Why I’m Mentoring a New Generation of Women

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GLITZ PERSONALITY

Dr. Lola Adeyemi, Co-Founder/COO of Magna Carta Health and Founder/CEO of Mentoring Her wears two caps as a multidimensional physician and social entrepreneur. Whether starting her own preventative health company, launching a healthcare, technology app, or beginning a social impact company that empowers young women to pursue their dreams and reach the highest heights, she pursues her passions of improving people’s lives and their communities. Recently, Mentoring Her organized a virtual competition where five winners emerged. Funke Olaode caught up with the US-based Adeyemi and found out her passion and mission for humanity

Unassuming, quiet, passionate, and yet brilliant with an enviable resume to boot. Though trained in Nigeria, Dr. Adeyemi has since conquered her world in the field of medicine acquiring knowledge in Ivy League universities.

With many academic laurels, the Ago-Iwoye Ogun State-trained medical doctor has also become a social entrepreneur, a game-changer who ensures that her fellow human beings particularly young girls are guided to the path of success. As the chief operations officer and co-founder of Magna Carta Health, she is changing the game in preventative healthcare in Nigeria. In her role, she bridges health care gaps and increases access to healthcare with the aid of technology. Dr. Adeyemi’s latest entrepreneurial pursuits include building an app, Clinicgoto that helps doctors better serve communities by increasing access to care and launching a new platform, Mentoring Her, a social networking platform that uses technology to virtually connect female mentors with mentees to create relationships that significantly increase their lifetime potential.

Before her new enterprise, she has been a mentor and advisor to many individuals and organizations and is an ICF-certified entrepreneurship coach. Most recently, a headstream professional advisor for their accelerator programme; mentor for Johns Hopkins and Harvard University students and alumni, MicroMentor and Apinke Girls Initiative. She has also developed a free e-book on mentorship.

Dr. Lola Adeyemi obtained her medical degree from Olabisi Onabanjo University in Nigeria, an MPH from Johns Hopkins, and an MLA from Harvard University. At various times, Dr. Adeyemi has shared her perspectives on healthcare, entrepreneurship, and mentorship in Forbes, Medium, Thrive Global, LinkedIn, and other various news outlets and speaks at events and conferences. Her intellectual prowess has not gone unnoticed as she is a 2020 recipient of The Global Achievement Award from Johns Hopkins University.

Explaining her new baby, Mentoring Her, Adeyemi said it is an online social platform that virtually connects female mentors and mentees where they can develop relationships and help each other grow in areas relating to education, career, entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. Mentoring Her uses technology to break down the barriers of access that girls and women face by creating a powerful network that empowers them to succeed through connections, communication and community in a way that prioritizes their health and safety.
Speaking further she said her motivation emerged from a desire to see women grow, fulfill their life-time potential, and live their best lives possible.

“I have been mentored to get to where I am today so I believe in the power of mentorship. I live by one of my favorite mantras from Eleanor Roosevelt, ‘Learn from the mistakes of others, you can’t live long enough to make them all by yourself,’ and this is the ethos that drives Mentoring Her to be what it is today.

“Over 950 mentors, expert coaches and mentees have joined us since we launched in 2019. Mentees who joined have attested to how the Mentoring Her platform has helped them connect to a mentor/coach who has guided them through overcoming self-sabotage, school applications, finding a career path, and so many more. Women who hold executive positions and also mentor on our platform say that Mentoring Her platform has provided the opportunity for them to mentor girls in an impactful way while going about their busy day.”

On October 10, Mentoring Her organised a pitch competition to celebrate its launch in Nigeria and to support Nigerian female entrepreneurs. It’s called ‘Mentoring Her Pitchathon.’ Mentoring Her Pitchathon 2020 was a virtual competition in which women are expected to pitch their business ideas to top industry leaders to get their buy-in, advice and support. Women who qualify as top finalists will have access to cash, business loans, mentorship and coaching opportunities, legal consultation, professional/business makeover and many more opportunities to help them set-up or scale their business.

Facing the panel of judges of highly-placed Nigerians who have made giant strides in their endeavours, the participants comprised of young women dazzled the judges with an oratory on how to be a business tycoon. Among the judges were Kyari Bukar, Head Judge Next Titan/Chairman Sunu Assurances; Hansatu Adegbite- ED WIMBIZ; Osayi Alile, CEO ACT Foundation; Jane Egerton-Idehen, CM Avanti Communications; and Yemi Keri- Co-founder of Rising Tide.

They all contributed to deciding which of the businesses were viable and had the potential to grow using their business acumen and expertise. They were also able to impact wisdom and get the finalists to think critically about their businesses.
It also had an entrepreneurial coach in Ife Durosinmi-Etti, founder of AGS Tribe who trained the finalists before the pitch day on entrepreneurial skills and how to pitch. This no doubt contributed to boosting their confidence and highlighting important points of their business during the pitch day. After the competition, winners will be trained by a leadership coach, Kemi Ogunkoya, founder of Rellies Works on how to lead their organizations effectively.

At the end of the exercise, five winners emerged from the Mentoring Her Pitchathon. They were selected based on various factors, some of which included the ability of their business scale, empower others, contribute to societal development, sustainability of the business, innovation of the business and governance structure, amongst others. The winners were Adaeze Akpagbula (Farm Speak), Olumide Gbadebo (Adunni Organics), Rukayat Bello (The Bells Dynamic Option), Zansi Adebowale (Kip Learning Consults), and Excellence Joshua (Animations with Excellence).

The winners were rewarded with a cash prize of N200,000, access to a business loan of up to N1,000,000, business advisory support from Fate Foundation, executive training from the Enterprise Development Centre (Pan Atlantic University), legal support services from Theodore Ezeobi & Co, coaching and mentorship amongst many mouth watering offers.
Now that the winners have emerged, Dr. Adeyemi assured that she would continue to support, monitor, mentor and evaluation.
She said, “We hope that we will continue to be a part of their success stories as they continue to grow and impact others with their businesses.”

But why is she focusing on young women as there are talented young men too that need empowerment?
“It’s because to empower a woman is to empower a nation. Our hope is that the domino effect of empowering women who are already disadvantaged by the way, will impact her entire family and subsequently our country Nigeria,” she responded.

What informed or influenced her moving away from practicising medicine to becoming a social entrepreneur?
“I think fundamentally in the heart of a physician lies the desire to help others,” she explained. “I truly believe that the measure of lives is the impact that we make in the lives of others. I will continue to do that as a physician but then I realized that I could impact more lives as a social entrepreneur. That’s why I co-founded Magna Carta Health, a preventive health organization that is focused on preventing death, disability and disease with the aid of technology and we give 10 per cent of our profits to our CSR initiatives including Mentoring Her.

“I also believe that great women support women and so like I have been supported with the Mentoring Her Pitchathon by great women like Mrs. Bola Adesola (Standard Chartered), Mrs. Sola Momoh (Channels TV) and many others. I always choose to support other women.”
And how has her field of medicine helped her social enterprise?

“They appear to be worlds apart but they are inextricably linked. According to the WHO, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. When you take that into consideration, my field of preventive medicine and public health covers your physical and mental health which by the way are impacted by your social well-being. Mentorship and empowerment encourage you to succeed and impacts your social wellbeing and consequently your mental and physical health.”
For Adeyemi, women can change the narrative in both the social and political economy of a nation, and this she believes can happen if governments at all levels make it a national agenda to empower women more than ever before. By encouraging and supporting more initiatives such as this. By actually trying to meet SDGs 4, 5 and 10.