Being innovative is one way to stand out as an individual, this skill has made Nigerian Innovator, Kofo Akinkugbe who is the first smartcard/SIM producer in West Africa become one of Africa’s thought leaders in the subjects of entrepreneurship and innovation in the technology sector.
Kofo Akinkugbe is recognised globally for her entrepreneurial success story and strong business track record. She is founder & CEO of SecureID Nigeria Ltd a market leader in smart card technology and digital security. SecureID is a world-class manufacturing facility with the only smart card production plant in West Africa and one of only six on the continent. This company serves 16 countries across Africa and is fully certified by VISA, Verve, and MasterCard. In 2012, Kofo won the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship Mature Business Award.
Her Startup Story
After serving in the Nigerian Youth Service Corps, Kofo started her career in the banking industry, working with International Merchant Bank Plc and Chartered Bank Limited. She remained in the financial sector for over 12 years until 1997 when she left to start Interface Technologies, a security management and biometrics technologies company. With a mathematics major, and an MBA from the University of Strathclyde, she successfully ran Interface Technologies Ltd. (ITL) for nine years, before establishing SecureID Nigeria Ltd., an offshoot from a small department in Interface Technologies and the first VISA certified plant in sub-Saharan Africa.
Kofo is a business leader who recognizes the power of innovation as a vital factor for business success, something she not only encourages in all her employees at Secure ID, but in the many business conference speeches and presentations she gives around the world. As chief executive of Secure ID, which is still a relatively young firm creating MasterCard and Visa and operating in 16 African countries, Kofo is an excellent example of a chief executive that is building a successful company based on innovation.