In the male dominated startup space, I have curated a list of Nigerian start up with female founders.
While there are countless start ups with female founders especially in the last 15- 20 years, this list will focus on the recent female founders.
These women have consistently proved that they have all it takes to be in the entrepreneurial space. Some of them launched their start ups solely, some are co-founders and some were able to convince huge investors to raise millions of dollars to push their start-up.
The first on our list is WeCyclers, Founded in 2012 by Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, an MBA holder who studied at the prestigious MIT.
Bilikiss is said to have developed the idea for this startup while still schooling at MIT. She successfully nursed the idea and came back to home to Nigeria to implement it.
The mission of WeCyclers is to help low-income individuals and communities in developing countries solve their waste disposal issues and also get rewarded by so doing.
WeCyclers use a modified tricycle to do rounds for waste collections and households that trash with them are given points which when accumulated over time gets them items ranging from food items to cleaning products.
Until she was appointed the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency General Manager, she served as the CEO of WeCyclers.
WeCyclers belongs to the class of start up with female founders. The start up provides recycling services for offices and households in Nigeria especially Lagos which is home to this startup.
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Temie Giwa-Tubosun birthed the idea of digitising the supply chain for healthcare facilities in Africa. With life bank you can order Oxygen. blood and other medical consumables from your phone.
LifeBank is a HealthTech startup founded in 2016 by Temie Giwa-Tubosun. LifeBank is focused on ensuring healthcare centres and patients have access to blood for transfusion as soon as possible whenever needed.
LifeBank in collaboration with volunteer donors, blood banks and hospitals ensure the steady availability of blood. LifeBank also runs a logistics firm alongside to enable the transport of this blood.
LifeBank is also a start up with a female founder. She believes that every breathe counts, so does every minute. With Nerve, hospitals and healthcare centres in Africa can order medical oxygen in seconds and track the progress of their order all on the Nerve app.
Flying Doctors Nigeria
Dr Ola Brown Orekunrin is a Medical Doctor and Helicopter Pilot, and Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flying Doctors Nigeria. Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company / Flying Doctors Nigeria is an air ambulance service; the first indigenous air ambulance service in West Africa. It is committed to bringing trauma care to the most remote parts of Western Africa.
Dr Ola Brown was originally born in London and grew up in a foster home [with her younger sister] in Lowestoft, England. She studied medicine at the University of York; graduating and qualifying a Medical Doctor at the age of 21. Soon after, she was awarded the MEXT Japanese Government Scholarship and drafted to conduct clinical research in the field of regenerative medicine at the Jikei University Hospital, Japan.
Dr Ola Brown came to Nigeria on holidays in the process her younger sister who was a sickle cell patient fell ill. All the local hospitals available could not manage the crisis the family searched, to no avail, for an air ambulance all across West Africa to airlift her to a better facility.
The only one, at the time, was in South Africa (5 hours away). However, before the logistics could be finalized, her sister passed. This sparked her commitment and determination to set up an air ambulance service.
Dr Brown studied evacuation models and air ambulance services in developing countries, before moving to Nigeria to set up West Africa’s first air ambulance. It took a huge amount of work to get started, but her determination, hard work and persistence paid off in the end.
Today, Flying Doctors is well-established and globally well-respected in the business world and the medical profession. In 2013, she was recognised by the World Economic Forum as one of the Young Global Leaders.
Flying Doctors Nigeria is a healthcare startup with female founder. It is an air ambulance service that is run by medics, to give necessary first aid on air even while taking the patient to the hospital.
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iBez founded by Ommo Clark is also one of the start ups with female founder. Ommo Clark is doing amazing things in the tech ecosystem, she doesn’t only develop software products she also trains people and showcases these talents when they are nurtured.
IBez is a Lagos based software development and SEO experts serving the African digital ecosystem with a customised solutions model that caters to all business types and budget needs. They are the one-stop-shop for software services, digital transformation and turning product ideas into reality.
IBez an innovative conglomerate startup that does not just offer technological services, they also offer home repairs services. If you are looking for dynamic start up with female founders you can conveniently add IBez to the list.
Jessica Anuna, CEO and Founder of Klasha, believes that having a large market in Nigeria makes it easier to build such businesses for Nigerian entrepreneurs. Her startup provides payment options for businesses in Africa.
Klasha was established to make consumer goods online more accessible to customers across Africa. Klasha believes that consumers in Africa should have the same frictionless access to the goods they want regardless of their geographic location.
With Klasha, you can make borderless payments for commerce in Africa. Klasha is also one of the start up with female founder.
Shuttlers, a tech-enabled scheduled bus-sharing company founded by Damilola Olokesusi in 2016 that provides businesses with improved transportation alternatives for their employees raised $1.6 million in seed funding to grow beyond Nigeria’s borders.
Shuttlers is a platform that enables professionals access efficient shared-transportation in Lagos Metropolis. They help transform the stressful time commuting to and from work into a productive, refreshing and relaxing experience.
The goal is to help people commute to work and back home in the most comfortable, safe, fun and affordable way possible. Passengers shuttle in air conditioned buses. Each route has been designed and customized to suit their commuting needs.
Shuttlers is also a start up with female founder. Not only that, the founding team at Shuttlers were all women.
Bankly is a Nigerian fintech startup founded in 2018 by Tomilola Adejana and Fredrick Adams to digitize cash for the unbanked raised a $2 million seed round.
Bankly digitizes financial services for people in the informal sector, mostly small-scale traders who save through rotating savings and credit unions referred to in Nigeria as “ajo” or “esusu.” The company intends to address some of the issues that exist in the offline world of group savings.
Bankly can comfortably sit in the class of start up with female founders.
Okra, Nigeria’s fintech API startup raised $3.5 million in a seed round. Founded in 2019 by Fara Ashiru Jituboh and David Peterside, Okra’s API empowers companies and developers to build products with seamless access to inclusive financial data and secure payments.
Customers can connect their bank accounts directly to financial applications with their internet or mobile banking credentials; this makes onboarding a faster and safer experience.
Okra is also one of the start up with female founders.
Edukoya, an online learning platform centered in Africa founded by Honey Ogundeyi in December 2021 secured $3.5 million in a pre-seed round. This is the most funding an African EdTech platform has ever raised in a pre-seed round to date.
Edukoya is a free Learning application that helps students master key subjects and prepare for school and university entrance exams.
Edukoya hired people, grew its user base, and improved the technology behind its learning platform, including support for its Pan African and European developer hubs. Very safe to say that Edukoya is also a start up with female founder.
Reelfruit, a premium dried fruit company founded by Affiong Williams and recognized for its high-quality healthy snacks raised a $3 million Series A investment.
Reelfruit distributes its nutritious dried fruit and nut snacks all around the country. Apart from the domestic market, the company also sells its goods to West African nations and abroad. Fruits including mangos, coconuts, and cashews are used to make the products.
Reelfruit is also one of the start up with female founders.
This is a fintech startup that helps people save money with a percentage interest. Co-founded by Odunayo Eweniyi and two of her male colleagues from Covenant University and currently serves as the Chief Operations Officer at PiggyBank.ng
PiggyBank also referred to as Piggyvest saving platform has a unique feature that helps instil discipline in their clients and people have come to appreciate it over the years.
Piggy bank charges a percentage on withdrawals made on non-withdrawals days on their platform, and the platform has just four withdrawal days per annum
You would agree with me that this is amazing. Piggyvest though co- founded can also be in the list of start ups with female founders.
Chioma Ugo is the Co-founder and Head of Growth at fintech startup, Prospa. It is one app for managing your banking and business. Quick to sign up and easy to use. Dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed.
With Prospa entrepreneurs and business owners can open a fully operational bank account, quickly and also discover powerful tools and insights to help grow their business.
Prospa helps entrepreneurs manage their banking in one place. Prospa, although cofounded can also be in the list of start up with female founders.