Stella Safari

Founder, Zapenda

Stella Safari is the Founder and CEO of Zapenda, an African-inspired fashion brand with roots in Congo. Ms. Safari was born in South Kivu and immigrated to America with her older sisters following the war. After earning her degree from Dartmouth College, she moved to Detroit where she began her career in venture capital and startup operations. Before starting Zapenda, Ms. Safari ran an early stage accelerator where she helped high growth companies scale and raise over $20M in venture capital. Her work with entrepreneurs in Detroit inspired her to return to Congo and be a part of shaping a better future for her home country. She created Zapenda with a mission to create employment opportunities for talented tailors while sharing the beauty of Congolese fashion with the world. Zapenda recently opened a showroom in Detroit and a production atelier in Bukavu. Ms. Safari was featured in Crain's Detroit 20 in their Twenties list and is a recipient of the Joy Ivy Foundation Woman of Impact Award.