Damilola Akinosun is passionate about designing products and experiences. The 22-year-old Nigerian has extensive experience with research marketing and he prides himself in leveraging strategic thinking to solve problems.
Transition into Entrepreneurship
Damilola recognized the frustration of having brilliant business ideas but not enough money to start or grow the business. Access to financial capital remains one of the biggest hurdles for entrepreneurs in Nigeria and across Africa. High interest rates make loans unaffordable to many, while equity investment can be difficult to secure. Along with two partners, Damilola zeroed in on grants as a possible solution to this problem, as they do not require repayment or equity. However, the process of applying for grants is typically confusing, time-consuming, and competitive.
Damilola is the Chief Operations Officer and co-founder of Grant Master, an online marketplace connects organizations in need of debt-free and equity-free funding with top-rated grant writers. Grant Master offers services to businesses and NGOs in Ibadan and Lagos, Nigeria. The customer base comprises business owners who seek grant funding to scale up their ventures but lack the time and expertise to write grant proposals themselves. Damilola and his team conduct a vetting process to identify experienced writers who have won grants before. They then match these writers with clients within 24 hours, thus helping business owners to save time and resources that would otherwise be spent searching for the right talent on freelance websites. On the supply side, grant writers find it difficult to secure gigs that pay well on often-competitive freelancing sites. Given Grant Master’s commission-based model, these writers can earn more and position themselves to win more grants for their clients. Additionally, Grant Master offers training programs to develop creative writers into expert grant writers.
Starting with two grant applications in its first month of operations, Grant Master now produces a monthly average of 12 grant proposals. As interest in this type of funding grows, Damilola and his team hope to continue helping organizations worldwide secure grants to launch new products and services, expand into new markets, and achieve their dreams.