Even though the Nigerian government has its many, many, many downsides — what with rife corruption, nepotism and the faintest smidge of a dictatorship on the horizon — we’ll always have it to thank for powering the shove that followed the push, to birth some of the most innovative ideas that directly benefit the lives of Nigerians.
From start-ups tackling maternal mortality, to another granting credit to agricultural institutions, Nigerian founders, fed up with the government’s ineffectiveness, took their “fine, I’ll fix it” moments to the #NextLevel 😊, setting up companies to handle Nigeria’s most difficulty-riddled sectors.
In no particular order, here are some of our favourite founders, with highlights of the great work their individual companies are carrying out:
With a population of 180 million, Nigeria requires at least 1.8m units of blood annually to better handle emergency cases and to build a sustainable blood bank. At just 500,000 pints yearly, the country faces a shortfall of at least 75%.
Thanks to Temi-Giwa Tubosun, the founder of LifeBank “a medical distribution company that uses data and technology to help health workers discover essential medical products like blood and oxygen”, this deficit is being corrected.
To understand the magnitude of the task she and her team at LifeBank are taking on, as of 2016, no fewer than 26,000 women lost their lives annually to blood shortages. 20,000 children under the age of five lost their lives due to lack of blood, all in a country where the rate of voluntary blood donations is at an abysmal 10%.
Since 2016, LifeBank has moved 15,709 units of blood across hospitals and screening centers. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, described the project saying: “If everyone had the opportunity to build something like this, then the world would be a better place.” And he couldn’t be more on the mark.
In addition to providing these services to hospitals, LifeBank also has an amazing goal to raise ₦ 100 million to provide the underprivileged with access to blood and oxygen at no cost. Make sure to donate here.
Despite agriculture being a key sector in the country’s economy, providing employment opportunities for about 30% of the nation’s population, the sector is riddled with difficulties. About 15-40% of the post-harvest output is lost to poor processing, inadequate transport systems and inefficient storage systems. These are due largely to poor education and financing.
That’s where ThriveAgric comes in. Its founder, Uka Eje, recognising that funding was a large part of the factors hindering best agricultural practices, set up a company allowing members of the public to fund farms to increase the chances of increased output.
With ThriveAgric, farmers are provided with the funds to farm as well as access to a premium market. The members of the public investing, are guaranteed returns at the end of each farming cycle. Everybody wins! We so much love it.
You can start the process and adopt your own farm, here.
Abolade Lawal, Abayomi Johnson, Maxwell Ogunfuyi.
In case you didn’t know, you are looking into the faces of the very best friends of Nigerian students.
Using their Scholars platform, Lawal, Johnson and Ogunfuyi are connecting Nigerian students, home and abroad to scholarship opportunities.
Realising the very uneven playing field caused by the high cost of earning degrees, the app grants Nigerian students access to credible scholarship information, giving them all the details necessary to finding and securing the right scholarship. Since its launch, ScholarX has assisted over 10,000 Nigerian students gain access to scholarship opportunities. It has also raised over ₦ 6.5million for its Village by ScholarX project, where the tuition and school fees of Nigerian students are crowdfunded via the app.
Nigeria is the second largest contributor to under-five and infant mortality rates in the world, with about 2,300 under-five-year-olds and 145 women of childbearing age dying every.single.day.
Recognising the need to overcome this crisis, Adeloye Olanrewaju founded SaferMom, a platform to educate and support expectant and nursing mothers on the physical, psychological and social tolls of motherhood. Using an SMS platform, it broadens the reach to women without access to internet facilities, allowing them to share and connect with other experienced mothers and verified doctors, monitor and track their health, vaccination & medication reminders as well as symptoms and nutrition guides.
SaferMom uses a community of health workers, together with mobile technology to follow up on the health of mother and baby, immunization schedules and behavioural routines. The service is available in English, Hausa, Yoruba, and pidgin.
How great are these companies doing? With founders like these, who even needs an overseeing government? Joking, but not really. If you can’t wait till their long term goals are realised, say aye. What other founders are doing great work around you? Let us know in the comments.