A Look Into How A Deadly Ethnic Conflict Inspired This Nigerian Man To Co-Found A Fintech

by Duke Magazine

Razaq Ahmed is a Nigerian fintech entrepreneur who was born in Kano, Nigeria. He co-founded CowryWise, an organization that aims to enable Africans to invest. Through its digital savings platform, fintech provides customers with access to premium financial services.

The platform explains, “It automates the process of saving and investing money.” “Users can sign up for an investment plan that will automatically transfer a monthly amount from their savings account to their CowryWise account. This amount also generates nearly double the interest paid by any bank.”

“We were all inside hoping and praying that something miraculous would occur because we had witnessed other people being murdered and were aware that it might be our last day. The only weapons the mob possessed were sticks and cutlasses. So, as soon as we heard gunfire, we knew assistance had arrived. If the Nigerian army had arrived a few minutes later, I would not be alive today,” he recalled.


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Ahmed and his family eventually settled in Ogbomoso, the birthplace of his parents, which allowed him to attend college. Ahmed would not have attended college had he remained in the north, where he learned to repair generators.

Ahmed earned First Class honors while studying economics at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ogbomoso, Nigeria. He then obtained his first position as a Research Analyst at Meristem Securities. This was Ahmed’s introduction to investment banking. In 2010, he left Meristem for Vetiva Capital Management, where he worked as a Research analyst for approximately four months. He later became a Business Economist for Shell Petroleum Development Company.

According to reports, he founded Sart Partners in 2012, after earning his Chartered Financial Analyst certification, to provide good investment management in oil and gas, real estate, commodities, and other informal sectors.

“Many businesses must formalize to become investable and provide investors with liquidity options. My objective was to formalize and make investments in the informal sector. Businesses in this country miss out on numerous opportunities due to a lack of the necessary institutional framework, he said.

In 2017, Ahmed co-founded CowryWise. “CowryWise was born out of necessity,” he told Ventures Africa, “the need to meet the demand of people who want to be more financially responsible by having access to simple financial planning tools, premium savings, and investment opportunities.”

“The inspiration for CowryWise came when many people asked us, ‘How do I invest 1,000 naira and smaller amounts, such as 50,000 nairas?’ “After much deliberation, we determined that the best way to scale was to make it available to the public, and thus CowryWise was born,” he explained.

The introduction of CowryWise’s automatic savings feature allows customers to save and invest regularly without stress.

“We’ve invested as easy as sending a Tweet,” the tech entrepreneur told CNN. This is the next stage of investment, not just in Nigeria, but worldwide.

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