May 19, 2020

Tony Elumelu foundation backs Nigerian innovations project

Nigeria
Data
entrepreneurship
research
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Tony Elumelu foundation backs Nigerian innovations project

The Tony Elumelu Foundation announced today that it has provided grant support for the Nigeria Innovations Cluster Mapping project.

Executed by the African Institution of Technology’s (AFRIT) Education Foundation, the project intends to uncover innovation clusters—groups of companies in similar industries employing new technologies in their business—across Nigeria.

The research provided by this project will furnish the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the Nigerian government and the business community with data and tools for understanding what drives innovation clusters and development in every region of Nigeria, and how policies can help these business clusters strengthen their ability to formalise and scale up. 

The Chief Executive Officer of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Dr Wiebe Boer, described the project as a necessary tool for formulating policies that can improve Nigeria’s competitiveness.

 He said: “For public and private sector stakeholders to nurture home-grown businesses and innovation effectively, we need information.

“This is what this mapping tool will provide. As an organisation that focuses on entrepreneurship, The Tony Elumelu Foundation needs to know what business trends, innovations and activities are currently underway or showing potential; and with this data, we will be better equipped to shape the nature of our interventions and programmes.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation recognises the need for clusters to be identified and supported because of their possible impact on sustainable economic growth.

Globally, clusters can provide a platform for job creation, and a network for new businesses that provide support services to the clusters that emerge.

The Innovations Cluster Mapping project will create an objective, quantitative measure to better understand the critical drivers of regional competitiveness and ultimately improve the welfare of Nigerians.

 In response to the grant, Dr Ndubuisi Ekekwe, the founder of African Institution of Technology, highlighted the mapping tool’s potential to create enabling environments for business throughout Nigeria.

“This project will provide better tools and data to help take the guesswork out of where to focus resources that support businesses.

“We will be better able to know why a cluster of leather accessories artisans exist in Aba or what could enable a network of Solar Power entrepreneurs in Sokoto.

“Through this grant from the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we have the resources to execute nationwide research that will help understand why these clusters exist, their needs and the possibilities for replication in other parts of the country where similar conditions are available.”

The mapping tool can be accessed online at http://www.NGClusterMap.com, where users may complete a survey used to collect the necessary data.

The study covers the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria and is expected to uncover at least two clusters per zone.

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Jun 14, 2021

5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly

Tapoly
Insurance
Leadership
Digital
Kate Birch
3 min
Heading up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy is winning awards and leading with diversity

Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.

Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills. 

What do you do, in a nutshell?

I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.

How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?

I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.

They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?

The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless. 

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.

 

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