Aisha Kwaku is the CEO and Co-Founder, Aisha Kwaku and Associates, She has tackled and excelled at a full spectrum of ICT and entrepreneurial roles. Through her Cisco Networking Academy, she has equipped over 1,000 students with skills in networking, cyber security, hardware, and software troubleshooting and programming.
She has consulted for several UK DFID projects where she worked closely with youth groups to build leadership skills and with hundreds of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises to successfully establish their businesses, grow their market, and access finance. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, a Post graduate diploma in Management, an MSc in Telecommunications, an MSc in Development Studies, and an Executive MBA. She is passionate about ICT, Education, and Entrepreneurship and has a lifelong ambition to contribute considerably to eradicating poverty in Africa and beyond.
She was recently interviewed by MSME Africa.
Can we meet you?
I am Aisha Kwaku, a mother, daughter, sister, and wife. Also a Computer Scientist and a nationally certified Business development service provider. I was born over four decades ago in Kano, Nigeria, and this is where I’ve spent most of my life. I am a lifelong learner, so it is not surprising to know that I have three master’s degrees. I worked in telecommunications for several years before venturing into Entrepreneurship. I enjoy traveling, good conversations, and good food. My mother is my Hero.
What inspired your entrepreneurial journey?
I am a rather customer-centric person, so a major motivation for me was wanting to be able to offer a great degree of customer satisfaction. I wanted to be able to have a reasonable amount of control over the standard of service I could offer to clients. I was pushed by a burning desire to do something meaningful and make a difference in people’s lives.
Kindly share a high moment for you as an entrepreneur.
One of my high moments was when a small farmers’ Cooperative in a rural LGA- Alkaleri Bauchi who I had assisted in securing a loan from a bank was awarded as the best farmer of the year by CBN.
How have you been coping with the challenges of being a female entrepreneur in your space?
I operate in the tech space, and I’m passionate about building the capacity of Women in tech, but it’s not easy as often I find that there are not enough women in Tech and those in the field often underestimate their ability and are often overshadowed by male counterparts who know less but are 10 times more confident, so consequently end up getting more attention and opportunities. I keep striving to support women and give them opportunities to build their confidence.
The focus of this year’s International Women’s Day is to get the world talking about ‘Why equal opportunities aren’t enough.” What do you have to contribute to this?
Well, for me, it’s less talk and more action. In my space – the tech space, I have decided to be even more intentional about creating opportunities. I have built and am in the process of equipping a tech hub dedicated to Women and Girls due for launch later in the year. This is a space where they will learn, thrive, and build solutions for Africa and beyond. A safe space dedicated to “US” where we can excel and make meaningful contributions.
What do you hope to see improve in MSME ecosystem in the next 5 years in Nigeria?
More favorable conditions to thrive: Better electricity, internet, access to finance, and patronage of proudly made-in-Nigeria goods and services. And on the part of the MSMEs: reliability, trustworthiness, and a passion to offer the best standards possible.
Your final words to everyone reading this and hoping to start something like this.
I’ll borrow from Nike and say “Just do it,” and I’ll add dedication, passion, and sincerity. It’s worth it.