Ifeoma Uddoh on running Shecluded and getting more money into the hands of women
My Life In Tech is putting human faces to some of the innovative startups, investments, and policy formations driving the technology sector across Africa.
I discovered Shecluded while I was doing some research for TechCabal’s IWD special edition newsletter. I wanted to feature newer faces and voices. I was looking for African women who were quietly working behind the scenes and building great products for their communities.
Shecluded stood out to me because of their mission statement: To be widely recognized as the leading credit company for women in Africa. I found their mission to be equal parts bold and relevant. Bold because the journey to becoming a widely recognised fintech company – founded by a woman – is not an easy feat. Relevant because there’s an obvious gender disparity that impedes African women’s ability to sign up for necessary financial products and solutions.
Shecluded was founded by Ifeoma Uddoh. She’s also the company’s CEO and leads a small team of engineers, developers, and creative thinkers. Ifeoma, like many women leaders in Nigeria, leads from the frontlines both at work and at home. She’s a mother of three who, on occasion, has to hole herself up in her bedroom so she can get a moment or two of silence.
My initial conversation with Ifeoma was supposed to happen over Google Meet. But Ifeoma insisted that we met in person.
“My friends say I need to socialize more and meet new people. So, no virtual meetings. Please meet me at the office.”
During our conversation, I’m pleasantly surprised by Ifeoma’s sunny personality and transparency. The stereotypical female CEO is a tight-lipped, unsmiling woman who is hell-bent on proving to the world that she is just as capable and competent as her male peers. But Ifeoma is far from unsmiling and uptight – she has an open smile and infectious laugh.
She fondly refers to herself as a “village girl” who became an accidental tech founder. She has no qualms about making fun of herself or seeking counsel outside of her social network.