How to Raise 10 Million Dollars in Nigeria with Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph

In this episode of Third Culture Africans, Zeze interviews Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph, an inspiring young entrepreneur and CEO of Kippa. They delve into Kennedy’s remarkable journey, highlighting his passion for creating socio-economic prosperity in Africa and how his background in philosophy and debating has influenced his success. The conversation covers the challenges of fundraising for startups and the significance of focusing on small businesses in Africa.

Kippa, a fintech startup based in Nigeria, was co-founded by Kennedy Ekezie and his brother, Duke Ekezie. The company raised an impressive $3.2 million in pre-seed funding, making it one of Africa’s largest early-stage fund-raises. Kippa offers free, user-friendly accounting software to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and explores potential financing opportunities, generating revenue through commission fees and interest earned by lending working capital to companies.

Kennedy’s journey into entrepreneurship began at the intersection of history, art, technology, fashion, and philosophy. With a background as a former national debate champion and a serial entrepreneur, Kennedy’s latest venture, Kippa, is revolutionizing the financial technology space in Africa.

The platform has garnered over 500,000 business users, providing essential digital tools for SMEs to run their businesses profitably and sustainably. Despite facing challenges, Kennedy’s unwavering determination to make a positive impact on Africa’s socio-economic landscape drives Kippa’s mission.

Throughout the conversation, Kennedy emphasizes the importance of knowing your business inside out and understanding investors when raising funds. He also shares the significance of practicing and customizing your pitch for each potential investor.

Kennedy’s advocacy for small businesses is rooted in their vital contribution to the African economy and employment. He remains resolute in empowering these businesses with efficient financial tools through Kippa.

Overall, Kennedy’s journey of self-discovery and his commitment to creating positive change serve as an inspiration to young entrepreneurs. His story reminds us that with passion, perseverance, and a vision for change, we can overcome obstacles and make a meaningful difference in the world.

Join Zeze and Kennedy on this insightful episode as they explore fintech, entrepreneurship, and the power of a youthful mindset that seeks to shape a brighter future for Africa and beyond. 

About Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph is the Founder and CEO of Kippa Africa, a fintech startup that’s revolutionizing digital payments for small businesses in Nigeria. In under two years, Kippa has secured over $10M USD from global fintech investors, breaking grounds in the industry. 

With a background in Management Consulting at Accenture, Kennedy’s expertise drove him to lead user acquisition and growth for TikTok’s expansion to Africa during his time in Beijing. Kennedy’s trailblazing accomplishments have been recognized with awards such as the Young African Leaders Fellowship from President Barack Obama and the Queen’s Young Leader Award from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

Additionally, while attending the University of Calabar, he was the record holder for the highest ranked competitive debater in Nigeria. Kennedy was awarded the Yenching Scholarship to attend Peking University in China. With a Master’s degree in Economics & Management from Peking University, where he received the โ€˜Distinguished Research Awardโ€™, he is passionate about unlocking socio-economic prosperity in Africa and inspiring other young people to unearth their potential. The unwavering quest for continued excellence and impact underscores Kennedyโ€™s values, permeating through all his endeavors.


  • ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ Welcome Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph to Third Culture Africans!: (00:00)
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: Unraveling the Journey of a Fintech Trailblazer in Africa (01:33) 
  • ๐Ÿš€ From Academia to Fintech: The Path of a Philosophy Graduate to Building Nigeria’s Thriving Fintech Venture (07:19) 
  • ๐Ÿ” The Journey from Accenture to TikTok and then Kippa: Unraveling the Influences That Shaped Kennedy’s Path (10:06) 
  • ๐Ÿ’ฐ From Ideation to $3.2 Million: The Remarkable Funding Story of Kippa (12:12) 
  • ๐Ÿ’ผ Attracting Investors: How Kippa Gained Funding and Support (14:40) 
  • ๐Ÿ’ก Securing Venture Backing: Three essential traits for Investor Appeal (15:50) 
  • ๐ŸŒ Challenging the Myth: Is Fundraising a Necessity for Business Success? (23:01) 
  • ๐Ÿ“ˆ Lessons from Leading Beyond Vision: Navigating Investor Expectations as a Startup Founder (26:08) 
  • ๐Ÿ’ธ Counting the Costs: The Reality of Raising Funds for a Startup (28:39) 
  • ๐ŸŽฏ The Power of the Pitch: Unraveling Its Importance in the Startup Process (30:07) 
  • ๐ŸŽฏ Empowering Small Businesses: The Strategic Choice Behind Kippa’s Focus (31:58) 
  • ๐ŸŒฑ Accelerated Growth and Key Lessons: Reflecting on Kennedy Ekezie’s Journey (33:12) 
  • ๐Ÿ‘ช From Stability to Entrepreneurship: How Kennedy’s Parents Supported His Leap into the Unknown (34:19) 
  • ๐Ÿ† Defining Success: Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph’s Perspective (36:51) 
  • ๐Ÿ’– Unearthing the Passion: The Driving Force Behind Kippa’s Founders (37:46) 
  • ๐Ÿ’ผ The Journey of Success: Has Kennedy Ekezie Changed Amidst Kippa’s Financial Triumph? (39:48) 
  • ๐Ÿ”ฎ Debunking Fintech Myths: Insights from Kennedy Ekezie (42:20) 
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Juggling Youth and Entrepreneurship (45:02) 
  • ๐Ÿ“œ Guidance Kennedy Received to Navigate a Challenging Political Climate (49:14) 
  • ๐ŸŽ“ What did Kennedy Wish He Knew (53:32)

Connect with Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph:

๐Ÿ“ฒ Get in touch with Zeze: ๐Ÿ’ฌ – https://www.zezeonline.com/

๐Ÿ™ Thank you Malรฉe Natural Science for the support: ๐ŸŒฟ – https://maleeonline.com/

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