Our female fintech founder series today focuses on Faith Adesemowo, one of the remarkable women challenging gender inequality in the Nigerian tech space. Faith is a tech enthusiast and an innovator that promotes business growth strategically while scaling technology-driven solutions. She is both the co-founder and CEO of a social lender. The social lender is a platform that helps financial institutions offer credit to individuals based on their social reputation.
She has also co-founded both faitress beauty and social reputation limited where she is also the CEO.
Education and career
Faith is a graduate of agriculture from the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria between 2001 to 2006. Then she went on to study business administration at the University of Warwick, Coventry, UK. She is a skilled business manager, financial analyst and leadership developer with professional experience in finance and financial technology spanning over 14 years. Her first job was as an analyst at bgl plc. Bgl plc is one of the foremost investment banking companies in Africa. She then moved to bincom ICT company to lead a department as the group head (bincom ICT solution is a Nigerian ICT solutions firm). In 2015, she co-founded a social lender with Bade Adesomowo and became its CEO. Since then, she has steered social lenders to greater heights by bridging the gap in accessing credits for the unbanked and underbanked Africans.
Building social lender
In 2015, Faith partnered with Bade Adesemowo to build a social lender. She also became its first and only chief executive officer to date. Social Lender is a fintech startup that uses social reputation to help financial institutions offer credit to Africans. Access to credit is one of the many challenges unbanked, and underbanked Africans face due to limited criteria for assessing credit worthiness.
Hence social lender uses the social reputation of this set of people to help credit companies determine their credit worthiness. Thereby, driving financial inclusion expansion not only in Nigeria, South Africa and Morocco but also in other African countries.
Social reputation refers to a third-party view of any person, brand, and character. Assessing social reputation may have sounded farfetched and difficult to interpret but social lender evaluates this with their proprietary algorithm. The algorithm performs a social audit on users through their social media, online communities they belong to and other related platforms. After the audit, it assigns a social reputation score to each user. This way, it bridges the gap for people with limited access to formal financial services. The solution is both an available solution for end-users who lack access to the internet and do not have a smartphone and for those who do. The. Former can access the technology using SMS & USSD channels on their feature phones with the guidance of social lender ambassadors. While the latter can do so online on their websites and mobile applications. Whichever the case, social lender improves the lives of individuals in the local communities using their platform.
Under her leadership, Social Lender has made its services accessible on multiple channels which include SMS, USSD and the web. However, the USSD-only channel is in Nigeria and targets low-income communities. Again, users in Nigeria and South Africa can withdraw requested cash loans via existing banking channels including bank accounts and mobile money. The company also signed partnerships with 6 financial institutions in 2 countries of operations including sterling bank (Nigeria), unity bank (Nigeria), FCMB (Nigeria), Absa Barclays bank (South Africa), and itrust (Nigeria) with a pipeline of 4 partners in 2 countries.
Faith promotes diversity and wants l more women to become leaders. She also mentors individuals and is an advisor to several organisations. She has even co-founded two thriving startups, one of which is faitress beauty. Faitress beauty delivers beauty products that are clean, eco-friendly and sustainable for women of colour. She has gone on to win multiple awards for Social Lender and is passionate about using technology for good as well as delivering social impact. In all, faith has done quite well as the CEO of Social Lender. She remains one of the women to watch in the fintech industry.Featured Image Source: BellaNaija
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