Nkem Okocha is the founder of Mamamoni, a FinTech social enterprise that empowers poor rural and urban slum women with free vocational skills and Mobile Loans, helping them to become financially included in society, to increase their household incomes, to upskill them in their micro-businesses, and to educate their children.
She is very passionate about lifting women out of poverty and her company aims to break the cycle of poverty in Nigeria. Since 2013, she has impacted and empowered over 4000 women in several rural/urban slum communities and given out over 100 micro-loans.
Growing up was not rosy for Nkem and her family. She lost her father as a teenager, leaving her mother with no vocational skill, to fend for the family of five. Fortunately, a family friend gave her mother a small loan which was used to start a small business.
She schooled at Auchi Polytechnic and went on to earn a Bachelors Degree in Banking and Finance from Lagos State University. Nkem worked in the banking industry for 14 years and along the line started a side hustle – Novine Koncept Ventures – selling motivational books and providing web development services, Social Media marketing, and mobile messaging for small local businesses.
Resigning from her banking job, she started running a small business and it was then she discovered there was a lot of idle women in her community and other communities she visited with no livelihood skills and they had no money to start businesses, which made them poor and unable feed and educate their children.
As a result, in 2013, she started empowering women from different backgrounds on a range of vocational skills to help them start their own business.
In 2014, she started the financial loans part of her business. The Mamamoni service is focused on low-income women from rural areas and urban slums who are not in the position to secure funding from financial institutions because of barriers like collateral, transaction history, means of identification etc.
Mamamoni services also trains women on different vocational skills and are taught how to manage their small businesses using their Business Toolkit for low-income women and easy access to securing a Mobile Loan.
Nkem Okochais a Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme Alumna, Young African Leaders Initiative Mandela Washington Fellow, Young African Leaders Initiative Network Regional Leadership Center, Accra, Ghana Pioneer Cohort Member and LEAP Africa Social Innovator.
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