By Tosin Adesile
Chidi Nwaogu, a Nigerian tech entrepreneur and software developer, is one of the ten African entrepreneurs to share in the $1.5 million Africa’s Business Heroes Prize by the Jack Ma Foundation. Nwaogu shares in the prize money as one of the top 10 finalists of Africa’s Business Heroes competition, which is the flagship philanthropic program by the Jack Ma Foundation to support African entrepreneurs. The Prize is organized every year to showcase and grow local talents who are creating a positive impact in their communities and beyond, and inspire a movement of African entrepreneurship.
Over a ten-year period, Africa’s Business Heroes Prize will recognize 100 African entrepreneurs and provide them with grant funding, training programs, and broader support for the broad African entrepreneurial ecosystem. Africa’s Business Heroes directly supports talented and promising African entrepreneurs through its namesake Prize competition. Each year the Prize selects ten “business heroes” from across Africa that compete for their share of $1.5 million in grant funding. During the competition, participants have also exclusive access to training, mentoring, and learning programs, as well as to a community of like-minded African business leaders.
In 2017, Chidi and his identical twin brother, Chika, founded Publiseer, after experiencing challenges monetizing their creative works as a writer and a musician respectively. Publiseer was launched on the 4th of August to help meet the growing needs of independent and underserved African creatives, typically those from low-income and disadvantaged communities. So far, Publiseer has worked with over 7,000 African writers, musicians, filmmakers, and video game developers; helping them to focus on the creating process, while Publiseer handles the tedious but important business of transforming their creativity into wealth for them. The company has also received funding from international organizations like Institut Français and the Goethe-Institut.
Chidi Nwaogu is also a co-founder at Savvy, a global fellowship program that has equipped over 4,900 passionate individuals from 143 countries, with the necessary knowledge, skills, tools, resources, and community they need to build successful, innovative, profitable, and sustainable impact-driven businesses and to succeed as entrepreneurs. Nwaogu is also a winner of the Migration Entrepreneurship Prize, the Africa 35.35 Award for Entrepreneurship, the Young Leaders Award, and the Bizz Business Excellence Award.
Before founding Publiseer, Chidi has co-founded, grown, and sold two successful tech startup companies, which includes LAGbook, a social networking platform created initially for students of his alma mater, the University of Lagos, but later expanded to garner over one million registered users in 120 countries around the world. LAGbook, which is a backronym for Ladies And Gentlemen book, was later acquired in January 2013 by a Canadian tech company, Gulf Pearl Ltd.