Nigerian entrepreneurs, Tunde Kehinde and Chinny Ogunro, selected among WEF's Young Global Leaders for 2020

Tunde Kehinde, co-founder of Lidya (Youtube/Goodwell Investments BV)
  • Nigerian entrepreneurs Tunde Kehinde and Chinny Ogunro make list of Young Global Leaders (YGL) for 2020.
  • WEF's Young Global Leaders are under the age of 40.
  • They are regarded as Influential people who want to make the world a better place.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has picked two Nigerian entrepreneurs, Tunde Kehinde and Chinny Ogunro, among 115 Young Global Leaders (YGL) for 2020.

Tunde Kehinde is the co-founder of Lidya, a digital SME lending platform with operations in New York, Lagos, Porto, Warsaw, and Prague. Dr. Chinny Ogunro, on the other hand, is the CEO of a Lagos-based WellSpring Health, an integrated care consortium committed to delivering quality, affordable healthcare at scale.

The two young entrepreneurs joined the other 11 Africans to be selected as a YGL this year.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Tunde Kehinde said, “I am excited to collaborate with leaders from around the world and work towards delivering solutions to some of the most intractable problems. SME access to finance is one such global challenge that is constraining growth and job creation. Lidya is providing credit to SMEs that have often never had the opportunity to borrow to grow their businesses. We started lending in Nigeria in 2016 and today we have started lending in Poland and the Czech Republic with plans to disburse more than $1 billion to SMEs in five years.”

Kehinde co-founded fintech SME lender Lidya in 2016. The business, which now has operations in New York, Lagos, Porto, Warsaw and Prague, partners with banks, payment processors and consumer brands to provide loans within 24 hours to SMEs in fast-growing economies.

Lidya has ambitious expansion plans and is on a mission to create 100 million jobs worldwide by bridging the SME credit gap. According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the unmet financing needs of SMEs in developing nations is $5.2 trillion every year.

To date, Lidya has disbursed around 15,000 loans worth more than $35 million. Lidya is backed by blue-chip investors including Accion Venture Lab, Omidyar Network, Bamboo Capital Partners, Alitheia Capital, Goodwell Investments, and Newid Capital.

On the 2020 list, Kehinde is the only African YGL working within the finance or fintech space.

Dr. Ogunro is the Chief Executive Officer of WellSpring Health, an integrated care consortium committed to delivering quality, affordable healthcare at scale. Based in Lagos, Nigeria.

WellSpring Health drives away from traditional isolated, vertically-funded health programs to, instead, provide solutions from a comprehensive, horizontal approach centered on facility-level change and networked clinics.

She is a co-founder of Africa Health Holdings (AHH), a healthcare investment and operations company committed to delivering high-quality, low-cost health care across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Chinny also serves as Director of Health Research at the Center for the Study of the Economies of Africa, a think tank spearheaded by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, where her work has explored innovative business models for health care delivery in growth economies, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

Prominent of the 2020 list for Africa include Larry Madowo - The BBC Africa Business Editor, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Ghana’s Minister of Information, Aurelie Adam-Soule Zoumarou and Paula Ingabire, Ministers of ICT in the Benin Republic and Rwanda respectively.

Each year, the Forum of Young Global Leaders identifies the world’s most promising leaders under the age of 40 - people driving innovation for positive change across civil society, arts, culture, government, and business. By connecting them to a community of remarkable peers and investing further in their leadership abilities, the aim is to create a ripple effect over five years that benefits their organizations and the world.

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