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The Grinders Table

The Grinders Table

By Uwem Uwemakpan

The Grinders Table Podcast is your opportunity to sit at the table with entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders who are shaking things up in their industry.

Each week Uwem will interview these amazing thought-leaders to uncover how they've done it and learn something new in the process. Join me on the regular to hear how they dared to defy the odds and live their own success story... or epic failure!
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Finding Clarity with Tomilola Majekodunmi (Bankly)

The Grinders Table

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Taking ownership with Caleb Maru, GP at Proximity Ventures
Taking ownership with Caleb Maru, GP at Proximity Ventures
I am excited to start 2023 buzzing with Caleb Maru, Managing Partner at Proximity ventures, on the Grinders Table. Caleb also writes an amazing newsletter that tracks the African tech ecosystem called Tech Safari. Caleb shares why he invests in startups, his approach to managing teams and insights on his journey so far. 
28:02
January 26, 2023
Nurturing Tech Talent with Snehar Shah, CEO of Moringa School
Nurturing Tech Talent with Snehar Shah, CEO of Moringa School
This week we had the pleasure of chatting with Snehar Shah, the CEO of Moringa school. Snehar is passionate about spearheading the development of Africa's young people through learning tech skills and this is evidenced in his leadership at Moringa school. Snehar has over 25 years of diverse experience in building and running businesses in multiple industries and geographies (UK, Europe and Africa).
27:27
December 20, 2022
Navigating Career with Mouna Akefli
Navigating Career with Mouna Akefli
This week we had Mouna Akefli, Marketing Manager CU West Africa & Morocco at Ericsson. Muna discusses her journey of finding purpose in life and her deep-rooted love for Africa. She talks about purpose-led marketing and impacting initiatives through her work, and why young professionals should focus on growing their talents, taking risks, and experimenting. 
23:60
November 29, 2022
Championing Inclusivity with Solape Akinpelu, CEO of Hervest
Championing Inclusivity with Solape Akinpelu, CEO of Hervest
Last weekend we spent time on the Grinders Table with Solape Akinpelu, CEO of Hervest. Hervest is pioneering inclusive finance for the African woman! Solape took time to share her experience and wisdom about fundraising, why businesses and the world are not as inclusive to women, what holds them back, and how the behaviour of finance needs to be part of the conversation in order to change.
24:41
November 22, 2022
Scaling impact with Will Senyo, CEO, Impact Hub Accra
Scaling impact with Will Senyo, CEO, Impact Hub Accra
This week's featured conversation is with a 'true son of the soil' and Co-founder of Impact Hub Accra - Will Senyo. Will shares tips for founders, his thoughts on the over-fixation on Fintech,  revitalising dying industries, his recent fund targeting the creative space in Accra, Ghana and future plans. One of our hottest episodes yet!
34:52
November 01, 2022
Transformation using digital skills with Martin Ndlovu
Transformation using digital skills with Martin Ndlovu
Martin is a technologist and PanAfricanist who believes in technology's ability to put Africa on the map as the most significant workforce in the world. He has been working on delivering programs and aggregating relevant programs to empower Africans with 21st-century skills and bringing remote workers from around the world to Africa to realise the continent's beauty. Martin talks about his motivations, as well as shares some really good advice you don't want to miss.
32:08
October 24, 2022
Tackling emergency healthcare challenges with Folake Owodunni, Founder of Emergency Response Africa
Tackling emergency healthcare challenges with Folake Owodunni, Founder of Emergency Response Africa
Folake Owodunni is the Co-founder and CEO of Emergency Response Africa (ERA), a health-tech company dedicated to saving lives one emergency at a time. Folake shares her inspiration for building the company, lessons she learned along the way and tips for aspiring founders.
34:10
October 15, 2022
Building in uncertainty with Damilare Ogunleye
Building in uncertainty with Damilare Ogunleye
I had the pleasure of speaking with Damilare Ogunleye, the co-founder at FoodLama. FoodLama is a personalized genie that helps you find the best food for you, based on your preferences and your lifestyle choices. Damilare shared how being an entrepreneur requires work-life balance, communication, and discipline.  He talked about building distribution into your products and having a clear vision and roadmap for the next ten years. He touched on relationships and how being a father impacted his life.
36:07
September 13, 2022
Enduring tough times with Thrive Agric's Uka Eje
Enduring tough times with Thrive Agric's Uka Eje
This week I caught up with the founder of Nigeria Agritech, ThriveAgric, while playing football. ThriveAgric provides access to finance, technology-based advice, extension services, and global and local markets to smallholder farmers in Africa. They noticed that smaller farmers faced a lot of problems, and they wanted to provide them with solutions so that they could increase their yield and also assess a larger market. Uka shared his story of building his business, and he advised founders to take their time to relax, have friends within their startup, and embrace uncertainty. He shares that the key to solving a problem is to take one step at a time and to have the right mentors who can help you along the way. 
30:45
August 30, 2022
Taking Risks with Yvonne Bajela (Local Globe)
Taking Risks with Yvonne Bajela (Local Globe)
Yvonne Bajela spent time with us on the Grinders Table sharing her experience building a career, following her intuition, taking risks and pivoting throughout her career.  Yvonne invests in startups across the UK & Africa. She is a founding member at Impact X a UK-based venture capital fund founded to invest in companies led by underrepresented entrepreneurs. Over the last five years, Yvonne has invested over £200 million in various startups across Europe, the Middle East and Africa including Wise (formerly TransferWise), Flutterwave and Marshmallow.  
19:04
August 16, 2022
Building Teams with Sam Sturm (Founders Factory Africa)
Building Teams with Sam Sturm (Founders Factory Africa)
This week's episode features a conversation with Sam Sturm, Chief Venture Architect at Founders Factory Africa (FFA). FFA is the go-to innovation partner for startups, investors, governments, and corporates — throughout Africa and beyond. Sam shares insights on the value of relationships, his journey into the venture space, his thoughts on the Venture ecosystem, the myth of talent scarcity and his favourite productivity hacks.
41:30
August 09, 2022
Zouheir Lakhdissi, The Accidental Entrepreneur
Zouheir Lakhdissi, The Accidental Entrepreneur
This week I had the opportunity of having a chat with Zouheir Lakhdissi, a Moroccan entrepreneur and founder with more than 22 years of experience in the digital industry and more than 15 years in C-Level positions. Zouheir shares his journey, how he has built his career and why he thinks AI is the future of human existence.
34:44
August 01, 2022
Conversations with Kristin Wilson
Conversations with Kristin Wilson
It's officially season 2 of The Grinders Table and to kick off this 'summer' episode is Kristin Wilson. Kristin designs solutions at the confluence of business, culture, and politics in emerging markets. Kriston talks about veering from her medical career to her foray into Princeton, Oxford and Stanford. We deep dive into what success means and her company - Spurt!
33:04
July 25, 2022
Conversations with Joseph Agunbiade
Conversations with Joseph Agunbiade
I spoke with Joseph Agunbiade, Co-founder of BudgIT and founder of Univelcity. Joseph explains his love for physics and how it has influenced his life. He also shared key insights on how he has built a successful career (even if he doesn't regard himself as successful). Finally, Joseph capped our conversation with some amazing book recommendations that you should definitely take a look at.
34:27
June 14, 2022
Conversations with Prasanth Kumar
Conversations with Prasanth Kumar
On the Grinders Table was Prasanth Kumar.  Prasanth has held leadership roles in India, Dubai, Morocco to Ghana with a career spanning over 20 years. He shares his lessons learned, failures and key insights from his journey.
32:42
May 25, 2022
Conversations with Kanini Mutooni
Conversations with Kanini Mutooni
Today we had Kanini Mutooni on the Grinders Table and I was awed. Kanini has held leadership and board level positions in East Africa, Europe and the US. She shares with us her 'behind the scene' story as well as lessons she learned along the way. Grab a cup of coffee, tea or whatever you like, plug in your headphones and join the conversation.
23:26
May 17, 2022
Conversations with Olawale Adegoke
Conversations with Olawale Adegoke
Today I had the pleasure of chatting with Olawale Adegoke, a serial entrepreneur, who runs two interesting businesses - an outdoor advertising agency and a fantasy sports platform. Olawale shares his journey from construction to real estate and now advertising and sports.
29:40
May 10, 2022
Conversations with Bola Lawal
Conversations with Bola Lawal
This week we had Bola Lawal on the Grinders Table. Bola Lawal, an impact Entrepreneur focused on emerging markets, founded ScholarX (LearnAm), an Education Finance platform that helps students access funding to get an education. Bola shares insights and learnings from his journey in 'startuping'.
29:49
April 26, 2022
Finding Clarity with Tomilola Majekodunmi (Bankly)
Finding Clarity with Tomilola Majekodunmi (Bankly)
This week I had the pleasure of having Tomilola Majekodunmi, CEO of Bankly, on the Grinders Table. Bankly, a Nigerian fintech startup digitizing cash for the unbanked, recently announced a $2 million seed round. Tomi shared insights on her journey and lessons she learned along the way. Who would you like to have on the Grinders Table?
29:34
April 19, 2022
Conversation with Temitope Ekundayo
Conversation with Temitope Ekundayo
This is the longest and most interesting episode yet!!! This week I spent some time chatting with Temitope Ekundayo, co-CEO of Printivo and Co-founder of GetEquity. I have to apologize for butchering his name too! Temitope shared insights on building a great company, lessons from his journey and how he manages a million and one things at a time. Honourable mention to Oluyomi Ojo, who birthed Printivo and is now building Cova.
47:27
April 05, 2022
Conversation with Tomi Solanke
Conversation with Tomi Solanke
This week I had the pleasure of speaking with Tomi Solanke, Founder of Trove. Trove is one of the pioneer apps in Africa that gives access to American and Chinese stocks, bonds and ETFs for a fractional sum of money, think of it as the Robinhood for Africa. Tomi shares his journey into entrepreneurship, the lessons he learned and his mistakes.
36:35
March 29, 2022
Conversation with Max Cuvellier
Conversation with Max Cuvellier
This week I'm sharing my conversation with Max Cuvellier, Head of Mobile for Development at GSMA and one of the publishers of one of my favourite newsletters - The Big Deal. Max shares how he grew career-wise, the mistakes he made and his insights on leadership.  Is there anyone you'd like to be on The Grinders Table? Send me a message.
19:18
March 08, 2022
Conversations with Eman Wahby
Conversations with Eman Wahby
This week I had the opportunity of speaking with Eman Wahby, GP of Egypt-based fund Grow in Africa Fund and worked for 13 years in international development with the World Bank. She has experience in working with governments, civil society, youth groups, the private sector, donors and multilateral organizations.  Eman brings fresh perspectives on making career decisions, investing in women and mistakes she made in her illustrious career. 
18:45
March 01, 2022
Conversations with Clive Butkow
Conversations with Clive Butkow
This week, we have Clive Butkow on the Grinders Table. Clive is the CEO of Kalon Venture Partners, a disruptive digital technology Venture Capital Fund located in Johannesburg. He was the COO of Accenture South Africa and has a 28-year illustrious management consulting experience. There's so much to unpack in the episode, so grab a seat and join us at the table.
19:03
February 20, 2022
Conversation with Pamela Wagner
Conversation with Pamela Wagner
This week I had the pleasure of speaking with Pamela Wagner, founder of Ajala Digital, a certified Google Partner that specializes in mobile, search, video, and display ads. She has helped over 2000+ advertisers from all over the world to achieve 6- & 7-figure results. She shared so many nuggets on building a viable business, the mistakes she made and insights that you will surely find useful in your journey to fulfilment.
19:26
February 13, 2022
Conversations with Blessing Abeng
Conversations with Blessing Abeng
This week we had a sit-down with Blessing Abeng, Brand and Comms expert who has worked with major brands across industries like Seedstars, Facebook, Taeillo, Diageo, Heritage Bank, Dark and Lovely, Bolt, Lemi Ghariokwu, QuickCheck and more. She is currently the co-founder of Ingressive for Good, where she supports the nonprofit’s mission to increase the earning power of one million African youths through tech training and resources. She spoke about her journey into branding and comms, her dream of becoming a doctor and the sale of a tech startup she cofounded to an African unicorn.  She ended our conversation with three insights: In navigating friendships, remember that sometimes it's not about you, it's about the other person. But it's up to you to leave when it doesn't suit you. Value your days and just understand that there is so much you can do in a day. In one year time, that day might become relevant again, it can change your life forever. You have limited time on Earth, ensure that you spend your time with the consciousness that this could be my last. This will inspire you to truly live.
27:60
February 08, 2022
Conversations with Maxime Bayen
Conversations with Maxime Bayen
This week's conversation is with Maxime Bayen, a Senior Venture Builder for Catalyst Fund at BFA Global, aka The Data King (my nickname for him). He leads the venture building support to Catalyst Fund early-stage startups as well as supports the portfolio startups when it comes to investment readiness. Maxime shares insights on growing in his career, building teams and getting the best out of work. He ended this episode with 3 insights: Work can be fun, can be enjoyable, it doesn't have to be tough Go for people always, build a good team. Be  curious, try new things.
16:11
January 30, 2022
Making Impact: work-life, health and Balance with Anta Diallo (BPIFrance)
Making Impact: work-life, health and Balance with Anta Diallo (BPIFrance)
Today's conversation is with Anta Diallo, VC Scout, Start-up Advisor and Ecosystem Connector who helps African innovation players connect their ecosystems with the European and international tech hubs. She shares her journey, lowest points and insights on how to grow a more balanced business/career. She left us with three insights: What do you really want? You have to know what drives you. Be conscious of your value and your strength. Be confident, and if you're not, pretend you are confident. Is there anyone you'd like us to have a conversation with?
20:10
January 23, 2022
Conversations with Oliver Blantern
Conversations with Oliver Blantern
Grab a seat and join the conversation as I chat with Oliver Blantern, Founder & CEO, Impact Rooms. Impact Rooms offers well-rounded solutions for startup problems, from ensuring that they are investor-ready and are matched with the right investors, to raising capital Oliver shares his experience and insights from building his career and business. He talks about his favourite podcasts, his 'aha' moment, lessons from his first company and much more.
20:22
January 17, 2022
Coming soon: The Grinders Table Season 1
Coming soon: The Grinders Table Season 1
Tune in to The Grinders Table with Uwem every week to hear from Entrepreneurs, Innovators and C-suite leaders on how they've succeeded in their business or career, failed, pivoted and why they are on the brink of breaking the mold and achieving success. This podcast is for anyone who wants to learn how to grow their business and career, whether you are just starting on the journey or have experience. You'll get inspired and you might even find some new tools and tricks that might help you reach your own goals. To recommend guests, email me at uwem.uwem@outlook.com
01:04
January 06, 2022