Olufunto Borrofice

Changing The Landscape Of Accessible Funding For Female Founders


June 1, 2022, 11:32 a.m.

A trailblazer with an impressive background as a former senior aide to the Nigerian Finance Ministry of Power and vast experience in the finance field in the US with GE Capital has propelled Olufunto Borrofice to become a founder of two startups. Chanja Datti, a waste collection and recycling social enterprise, and Quidroo, a fintech startup providing access to working capital for Nigerian SMEs by helping them obtain access to funds faster and at favorable rates.

The SME sector is the backbone of major developed economies and an essential contributor to employment, economic, and export growth. In Nigeria, SMEs contribute 48% of the national GDP and account for 96% of businesses and 84% employment. Although the numbers sound staggering, the access to finance is daunting, with excessive bureaucracy and regulation stifling SMEs in obtaining funding.

A realization turns into an idea

Trying to access capital while running her first business - Chanja Datti, was when she hit major roadblocks.

'I needed a bridge loan to buy additional raw materials while waiting for payments from our clients, but approaching my bank in the traditional sense of obtaining funding was unsuccessful. That's when I realized that traditional banking solutions were not working for me, and I could only imagine what other SMEs were experiencing,' says Olufunto.

So she co-founded Quidroo, which helps SMEs finance their A/R and invoices to solve short-term cash flow problems and fund their growth. The patented in-house online system is an incentive-driven credit rating platform that includes both public and privately derived company data; it offers a fast, less expensive, secured, and automated framework that makes the invoice funding process less restrictive and produces more consumer satisfaction and growth.

Do you have an article that can be relevant to the African Tech space?

Submit your news stories, articles or press releases to editor@digitaltimes.africa


Equipped for success

Olunfunto is a seasoned professional in the finance field with a Masters Degree in Finance from Pace University, with a slew of accolades ranging from being recognized in 2021 by Global Citizen.org as one of 11 Change-making Africans that the world needs to know about to being bestowed with the honor of being the winner of 2021 WE Empower UN SDG Challenge for her work with Chanja Datti.

'As a non-tech female founder, having an idea that you want to scale can be quite overwhelming. One of the best things I did was apply and get accepted into the Founder Institute Lagos pre-seed accelerator program. That helped a great deal in providing a crash course in understanding the startup tech ecosystem and growing the right network to help build and grow Quidroo's Joining The African Tech Vision mentorship program has also broadened her scope and accessibility to the international investor community.

Reframing Nigeria's Gender Lenses

According to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2019, women in Nigeria are highly motivated by improvement-driven opportunities (73.8% compared to 25.3% for necessity-driven). This admirable track record is backed by a robust and positive culture that applauds entrepreneurial success, business risk-taking, innovation, and individuality, despite the existing systemic barriers brought about by challenges of doing business and poor quality of governance. However, non-financial barriers, including cultural and social norms, especially gender biases, unfortunately still exist.

As an entrepreneur, taking leaps of faith and being backed by a solid motive to innovate and change the construct of the traditional business landscape in Nigeria is an ongoing process. But by putting women first, as she does at Quidroo, they are already making great strides to tilt the share balance.

'As a female founder, my focus is on leveraging the power of being a female founder, especially with women-led networks as part of our growth-to-market strategy. I strongly believe that with a fully inclusive team and a great product, we can leverage the opportunities coming up to tap into the investments that will become increasingly available,' says Olufunto. 'There are over 17 million SMEs in Nigeria who are the nation's lifeblood, and our goal is to support at least 10% of them in the next three years! There's never going to be the perfect time to become an entrepreneur, and there are lots of problems that affect women on the African continent that need to be solved, so my advice to would-be female entrepreneurs is just do it, start and fail forward.'


tag: Entrepreneurship, Business, Startup, women in tech, women in business,

African Techvision Source