What We’re Reading: 15 Startups Built by Jumia’s First 50 Employees

June 6, 2019

When was the last time you read a book, or a substantial magazine article? Does your reading time only focus on Twitter updates, Facebook posts or Instagram captions?

Making a habit of reading regularly provides significant benefits to you as an entrepreneur, including the acquisition of new knowledge, stronger analytical thinking skills and an expanded vocabulary.

In this occasional newsletter feature, we delve into the bookshelves of our AWEC staff, who share their latest reads and valuable lessons for entrepreneurs.

Akinola Odunlade is passionate about enabling people and leveraging technology to help businesses grow, transform and expand. It is this drive that fuelled his work at Accenture and now empowers him in his role as Head of Category for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods at Jumia.

As an AWEC Teaching Assistant (TA), Akinola provides guidance and support to the women entrepreneurs who are part of the cohort.

Recently, he read an article published by Techpoint that highlights 15 successful startups founded by the first 50 employees of Jumia. Often cited as the Amazon of Africa, the e-commerce company made recent headlines following their listing on the New York Stock Exchange. However, part of the success of Jumia is its ability to invest in the ideas and talent of its employees and this article brilliantly details this story.

Investing in People Has a Ripple Effect

All fifty of Jumia’s first employees have gone on to either hold senior management positions or build their own companies. According to the company, “Jumia also acts as an incubator, where a lot of talent passes through and is developed, as we continue to reinforce the value of learning and growth.”

Akinola explains that there is a diversity of companies that have been built by the first 50 employees and this is an incredible testimony to the value of people investment.

“The ripple effect and impact that one company can have in the world goes beyond the direct products or services they offer,” he says.  “I think everyone who began a startup from Jumia had to learn perseverance and how to swim in uncharted waters.” These are two values Akinola  believes every entrepreneur should possess.

Akinola believes that small companies need to embody the entrepreneurial spirit and encourage team members to solve new challenges. He says: “I think there is a plethora of opportunities that exist across all industries for those who are daring.” These opportunities, as highlighted by the article, will create more impact and provide more solutions.

AWEC is Proof That Investing in People Pays Off

After one year as a TA, Akinola bears witness to the benefits of investing in people. “One of my participants, Kundayi Moyo, raised 48,000 USD during her AWEC year and she testifies that the program gave her the confidence to provide quick medical testing in Malawi via her business, APEX Medical Laboratories.”

Another success story from Akinola’s team, Olubunmi Samuel-Adeyemi who runs Limer Personal Finance, has been able to validate and expand her financial literacy services in Nigeria.

To the women entrepreneurs of Africa, Akinola says: “I hope the article will inspire you to learn more about each of these success stories and inform you as you create your unique story.”


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