10 industry masterminds you will meet at SME Conference 1.0

4 min read

One of the ideas we strongly believe in is that small businesses should be provided with the shoulders of giants to stand on.

Giants you say? Yes giants, how else do you describe a line-up of speakers that include pioneers in sectors such as online payment and technology, a Stanford business coach, and other like-minded professionals.

Here is the brilliant line-up of speakers at the SME Conference 1.0 ( can you tell how excited we are?)

1. Tayo Oviosu – Paga

Founder and CEO of Paga, Tayo has over sixteen years of experience in a variety of technical and business roles in High-tech and Private Equity. Right before Paga, he was Vice President at Travant Capital Partners where he was responsible for executing the firm‘s investment strategy in West Africa.

Aside his work at Paga, Tayo also works with entrepreneurs to develop their ideas as an Angel investor and adviser. He is currently an investor and adviser in ReelFruit, a Nigerian fruit processing agribusiness; and ChopUp, a mobile gaming start-up. He is also an Ambassador for Junior Achievement – working with one of the largest non-profit youth groups, to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

2. Afua Osei – She Leads Africa

Afua is the co-founder of She Leads Africa, a community helping young African women achieve their professional dreams.

In 2012, after her first year in business school, she secured a summer associate position in the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s African Markets Internship Programme. A professional development programme that placed MBA students from prominent business schools in America and Europe in startups and private equity firms across Africa.

She has presented at the Harvard African Business Conference on “Empowering Women in Business” and contributed business and entrepreneurship articles to Ventures Africa and Bella Naija.

3. Karl Matzke – Stanford SEED

Business Coach for the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (Stanford SEED), Karl has broad experience in development, strategy, and marketing gained through positions from start-up CEO/founder to executive at Fortune 500 firms.

4. Marek  Zmyslowski – HotelOGA

Marek Zmyslowski is a polish-born serial entrepreneur and investor with a focus on travel and hospitality technologies. He co-founded HotelOga.com – Hospitality Technology Company and Jovago.com (now Jumia Travel) – Africa’s Biggest Hotel Booking Portal, with backing from Rocket Internet and Goldman Sachs.

5. Njideka Esomeju – Diamond Bank

Njideka Esomeju is currently the Head, Emerging Businesses at Diamond bank; in charge of the SME portfolio of the bank. She has over seventeen years of experience in banking. Before her appointment as the Head, Emerging Businesses, Njide was the Regional Manager, Isolo and Regional Manager, Ikeja respectively .

Njideka holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literary Studies from the University of Calabar and is an Alumnus of the Lagos Business School.

6. Olalekan Olude – Jobberman

One part of the trio that are founders of Jobberman, one of Nigeria’s foremost job recruitment websites.

Olalekan has vast experience in Technology, Operations, Finance and Strategy cutting across Financial Services, Technology and Internet. He spent over five years as a technology analyst with Goldman Sachs in London, United Kingdom.

Presently, Olalekan leads the operational and growth strategy of Jobberman.com across Sub-Saharan Africa.

7. Ifeoma Uddoh – Sasware

Ifeoma is the Chief Operations Officer of Sasware a technology investment company that provides seed fund for technology and technology-enabled start-ups.


She was also one of the top 20 finalist for business plan competition for women from Asia, Latin America and Africa by Bid network Netherlands in 2010.

8. Oluyomi Ojo – Printivo 

Co-founder and CEO of Printivo, an online print provider that provides its customers with free templates created by designers across Nigeria. Oluyomi started Printivo alongside a couple of friends to “ make printing suck less for Nigerian SMEs, Corporations and the general public”.

He has nearly 10 years of experience in brand consultancy and advertising.

9. Deepankar Rustagi – VConnect

Founder of VConnect, Deepankar has spent almost half of his life in Nigeria. In 2010 he co-founded VConnect, an online business directory that helps users find businesses, goods and services.

Educated at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas Business School and Visvesvaraya Technological University, Deepankar has led VConnect to becoming Nigeria’s foremost business directory with nearly two million registered businesses on the platform.

10. Kehinde Oyeleke – Seedvest

Kehinde Oyeleke is the founder and group Managing Director at Seedvest, an SME investment and advisory company with operations in Lagos and Oyo state, Nigeria.

Oyeleke is a trained accountant with previous stints at the Corporate Finance division of Arthur Andersen, PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York and Capital Alliance, a private equity firm in Nigeria

SME Conference 1.0 is organized by VConnect and Facebook. The event date is January 19, 2017. The event is free, however, seating is limited. So you have to request an invite.

Go here to request an invite. Registration closes on January 17, 2017.

Team VConnect

On a mission to make it easier for people to find, and hire the right service professionals. We are also helping businesses serve their customers better. Learn more at www.vconnect.com

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