Braced For Growth: Top Women Execs Join Zoona Board
Zoona has strengthened its Board with the addition of two new non-executive Directors: Shirley Maltz, Group CEO of Homechoice and Ebi Atawodi, Product Manager for Global Payments at Uber. The financial services company founded in 2009 in Zambia uses technology to empower entrepreneurs to provide digital financial service products such as mobile wallets, international money transfers, savings and credit facilities, as well as bill payments.
Zoona is purpose driven to provide inclusive financial services, and the pedigree of both women is believed to boost the strategic growth for the company, but more importantly, it will be a beacon of inclusive growth. Both women are respected in their specific industries having built a reputation for pioneering new technologies.
Mike Quinn, CEO of Zoona recognizes this pedigree and with both Board members having backgrounds in financial services, sees the value that can be added to the company as it expands on the continent. “We have built a world class board and executive team, and we are deeply committed to our mission and driven to achieve results. Ebi and Shirley come with impressive track records and are already making an impact in Africa. I look forward to working with them over the coming years to help Zoona fulfill its potential.”
He continues to add that, “Working with exceptional leaders is the critical starting point to Zoona building a pan-African business that helps communities thrive. These new board members will play critical roles in strengthening our core business and helping us scale new digital products that improve the financial health and well-being of our customers.”
Zoona’s first market was Zambia but has now expanded to Malawi, Mozambique as well as setting up support offices in South Africa. The company has over the last decade been instrumental in creating over 3000 jobs, 2000 entrepreneurs and claims to have facilitated over $2bn in mobile money transactions. This not only makes it a formidable pan-African competitor to the likes of M-Pesa but has also made it an attractive prospect for investors. Since its launch, Zoona has raised over USD 25 Mn in international investment, and some of their investors include the International Finance Corporation, Quona Capital, Omidyar Network, the Lundin Foundation and 4Di Capital.
Atawadi was previously Uber’s West African General Manager and during her time at the helm was instrumental in facilitating cash payments for Uber passengers in Nigeria as well as enabling its penetration in West Africa. She has displayed a passion for technology and the generational impact it can have in disenfranchised communities. “Technology has the potential to democratize opportunities. Bringing previously inaccessible industries from transport to banking to practically everyone. I am passionate when we harness the potential of technology to impact people’s lives and when that is done in such a sustainable way that it impacts two or three generations.,” says Atawodi, newly appointed non-executive board member, Zoona.
She continues to add that, “The foundations of the future of digital Africa rest on technology driving finance, connectivity, transport and energy – Zoona is on the front lines of this impetus driving digital Africa, supporting the future of the African content through financial empowerment. I am very excited to be part of the Zoona story and to work with a business that has such a crucial objective at the heart of its mission.”
Shirley joined Homechoice in 2001, overseeing the credit, operations division, as well as all marketing activities. Since her appointment, Maltz has held executive positions in Homechoice, first in 2007 as the chief executive of its retail division and in 2013 was appointed as Group Chief Executive Officer. It is expected that she will leverage this leadership experience to unearth female entrepreneurs and direct the growth of Zoona on the continent.
‘I accepted to join the Zoona board because I believe in the vision and mission of empowering young African women as entrepreneurs,’ says Shirley Malz, non-executive board member, Zoona.
Zoona is dedicated to helping communities thrive and aims to combine technology and entrepreneurship to meaningfully change the lives of the unbanked through the provision of digital financial services.
‘We have experienced exciting growth and real impact over the past few years, and attracting top non-executive talent on our board to help us scale has been one of my top priorities. I couldn’t be more excited to work with Ebi and Shirley who are passionate and committed to African entrepreneurship and growth and have track records to back it up.” Concluded Quinn.