Onyeka Akumah is the founder of Farmcrowdy – Nigeria’s first digital agriculture platform, Crowdyvest – the largest crowdfunding platform out of Nigeria, Plenty Waka – Nigeria’s first bus hailing service and Rent Small Small – a platform for renting homes on a monthly basis. He has won several awards; he was listed among the Top 20 Young Entrepreneurs to Watch in Africa, by the African Youth Forum in Egypt.
He was appointed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Nigeria, to the EAgric Stakeholders Forum and recently became one of the youngest members of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce & Industry Honorary Council, in recognition of his innovative approach of fusing technology with agriculture to empower thousands of farmers. Onyeka has worked with GT Bank, Konga, Jumia and Wakanow, where he led their marketing strategies.
He was also Director of E-Marketing for Deloitte in South, North and Central Africa and Webmaster for British Council in Nigeria. Onyeka is committed to utilising innovation and technology to tackle real problems facing Africans and Nigerians in particular, with a special interest in applying technology to transportation, real estate and most recently, agriculture.
Q: Please tell us about yourself?
My name is Onyeka Akumah, I’m from Delta State, I’m a technology entrepreneur, I started my career in software engineering, I’ve Worked with some corporate organisations like the British Council, GT bank, before working with startups like Wakanow, Konga and Jumia, where I led their marketing efforts to make them household names. I’ve also been involved in setting up one of the largest online travel agencies in the country before having the idea to create my own startup. I’ve failed at building a startup before and from that failure, I’ve learnt to build three other startups that are currently thriving and doing well. One of them is Farmcrowdy, I started Farmcrowdy in 2016, we currently have 182,000 registered farmers on our platform and 25,000 of them that we have worked with directly.
From Farmcrowdy we created a new platform called Crowdyvest which is becoming the largest crowdfunding platform coming out of Nigeria with over $16 million dollars that have been raised on the platform, I’m also the co-founder to a platform called Plenty Waka, which is currently the first bus hailing platform in the country and have completed a hundred thousand rides within the first six months of launch. I have a real estate platform called Rent Small Small that provides people with options to rent homes on a monthly basis.. I’ve been involved in investing or just helping other business owners build their businesses.
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Q: How did you also get started- business plan, capital sourcing, prior experience, mentorships, etc.?
The way it’s gone for me is, I identify a problem and make sure it’s one that has the right market appeal, then I identify the team that is going to work with me. In some cases, I will need technology, sometimes I will need operational duties on the project. So once I assemble the team, I get excited, that’s when I come up with the name, the company vision statement, the idea around what solution we are building, that’s when we start to create and reform the whole process of evolving that idea from just paper into a financially profitable business.
Once that is in place I do not focus early on funding, I do this only after the third month. Within the first three months, it’s a case of let’s try this our self lets see if people will actually use it, if we’ve built something that people, actually want and within the first three months we are able to identify if we’ve built a winning product or something people want – if I had money, will I be interested in this product myself. So once you get that traction in the first two months you can then go out to start discussing growth potential with investors.
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