Africa: Only Market Businesses Can Maximize the Next Billion Users – Flutterwave Co-founder
A serial entrepreneur, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, co-founder Andela and Flutterwave has disclosed that Africa offers the last chance, great business opportunities to the world and should be embraced before she turns the next China or India.
Speaking in an interview with financialtechnology, the young entrepreneur explained that
if one thinks about the future over the next 30 years, there is no other good story left, India and China got it right, the next business opportunities are in Africa.
“There is no other place in the world where you can build businesses that will maximize the next billion users. Nothing exemplifies it more than Mark Zukerberg’s visit to Nigeria in 2016. Most people felt he came to check on Andela or build realistically Facebook number. The projection will come from Africa and Middle East. Nigeria is the number.
According to him, Nigeria is the youngest country in the world with a population of average age of 19 years. “We have the most mobile phone penetration in Africa”, he says adding that most people are living in the future in Africa than anywhere in the world. Hence, the world has the opportunity to engage Africa before it becomes the next China or India.
For the techie entrepreneur, the future of fintech in Africa depends on the choices we make today as community. “We can choose to build an ecosystem where we can enable and grow the world best companies that focuses on the future or wait for other people to build it for us”.
He however pointed out that at the ecosystem, “We understand that the power is large enough. We understand we will make more progress by working, than by fighting, each other at the ecosystem. We should build something that is fantastic, something that will put us at the forefront as every other opportunity in the world is ticking”.
Sounding philosophical, Iyinoluwa says this is essentially the last open gap, “We have the best opportunity to do things”. Are we going to keep fighting each other until Facebook and Google come to build it and come to dominate? He queries.
As a player in the fintech community, he suggests morphing fintech community into an ecosystem will start with sharing ideas, infrastructures, and API. He reckons that “Business should be built by default, open”, so that business opportunities can be maximised.
“At Flutterwave, we believe that if you have any technology and it is not shared within a month of launch, the product should be killed. It does not serve the community. It is also a function of all of us being co-collaborators. We are going to compete, build product but ultimately having the mission-minded approach to business that is what is good for the customers. If that is the top question on every CEO’s mind in this ecosystem, I think we will move very quickly from community to ecosystem. Then we will understand that Google maps sitting on Apple’s iPhone serves the community better than both of them deciding to keep the map separately. It is best for customers if we collaborate”, he explains.
While advising up-coming entrepreneurs to build strong and good teams, Iyinoluwa discloses that some of the biggest mistakes many startups are making is thinking they want to build a solo team; not being customer focused; chasing ideas instead of finding customers with which they can develop their companies and failure to build very good teams.
“They must come together and work together because as an ecosystem, there is no one who knows it all. What I will love to see in the future is the inter-generational set of people trying to solve problems with the energy and innovation of the young, combined with the experience and skills of the old. We are coming together to build things that work in an environment that share mutual trust”.
Interview conducted by financialtechnology