A Journey of Growth, Building, and Embracing New Challenges

Throughout my journey at Payday (Techstars ’21), as I approach my last few days with the company, I have taken the time to reflect on my achievements, both the highs and the lows and the invaluable lessons I have learned. While I usually prefer to work quietly and let my actions speak for themselves, today is a good day to share my story and inspire others. After my 18 months journey building a company, I’m bidding farewell to build other solutions and create remarkable teams.

In December 2021, I decided to advance my career and leave the Bank of Industry where I built, a department for Products & Partnerships for MSME’s impacting all 36 states in Nigeria powered by Technology and data to profile over 9 million businesses and work with Global organisations.

I sought advice from mentors and friends while exploring opportunities with early-stage startups and later an investor/advisor recommended I join Payday as their COO in February 2022. After several meetings with the CEO, I felt an immediate connection with the stage of the company, the proposed problem and the potential outcome.

Payday had recently secured a pre-seed funding round of $2.2 million in Q3 2021 and was preparing to become fully operational. However, like any early-stage startup, there was a need for someone who understood the intricacies of building teams, people, and a solid business structure to couple these into day-to-day processes. I had a lot of work to do. We needed to build processes and systems, hire and train a team, and raise capital. I am proud to say that we accomplished all these things and more. This is where my journey with Payday began, and together we achieved significant milestones.

We raised $3 million in Seed funding by March 2023 and expanded our staff and operations in various areas of the business. Drawing upon my skills as a builder and problem solver, I established processes and implemented operational metrics that allowed us to track and monitor events across the company. One of my proudest achievements was building Payday’s first operational dashboard within 8 weeks of my joining the team, which promoted transparency and collaboration among all teams and departments.

Building a cohesive team was another crucial aspect of my role. Initially, it was just the CEO and me for 12 months until the CPO joined in January 2023. This addition allowed us to delegate responsibilities more efficiently and further strengthen our functions. While building the company, some highs and lows tested our resilience. As a leader, I always approached challenges with a problem-solving mindset, focusing on finding solutions while maintaining empathy, fostering collaboration, and ensuring effective communication within the team.

My background and experiences in diverse fields, from communicable and non-communicable diseases to neglected tropical diseases, my passion for using technology to solve problems led me to build E-learning platforms and work with Africa’s first MSME executor for the underserved & underbanked, shaped my leadership style, equipping me to navigate complexities while keeping the team motivated and focused. My ultimate goal was to contribute to developing a digitised ecosystem in health, education, and financial Inclusion and this journey has already begun.

Now, as I prepare to part ways with Payday, I do so with a deep sense of gratitude for the support and collaboration of my incredible team. It has been an honour to work alongside such talented individuals. While the company is at a stage where our growth journeys no longer align with mine, I now need to move on and continue doing things that align with my passion.

I am confident that Payday is poised for even greater success. The team will continue building upon our momentum and achieving remarkable things.

By sharing my story, I inspire others and remind everyone that our career paths are filled with twists and turns. Growth does not happen on a straight path but on a spiral path, that said, we must seize opportunities for growth and personal development, and sometimes that means putting ourselves first and moving on to the next phase of our journey. Thank you, Payday, for being a significant part of my professional growth. I am excited for the future and the adventures that lie ahead.


Yvonne 🦋

Yvonne Obike

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