012 and recorded more than 750,000 users that year. The design platform also has products like Canva, Canva Pro, Canva for Enterprise, Canva for Education- to cater to the diverse needs of designers and educators. Within five years the company was reported to have about 10 million registered users in 179 countries.
Melanie Perkins studied Communications, Psychology, and Commerce at the University of Western Australia. While in University, she created Fusion Books, which helped students to design their own school yearbooks by using a simple drag-and-drop tool equipped with a library of design templates that could be populated with photos, illustrations, and fonts. Following the success of this, she set out to build Canva with co-founders Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams.
To know more about Canva, click here.
Odun Eweniyi (Co-founder)- Nigeria: Piggyvest is one of Nigeria’s leading Fintech Startups, which digitized the traditional ‘kolo’ used for saving money. It was first introduced in 2016 as Piggybank.ng- a savings app, but rebranded in 2019 as Piggyvest to allow for a wider range of services, including investment. Odun Eweniyi is a co-founder and chief operating officer of the app, sharing the title with two others. she graduated with a first-class degree in Computer Engineering from Covenant University and cofounded PushCv before moving to cofound Piggyvest.
Read more about Piggyvest here.
Related read: People often ask the difference between cowrywise and Piggyvest, hopefully this answers some of the questions.
Whitney Wolfe Herd, US: at a point Tinder was at the top of the dating apps list, but Whitney, a former staff wanted to change the game with upper stakes for women, and she did by creating Bumble, a dating app that serves 35 million users presently, and has the interesting function of keeping the woman the upper hand: that means women get to message their matches first, and if there is no response within 24 hours, the message disappears. The app has become so useful that the company also introduced Bumble Bizz and Bumble BFF for people looking for businesses, and looking to form new social circles. Whitney was listed at number 72 of 80 ‘Richest Self-made Women’ by Forbes in 2019
Find out more about Bumble here:
Erika Hairston, US: Zimela is an app that encourages underrepresented groups to enter tech by connecting women; particularly black women, with mentors, career placement opportunities and internships. It launched in 2019 and provides access to events, programs and organizations in a variety of industries: architecture, finance, technology, to list a few. Erika Hairston is the developer and founder graduated with degrees in Computer science and African American Studies, from Yale University.
Find out about Zimela here:
ShukranObakam Tom-George (Co-Founder), Nigeria: Shukran is a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform with a particular focus on content creators. The platform enables content creators to get financial support through local and international tips from people who enjoy their work with as little as N100/KSH100/$1. It launched in 2020 with a vision to build a hive of creatives to earn from their content through the tools available on the platform. It is presently active in Nigeria and Kenya and serves creatives across various platforms. Obakam is a lawyer and creative with a gift of developing content and strategy to implement media, tech and communication objectives. She is also the host of Blue Ribbon Podcast. She co-founded Shukran alongside Olamide Akomolafe, Ossai Nwachukwu, Feranmi Ogundeko and Andanje Wobanda.
Andanje Wobanda (Co-Founder), Kenya: Andanje is a writer, editor of True Love East Africa Magazine and a food photographer. Her track records boast of high-quality materials produced for both print and online platforms and telling inspiring, creative African Stories.
Find out more about Shukran here.
Sairee Chahal, India: a social networking app for women to connect and share their interests through videos and posts, get health, legal, relationship and beauty advice, and get the best work from home opportunities. Sairee has been credited with building up women in India, as well as building technology to solve the problem of gender disparity in India.
Find out more about sheroes here.
In a world where data is king, these queens are riding on to glory.