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From Failed Venture To Raising A UnicornNadayar Enegesi, an entrepreneur who grew up in southern Nigeria, went to Canada to study computer science for college. He started his first business in edtech, with the idea of bringing global university content to Nigeria, but it didn’t take off as planned due to timing and a lack of interest in education. Rather than giving up, he teamed up with three co-founders to start Andela, which found talented young people in Africa and taught them to be software engineers who could work remotely. Andela raised over $300 million and is now a technical talent marketplace. Enegesi believes his perseverance and the commitment of his team were key to their success.
Advising FoundersAndela, a technical talent marketplace, has raised more than $300M and has a valuation of $2B. Experienced investors know that once fundraising and bringing in outside capital and investors start, it is a process and cycle that never stops. The constant need to raise more money to double or triple revenues and maintain a high speed of growth is crucial. Although the rounds of fundraising were successful, there was little time to celebrate, as the real work and pressure are on to deliver on promises to investors once the money is secured.
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Today, Andela offers access to remote jobs and talent across the technology space, from software engineering to design and data science. The founder’s perseverance paid off, and he is now advising others that they have everything within them to materialize whatever vision they have in their head. He believes that trusting the process and meeting the right people will help achieve those goals. Although he admits to feeling nervous and scared at times and not believing in himself, he credits their success to the amount of focus, perseverance, and committed people. If given the chance to go back in time, he would reassure himself that all of his dreams were possible and save himself from anxiety.
The Birth And Purpose Of Eden LifeEnegesi’s newest venture, Eden Life, is based in Nigeria and aims to improve access to essential goods and services for Africans. Enegesi sees Nigeria as a place of great innovation and raw entrepreneurial energy, where everyone is building something and starting a business is seen as a pathway to wealth. Infrastructure in urban areas hasn’t caught up to the rest of the world, creating opportunities to solve problems and create efficiencies. Eden Life has already grown to 50 people and has raised $2 million, but Enegesi intentionally tries to do more with less and avoids the high cost of talent faced by his previous company.
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His Dream For AfricaEnegesi shared his advice for other entrepreneurs: trust that you have what it takes to achieve your vision, be focused and perseverant, and surround yourself with people who are committed to the same goals. Enegesi’s vision for Eden Life is to help Africans thrive by improving their quality of life and saving them time. Despite the success of Andela, Enegesi felt a personal responsibility to create more economic prosperity for millions more people, which inspired him to start Eden Life.
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