Funke Opeke

CEO, founder, Main One
Photo by Courtesy of Funke Opeke
After 20 years working in U.S. telecoms, Funke Opeke returned to her native Nigeria and commenced correcting that country's connectivity problems. The former Verizon executive joined public telecoms company NITEL and learned satellites were just part of the problem. So in 2008, she turned her engineer's eye towards the ocean, raised $240 million in funding and laid 4,400 miles of fibre optic cable from Nigeria to Portugal. Big business quickly followed. Online banking, booking services and retail websites helped build what is now Africa's biggest economy. Nigeria's Internet presence, once associated mostly with scams, is now a growing space in for international business opportunities. It's a change for which Opeke is often credited.