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Massachusetts Institute of Technology Legatum center for development & entrepreneurship

Legatum Center Blog

Below is an article from the Legatum Center

2021 Legatum Foundry Fellows

The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology introduces the inaugural cohort of Legatum Foundry Fellows.

Meet the 2021 Legatum Foundry Fellows

Ehi Binitie, Rancard & Clear Space Labs

As one of the continents pioneering tech entrepreneurs, Ehi has scaled multiple tech ventures across the world. Ehi co-founded Rancard, a digital marketing company in Ghana, to solve relevant problems of scale for businesses across the continent by connecting companies with mobile audiences. Now, as Founder of Clear Space Labs, Ehi is using his skills and experience to foster a new generation of innovators to build and launch technology innovations that improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

Clarisse Iribagiza, Hehe Academy

Clarisse is the founder of Hehe Academy in Rwanda, an award-winning research and innovation do-tank spurring aspiring innovators to create digital solutions for people living in Africa. Clarisse is committed to creating vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems through her mentorship and capacity building for technology entrepreneurs and an advocate for new funding models to address the funding gap for early-stage innovative startups.

Dare Okoudjou, MFS Africa

Dare is the Founder of MFS Africa, Africa’s largest payment gateway, which serves clients with mobile money transfers in more than 30 countries. Having spent the last ten years building MFS Africa, Dare is committed to supporting the next generation of African innovation-driven business founders. Dare believes that for businesses to prosper in Africa, they need operate across borders and be Pan-African. He is championing the cross-pollination of ideas and solutions by finding, funding, and supporting multinational teams who are addressing continental problems rather than local ones.

Delila Khaled, Development Innovations Group & Global Bio Fund

Delila co-founded the Development Innovations Group (DIG), an international development company, that designs and implements innovative, pro-poor financing solutions throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Building on her work with DIG, Delila is pivoting into the investment space to tackle the alarming lack of venture funding for women entrepreneurs. Delila is currently a founding member of Global Bio Fund, a gender smart fund that will invest in women-owned businesses in the bio and life science sectors.

Opeyemi Awoyemi, WhoGoHost, Jobberman & Moneymie

Opeyemi founded WhoGoHost, Jobberman, and Momeymie in Nigeria three pioneering technology-enabled companies solving for challenges he experienced as a young entrepreneur. Today Whogohost provides 50,000+ small businesses with affordable website hosting, Jobberman is the largest job website in Sub-Saharan Africa with 5 million users, and Moneymie is building bespoke financial services for African migrants. As an experienced founder, Opeyemi is now accelerating the growth of entrepreneur-led ecosystems by building partnerships with development banks and multilateral organizations. 

Chinedu Azodoh, MAX

A native Nigerian, Chinedu is Co-Founder of MAX, a technology-enabled company that is transforming mobility across Africa by making it safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable. As he continues to scale, Chinedu is focusing on the role of governance and policy in stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria and beyond.

Adebayo Alonge, RxAll

After experiencing health problems from receiving counterfeit medications, Adebayo founded RxAll in Nigeria. RxAll provides a trusted marketplace where curated sellers use its RxScanner and RxAll delivered hard tech and software to source and certify quality medicines for hospitals, pharmacies, and patients. Adebayo is currently expanding RxAll to new African markets.

Audrey Cheng, Moringa School

Audrey is the founder, past CEO and current board member of Moringa School. During her seven years leading Moringa School, Audrey built and led a team of over 100 people to train over 4000 students in Kenya and Rwanda with an average 85% job placement rate, launched 3 high-quality, proven courses and engaged with over 100 employers. Audrey recently stepped down as CEO of the Moringa School and is exploring the role of organizations in systems change and spending time with leaders in institutions across the continent.

Brukty Tadesse, Whiz Kids Workshop

Brukty founded Whiz Kids Workshop (WKW) an Ethiopian, woman-led, indigenous social enterprise with a mission to improve Ethiopian youth’s lives through cost-effective, age-appropriate, and culturally relevant educational media. Having scaled WKW to produce 32 innovative reading-focused TV episodes, radio episodes, storybooks, workbooks, and a program supplying schools with books, DVDs, and teacher training, Brukty is now focused on changing the system for early childhood education in Africa and scaling WKW beyond Ethiopia.

Affiong Williams, ReelFruit

Affiong founded ReelFruit, the largest dried fruit processing company in Nigeria, based on her quest to ‘solve for’ youth unemployment in Nigeria. ReelFruit is a for-profit shop-to-farm agribusiness enterprise creating jobs, building an industry, and catalyzing new suppliers and processors to add value to the supply chain. Affiong is currently focused on scaling ReelFruit into new markets and acting as a mentor, teacher, and role model to aspiring female entrepreneurs with bold ambitions.

Obafemi Olayebi, Femi Handbags & Lagos Leather Fair

Femi founded Femi Handbags and has built it into a strong, accessible luxury line of leather handbags in Nigeria. At this stage in her career, Femi is passionate about building the capacity of local ecosystems to increase jobs and create more and better opportunities for Nigeria’s manufacturing industry. Having successfully launched and scaled a luxury leather brand, Femi hopes to train and support the next generation of artisan entrepreneurs.

Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, ColdHubs

Nnaemeka founded ColdHubs, a fruit and vegetable storage solution for smallholder women farmers across Nigeria, as a non-profit, and upon realizing the potential for scale, converted it to a for-profit company. In addition to being an entrepreneur Nnaemeka is a thought leader and influencer, broadcasting a radio show for farmers and creating a market for farmers to share information. Currently, Nnaemeka is expanding ColdHubs beyond Nigeria and finding ways to catalyze entrepreneurship in the agriculture sector.

Sylvia Banda, Sylva Food Solutions

Sylvia founded Sylva Food Solutions in Zambia to provide an efficient and viable avenue for enhancing economic empowerment of rural smallholder farmers. Under Sylvia’s leadership, SFS is creating jobs and expanding markets for fresh, dried, and preserved local produce across Zambia. Sylvia is embarking on an expansion strategy to bring SFS to Kenya and Tanzania, among other African countries to increase access to nutritious food and create jobs.

Read the press release and learn more about the Foundry Fellowship.

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