A day at Social Media Week Lagos (from the lens of VoguePay)

(Last Updated On: September 24, 2018)


On March 1st, 2018, more than 400 attendees of #SMWGetPaid event learnt a lot of business insights from VoguePay’s CEO and other amazing pan-African entrepreneurs. Also, two random entrepreneurs won themselves N200,000 courtesy of VoguePay and Ventures Platform.

(From left: Shodipo, Kola Aina, Sarah Codjo, her assistant, Michael Simeon and Sonia)


Here is the backstory….

Tope Hassan of Isoko Africa had reach out to VoguePay. She shared her vision to inspire young Africans on how to turn their passion and vision to money making machine. This vision aligns with what VoguePay stands for. According to Tope,  “hustle” story of VoguePay resonates with the target audience. So, Michael accepted to speak at the event.


An unofficial recap of what happened at #SMWGetPaid.

The #SMWGetPaid session was themed “Get Paid:from hustler to pan African mogul” and it held at the main (experience) stage with more than 400 people seated.

The convener of the session, Tope Hassan did a good job of welcoming the attendees and introducing the panelist and moderator Shade Ladipo, who took over to moderate the panel.

The all-star panel session included Kola Aina, CEO of venture platform (venture capitalist), Sonia Mugabo (a fashion entrepreneur from Rwanda), Sarah Codjo ( a fashion entrepreneur from Benin Republic) and Michael Femi Simeon (CEO, VoguePay) with Shola Shodipo ( of WeConnect Nigeria) as moderator.

All the panelists had different perspective to share about how they started their businesses, the need to have resolve and the importance of passion even when others do not understand your hustle.

A common theme to their story is that some of them had opportunity to “coast along” with regular high-paying jobs but chose entrepreneurship. For example, Sarah left a high paying job to venture into fashion despite promising career while Sonia also stuck with her passion for fashion after coming back to Rwanda from her studies in USA.

Michael shared his story that resonated with the audience.

He narrated, how, as a student in UK, he was bale to turn an abandoned fruit house to his first real estate business in UK, which later grew into a multi-million pound empire in the midst of the global credit crunch of 2008. The lesson on taking advantage of opportunity summaries what the audience came to hear.


Shodipo did a good job of moderating the conversation. Of course, there were so much to learn, so we put them up on this Twitter thread.


The N200k giveaway.

The interesting twist to the event was a ‘quick pitch” session.

Two random entrepreneurs won the sum of N200,000. They were asked to give a 60 seconds pitch on how they will spend N100,000 on their hustle and repay back within a month. The lucky winners are ladies. Ezeigwe Juliet pitched her short film project to win N50,000 while Folarin Folake (, an entrepreneur who is a resale designer won N150,000.

The two hundred thousand naira (N200k) grant is courtesy of Kola Aina (Ventures Platform) and Michael Simeon (VoguePay), who chose to contribute equally to the hustle of the two winners.

Meet the Press session.

Along with other panelists, Michael had a chat with the media crew to discuss his next project, VoguePay digital bank and what it means for business in Africa.


One more picture 🙂

It was an amazing day at #SMWLagos2018. The panelists, moderator and convener took a shot just after the panel rounded off. It is more women than men (actually 5 women, if you count the one on the screen 🙂



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