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Join Thomas Hellmann and Mike Quinn for an open and honest account of Mike’s experience of building Zoona, one of Africa’s first fintech startups, and the book he has written since – ‘Failing to Win: Hard-earned lessons from a purpose-driven startup.’
After backpacking across Africa on a mission to find entrepreneurs building scalable, high-impact businesses, Canadian entrepreneur Mike Quinn convinced his retired parents to mortgage their house and lend him $100,000 to co-found Zoona. With his partners, he led the company to build a network of more than 3,000 entrepreneur agents across Zambia and Malawi that enabled millions of consumers to send and receive $2.5 billion in money transfers and remittances. Zoona raised over $35 million of venture investment and operated on the leading edge of Africa’s emerging fintech ecosystem.
Mike’s remarkable story gives a rare and honest glimpse inside the blackbox of a pioneering start-up from the lens of a purpose-driven entrepreneur who went ‘all in.’ Zoona faced tremendous adversity every step of the way, such as currency crises, investment round collapses, ruthless pushback from the major mobile network operators, and a continuous internal struggle to discover and execute a growth strategy that matched the company’s billion dollar ambition. It was by failing to win that Mike learned what entrepreneurship is all about, and what motivated him to double down and try again.
Thomas Hellmann, DP World Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Mike Quinn, co-founder and former CEO of Zoona
EnSpire Oxford is a University of Oxford initiative to help connect people to the entrepreneurship resources they need, and to promote entrepreneurship across Oxfordshire.
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