Funke Opeke, Founder & CEO, MainOne has been announced as the winner of the maiden edition of Innocent Chukwuma Award for Innovation.
Announcing this via a message to journalists, Uche Aniche, the Convener of #StartupSouth said Funke was chosen by a Jury in recognition of her contributions to the development of Nigeria’s Innovation Ecosystem.
The Award which is a special category under the Startup Awards by #StartupSouth was set up in honour of Late Innocent Chukwuma, one of Nigeria’s foremost human rights activists, development professional and former Country Director, West Africa at Ford Foundation.
Flutterwave and their CEO, Olugbenga Agboola (GB) were both awarded Startup of the Year (National) and Most Inspirational Founder of the Year (National) respectively. Other winners include (but not limited to) CEO of Enugu based Xend Finance, Ugochukwu Aronu (Most inspirational Founder of the Year, (Regional)) and renewable energy OEM and SSEAN portfolio company, Greenage Technologies (Startup of the Year (Regional). A full list of the winners across all categories can be found here.
Accepting the award, Ms Opeke said, “obviously, the work that we are all committed to do to promote innovation and economic development in Nigeria is not yet done, however with the continued commitment of note-worthy citizens and organizations such as #StartupSouth, I remain optimistic that together, we will continue to make progress and achieve the vision of a more productive and enterprising Nigeria.”
Speaking on behalf of the family, Mrs Joesphine Effah-Chukwuma, widow of Late Mr. Chukwuma congratulated Ms Opeke and praised her sterling records in support of the Innovation Ecosystem.
“Our family is impressed with your work and are grateful to #StartupSouth for initiating this award in honour of our husband, father, brother and in-law.”