We all know it’s good to give, but give and make money? Now that’s a bonus! One TEF Entrepreneur making this happen is Nkem Okocha with her fin-tech company Mamamoni. The concept is simple lenders invest their money and this money is in turn lent out by Mamamoni to poor women living in slums and villages, women who need the money most.
Nkem knows a thing or two about hardship. Raised singly by her mother, who was a widow, things were tough, with food on the table and school fees being paid on time a real issue. But this didn’t stop this plucky lady snagging a job in a leading bank and working her way through the ranks over the course of 8 years. However, Nkem never forgot her roots, and in her spare time she began to research and develop what would become Mamamoni, a financial company with a big heart.
Since setting up, and being a recipient of TEF Seed Capital, Mamamoni has trained nearly 4000 women and impacted nearly 8000 kids indirectly. The magic is in the method; as Mamamoni is not a hand-out but a step up for the women who receive the loan. As well as the much needed cash, recipients get advice on setting up their businesses so that they can not only pay back what they have received (currently at an impressive 90%), but also create long lasting wealth. But this isn’t one way traffic, as for the original lender the treat comes 6 months after you first invest, your money back with an impressive 5.1% interest.
It’s no surprise that Nkem is becoming a financial celeb in her own right. She recently had an audience with President Buhari of Nigeria in recognition of the impact Mamamoni has had so far. She was also selected for former US President Obama’s inaugural Young African Leadership Initiative. In spite of all the praise coming her way Nkem remains humble and committed to the greater cause, ensuring that more women and children are no longer trapped in a cycle of poverty and despair, but have a hope-filled future.