FinTech Female Fridays: Viola Llewellyn, President & Co-Founder, Ovamba Solutions
"I am absolutely positive that creating generational wealth is the answer to poverty eradication, stable societies and human happiness."
You co-founded Ovamba Solutions back in 2013. What inspired you to start this company and what is your current role there?
My business partner Marvin Cole was introduced to me by a mutual friend. He talked about building a business to provide access to capital for African businesses. I saw this as a unique opportunity to build a legacy and solve a major problem affecting generations of families and business owners. I am the president and the co-founder. My focus is on strategy, product development, business development, communications, and investor engagement.
Can you tell us more about Ovamba Solution’s mission and your idea to create a company that creates culturally attuned technologies, acting as an ecosystem for African businesses?
Access to finance is not about money, it's about ecosystem. The first and primary challenge to that is literacy. Not everyone speaks post-colonial languages, that’s why verbal computing in African languages and creating risk models that consider ethnicity are huge breakthroughs. Credit, risk models, and demographics should be accurate to the people they address.
How is Ovamba working towards tackling financial inclusion?
It is central to everything we innovate and the reason why we exist. It is a high cost to humanity to leave anyone, any woman, any nation or any race behind by denying them the access to opportunity. It is interesting to us that having money is not the same thing as financial inclusion. It is about creating services and systems that make wealth generation possible and business growth possible.
How do you see the African FinTech market developing in the next two to five years and beyond maybe?
It will parse down into niche markets and solutions. Banks will curate services and products from FinTech innovators to bundle tailored products and solutions to customers. Banks are NOT going away. Regulators will have to get faster and better at keeping up with innovation. Customers will have very specific demands for services that will enhance life and build experiences.
You pivoted a lot in different companies throughout the development of your career. What has set you up for success in your Ovamba Solutions venture?
Being around smart successful people regardless of company has been great training. I have learned what not to do and that is valuable! I’ve learned that your team is the greatest asset and leading them involves supporting them with rewarding careers that meet personal fulfillment.
Reach out to Viola on Linkedin.