Episode 10 Ngozi Dozie, OneFi, The paradox of focus for African entrepreneurs.


On the podcast today, we have Ngozi Dozie, Co-Founder at One Finance (OneFi).

OneFi is a platform that provides access to finance by leveraging data and technology. One of their major product is Paylater, a lending mobile app which enables people to get access to short term loans in Nigeria as quickly as possible.


Ngozi has an interesting background…. he has First Class degree in Physics from Imperial College London. MSc in Computation from Oxford University. And an MBA from The Wharton School.

Before he started his business. He had a career as a finance man. He used to be an investment banker with JPMorgan. A risk consultant with Arthur Andersen UK, and worked as a financial analyst with Deloitte.

But now, Ngozi wears many hats as an entrepreneur. He is involved in several other businesses such as Cafe Neo, a coffee chain with outlets in Lagos and Kigali.

A large franchise of Mr Biggs quick-service restaurants in Nigeria. And a company that processes and export coffee from Rwanda.

In this episode, we spend a bit of our time talking about the opportunities and challenges in running multiple businesses at the same time. And the paradox of focus for African entrepreneurs.

I met Ngozi in 2016 we had coffee at one of his coffee shops and since then we’ve done some projects together, and also had several conversations about the growth and impact of tech-enabled businesses in Africa.

This episode is an attempt to record one of those conversations (watch out for Ngozi’s laughter at 29 mins)

On This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Why Ngozi thinks running many different ventures may not be the wisest decision for anyone to make.
  • 3 major ways to invest in growth companies – private equity, venture capital and venture building
  • Ngozi’s theory on how building companies from scratch is easier to do than trying to scale an existing business.
  • How his parents built Diamond bank
  • The risks involved in giving small unsecured loans to individuals which Ngozi believes is the same with lending to companies or individuals with higher net worth. A surprisingly statistic: Paylater’s rate of non-performing loans is arguably lower than that of commercial banks.
  • Why he left Wall Street and quit his job working in investment banking to start-up in Africa
  • The future of lending and credit in Nigeria
  • His biggest pain point running his businesses and the growth metric he measures
  • The importance of solving real/big problems as a startup in Nigeria right now. Opportunities that abound in logistics, healthcare, power, etc
  • And more

Selected links from this episode

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