- Forbes Africa releases a new list called New Wealth Creators.
- It features 20 female entrepreneurs from across the continent.
- Five Nigerians make the list.
Forbes Africa has released a new list. It is called ‘New Wealth Creators’.
This list features 20 female entrepreneurs, five from Nigeria, and the rest from other parts of the continent. According to the popular magazine, they were chosen because of their significant contribution in their sectors.
Explaining the list, Forbes Africa said, “Through this list, money is no longer the central indicator of new wealth creation. It is about job creation, contributing to healthy societies, recycling waste, giving agency to those who are financially excluded and developing solutions for some of the socio-economic problems we grapple with.”
Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa takes a look at the five Nigerians entrepreneurs looking to solve the socio-economic challenges in the country and the rest of the continent.
Odunayo Eweniyi, 26
Co-founder and COO, Piggybank.ng
Odunayo is a first class graduate of computer engineering at Covenant University in Nigeria. She started her business — Piggybank — with two former university mates Somto Ifezue and Joshua Chibueze.
The company was founded in December 2015. “Piggybank.ng was born out of the need to help people create a sustainable means of saving,” she explains.
Over the following years, the business went through some difficulties until 2017, when the app started gaining traction. A partnership with United Bank for Africa (UBA) and the launch of a SafeLock feature helped them save N683 million ($1.8 million) by the end of the year. In March 2018, they raised an additional $1 million.
The app has over 180,000 current users and has won several awards including Future Awards Africa Prize in Technology 2018, Business Day Top 100 SMEs, and the 2017 Village Capital Fintech.
She tells Forbes, “A new wealth creator is finding newer, more creative and easier ways to help people create wealth.”
Jessica Anuna, 27
Founder and CEO, Klasha
With a background in e-commerce, fashion and manufacturing, she started her company in 2017 with an investment of $120,000 from an international startup accelerator called TechStars Dubai.
She has a warehouse in Lagos state, Nigeria and another branch in Dubai. Her staff consists of six women, all under the age of 27.
In an interview with Forbes Africa, she says, “I do believe Africa has the power to change and be a force economically… For me, being a new wealth creator means creating economic opportunities for females on the ground in Africa.”
Jessica has also been listed on Management Today’s 35 Women Under 35 to watch.
Vivian Nwakah, 36
Founder and CEO, Medsaf
Sector: Digital Pharmacies
Losing a friend because of fake drugs and inadequate healthcare services five years ago changed the course of Vivian’s life.
In her words, “He died from taking a fake malaria pill but he also died in a horrible way, in that he went to one hospital and they gave him more malaria pills, and then went to another and they pumped his stomach with something that made his liver fail.
“They took him to other hospitals after that but his health did not improve. At the end of the day, he died in the back of a car. That was so shocking and eye-opening to me that the healthcare industry in Nigeria had very serious issues. And in the story of his death, you see many different problems with the healthcare system.”
This experience as well as her inability to find the right medication she needed for her health fuelled her desire to do something about the situation. In January 2017, she started a digital medication supply chain management solution called Medsaf.
So far, over 400 hospitals and pharmacies have signed up to use the platform. The company, which employs 13 people, has also raised $1.4 million.
Speaking with the magazine, she says, “A new wealth creator is using innovative and disruptive ideas to improve on existing ways of life or ways of business in emerging markets and opening the people’s minds to doing things differently and creating jobs and opportunities that didn’t exist before because of their innovative thinking.”
Ngozi Adebiyi, 44
Founder, CEO and Lead Consultant, OutsideIn HR
Sector: HR Innovations
She became an ‘accidental entrepreneur’ after working in the human resource (HR) sector for over 13 years.
“People that I had worked with starting asking me, ‘oh, come and help us with this, come and help us with that’, so I usually say that I became an accidental entrepreneur,” she explains.
This repeated experience prompted Ngozi to start her own company — OutsideIn HR in December 2012. “I didn’t know it at the time but I was doing HR from the outside in,” she says.
She works with a team of 10 people. She plans to revolutionize HR by offering innovative services catered to each client.
Co-founder and CEO, mDoc
Sector: Digital Health
In 2010, Dr Nneka Mobisson’s father died from a stroke. This was due to the fact that there were no doctors to help control his hypertension. Six years later, she left her job as an Executive Doctor for Africa at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to do make life better for people living with chronic health care needs.
To do this, she co-founded mDoc, a mobile platform that provides 24/7 access to virtual healthcare providers for people living with diabetes, respiratory system disease, HIV, asthma and cancer. With the app, people can reach experts from South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, Kenya, US, UK and Nigeria.
Explaining the importance of her app, she tells Forbes, “We want to integrate with the healthcare system and not replace it. But integrating means we also have to do our part to also improve it.
“It’s not just about the high tech but it’s also about a high-touch approach. It is realizing that in our context, we have got to be innovative in how we create and foster community, and how we foster knowledge and how we empower our people.”
Mobisson is a 2014 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and 2017 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards finalist.