Africa’s Leading Women – Funke Opeke
Meet our personality for this month – Funke Opeke from Nigeria. She is an electrical engineer, founder of Main Street Technologies and Chief Executive Officer of Main One Cable Company, a communications services company based in Lagos State, south-western Nigeria.
Her company – MainOne is West Africa’s leading communications services and network solutions provider.
The company, built West Africa’s first privately owned, open access 7,000-kilometer undersea high capacity cable submarine – stretching from Portugal to South Africa with landings along the route in Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria.
Funke Opeke is recognized as the woman powering broadband in West Africa.
In 2005, after moving back to Nigeria to take on the role of Chief Technology Officer of MTN Nigeria, Funke Opeke noticed the low internet connectivity in Nigeria and decided to do something about it. In 2008, she started MainOne.
The idea of running a 7,000-kilometer undersea high capacity cable submarine from Portugal to Lagos, Nigeria seemed unachievable, too ambitious and may be utterly ridiculous but Funke Opeke had a vision and she was willing to give her all to make it happen.
The value we seek to add is the only true path to greater success. This much, and more, we can say about Funke Opeke, whose desire to add value to her home country birthed Africa’s biggest cable company.
Funke Opeke’s achievements are a source of inspiration to many.
After pledging all her savings, facing more challenges of raising capital for the start-up cable business, carrying out in-depth foundational works, feasibility studies, business plans, and technical plans, Main One Cable Company become more tangible.
One of the things that kept her going in the midst of challenges was her determination to keep moving forward with the idea. There was no going back for her. So she became relentless in engaging more persons who could help fill the financing needs that the company needed. Often times, Funke came across persons who doubted the success of such a business in Nigeria but she didn’t let that stop her. She was never bothered about the glaring truth that she was a woman in a business path that was dominated by men. She kept her focus and ran with her dreams.
Today, Main One cable has succeeded in signing over 100 customers across Africa.
Funke Opeke believes that if everyone can think about how they can utilize the opportunities and the assets that they have to generate value then they would be successful in any business.