Catherine Mahugu

Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Entrepreneur

Wazidata

Catherine Mahugu is a globally acclaimed entrepreneur specializing in information communication technology (ICT) for development. She founded Wazidata, a design company focused on creating human-centered solutions and products that can change lives for social good. Wazidata has worked with Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, UNHCR and​ ​Safaricom.

She is also the Founder of Soko, an ethical fashion brand that expands access to economic opportunity for artisans in emerging economies.The jewellery has been featured in Vogue and Glamour Magazine.

An in-demand speaker, Catherine’s practical experiences and passionate delivery, have proven to be a winning formula for tens of thousands of conference attendees. She has been invited to speak by Harvard,​ ​the​ ​Economist​ ​and​ ​Financial​ ​Times.

She is an Ashoka, UN-ITU and World Bank fellow. Catherine was featured in Forbes Magazines as one of the top 30 global entrepreneurs and highlighted by BBC as one of the top 100 women. She has also been​ ​featured​ ​on​ ​CNN,​ ​CNBC,​ ​Marie​ ​Claire,​ ​and​ ​other​ ​mainstream​ ​media.

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Catherine Mahugu is a globally acclaimed entrepreneur, ICT for Development consultant, keynote speaker, mentor, changemaker, youth empowerment champion and a strong advocate of gender equality and equity. She is a software engineer by profession and a change-maker by passion.

With a love of all things binary and a keen eye for design, Catherine has been involved in various ICT for Development projects. In these projects, she has applied design thinking for social
innovation. She is a certified human-centered design expert, a skill acquired at Stanford University -Hasso Plattner – d.School (California, USA)

With her award-winning entrepreneurial experience. She founded Wazidata, a human-centred, design thinking company focused on creating human-centered solutions and products that can change lives for social good. Wazidata has worked with Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, UNHCR, FHI360, Quicksand and Safaricom.

Catherine Mahugu is also the Founder of Soko. Soko is an ethical fashion brand that expands access to economic opportunity for artisans in emerging economies. At Soko, she has effectively overseen the end to end operational execution and delivery of products to over 450 international retailers, several large brands such as Nordstrom, Fossil, QVC, TJMaxx, Edun, Esprit, Anthropologie and global e-commerce consumers. Notable press that has featured Soko products include Vogue and Glamour magazine. Celebrities such as Lupita Nyongo, Nicole Kidman, Oprah Winfrey and Emma Watson have been styled with Soko's jewellery. By driving and supporting the technology innovation at Soko, she has contributed to transforming the traditional global supply chain and changing the fashion industry for good.

Her international achievements have made her a global thought leader in matters pertaining to Africa, international trade, next generation leaders and the role ICT and women play in the entrepreneurship realm. Her impressive contribution has become a point of reference in international case studies and successful experiences to follow.

An in-demand speaker, Catherine’s practical experiences and passionate delivery, have proven to be a winning formula for tens of thousands of conference attendees. She has received numerous invitations to speak including at the World Bank 2015 conference, the Economist 2016 conference, Financial Times 2017 Summit and Harvard 2017 conference.
She has been recognized as:

● Women of the Decade in Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation 2018
● Women Super Achiever Award 2017
● One of Forbes top 30 entrepreneurs Globally 2016
● Most Influential Woman in Business and Government –Africa 2016
● One of Forbes Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs- 2015
● BBC’s top 30 entrepreneur 2015
● Kenya’s top 5 Female Entrepreneurs under 40
● World bank’s top 11 inspirational women
● A Leader of Tomorrow at the St.Gallen’s 44th Symposium in Switzerland 2014

She has been featured in Forbes Magazine as top 30 entrepreneurs globally and highlighted as top 100 women by the BBC. She has also been featured on CNN, CNBC, Marie Claire, Airbnb, South Africa Airways inflight magazine, World bank and other mainstream media.