Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph's Linkedin states that his "north star is to unlock socio-economic prosperity for Africa." He is taking steps to do this through Kippa, a package deal of financial management solutions for small businesses in Africa. Kippa gives merchants easy digital tools to help them run their businesses successfully and provides various services including accounting and banking.
Before Kippa, Kennedy lived a robust academic life, he was Nigeria's #1 ranked competitive debater for 2 years, was awarded and recognized by key political leaders like Sir John Mayor, David Beckham, Theresa May, and the Queen of England herself. He also won President Obama's Young African Leaders Fellowship and presented a keynote address at the United Nations Youth Assembly.
In this interview, Kennedy shares slices of his incredible journey with me. We discuss his very colorful background, his experience founding Kippa, and a lot more! Sit back, and enjoy.
0:00 - Introduction
1:00 - Kennedy shares his background
2:16 - Fondest Memory growing up in Calabar
3:23 - Studying Philosophy
4:30 - Transition from University of Calabar to Grad programme in China
6:38 - Highs and Lows of living in China
7:54 - One thing from that experience that is fundamental to who he is.
8:37 - Life after the programme
9:46 - Funding a company with his brother, closing it and searching for fresh ideas.
12:51 - Ideas he found while on trips across Nigeria and the birth of Kippa
14:19 - Skillset of him and his Founders, Community Building
15:55 - First iteration of Kippa
16:41 - Key things he used to measure success at that point of his product
17:15 - Kennedy shares whether they got monetized from day One and when they started getting revenue
17:44 - Next steps after first 13 weeks, transition from product to company.
18:46 - Meaning of the word "Kippa"
19:24 - Building a company with his brother
20:22 - Key Challenges the business has faced.
22:33 - Experience working for Tiktok in China
24:14 - Specific Lessons learned from Tiktok
25:14 - Biggest lesson he has learned in his career
27:22 - Most significant experiences summarized
28:11 - What motivates him
29:11 - Meeting the Queen Elizabeth
29:45 - Anything about life or career he would do differently
30:41 - Advice to other people that want to build businesses
32:24 - Expectations for the future of Kippa
33:56 - Something he wants to share that I didn't ask.