Funkola Odeleye

Co-founder and CEO of DIYLaw

Passionate about developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nigeria, Funkola Odeleye’s company automated legal services for small and medium enterprises, including the process for business registrations. It has already contributed to the creation of 125,000 jobs by helping entrepreneurs scale their companies and become competitive. Funkola’s goal is to help reduce unemployment in Nigeria by 50 percent by 2030. 

“Entrepreneurship is the most sustainable solution to unemployment.”

Entrepreneurship is often the best option for Nigerians because the country struggles with unemployment rates as high as eight percent. However, onerous red tape means potentially dealing with twelve agencies, including accounting firms, banks, and lawyers. Even Funkkola started a business that failed because she couldn’t get support. 

Her response was DIYLaw, an all-female founded tech company that makes legal services accessible and affordable to Nigerian-based entrepreneurs.

“There is no industry that cannot be disrupted by technology.”

In 2017 Funkola recounted to the Cartier Women’s Initiative that when she got her first job, she gave her first paycheck to her mother, as is customary in Nigeria, to help young relatives. She got calls from extended family members and realised the impact of helping people get started.

“I don’t see problems. Throw me one problem and I’ll give you two answers.”
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/    I don’t want to be just a nurturer or carer. I want to be an inspiration.   /

Entrepreneurship allows Nigerian women participate in the economy

Seventy percent of Nigerian women express comfort with a woman as CEO of a major national company, compared with 53% of men, according to the Reykjavik Index or Leadership.

The Index was established to quantify levels of comfort in society with the prospect of female leadership. The views of men and women in Nigeria on this topic are almost the same at an index score of 47 out of 100. (A score of 100 indicates complete agreement that men and women are equally suited to leadership.)

50% of Nigerian women are in formal employment

Perception matters. About half of Nigerian women are in formal employment according to the World Bank. There is no law against employment discrimination based on gender. Research indicates that women representation in government needs to reach 30% to enact legislation that removes barriers to equality in the workplace. Women represent just over 5% of state assemblies in Nigeria according to the United Nations. 

Entrepreneurship is a way for women to sustain themselves and improve the country’s economy. Funkola Odeleye’s DIYlaw helps entrepreneurs register their businesses so they can grow, compete, and employ others.  

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