Temi Marcella Awogboro


Temi Marcella Awogboro is a pioneer and change agent passionate about unlocking the transformational power of capital as a catalyst for profound change globally and transforming lives through her work. She has committed over half a billion dollars in impact capital across emerging markets to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Temi is a core part of the investment leadership team responsible for scaling Evercare from inception in 2015 to a global platform comprising 30+ hospitals, 20+ clinics and 80+ diagnostics centers operating across 6 countries. She has been instrumental in leading the investment in building and operating one of the largest and most advanced private hospitals in Nigeria in a bid to transform healthcare in the region. Through her early-stage investment platforms, she is building and cultivating disruptive, transformative institutions that will emerge as today’s regional champions and tomorrow’s global challengers.

Temi was appointed by the President of Nigeria to sit on the Nigerian Health Sector Reform Committee under the Chairmanship of the Vice President of Nigeria. She also sits on the Equality Fund Board of Directors, Evercare Hospital Lekki Board of Directors and the Save the Children International Africa Advisory Board.

A recipient of the Future Awards Africa Prize, Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Award and M&A Advisor’s European Emerging Leaders Award, she shares her inspiring story with ESTHER IJEWERE in this interview.

Childhood Influence
I am proudly Nigerian with German and Scottish heritage. I was born in Nigeria, raised in the United Kingdom, and have lived and worked across four continents. My childhood was one of discovery, adventure, and exploration. While I never felt a stranger where I lived, I also never quite fully belonged. This lived experience forced me to forge a strong personal identity that was not wedded to culture, dogmas, traditions, and ideological concepts.

I was inspired greatly by the entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic and tenacity of my parents. My father was a medical doctor turned entrepreneur, and my mother was a Miss Nigeria beauty queen, technology systems engineer, and subsequently joined my father in building the family business that straddled construction, procurement and technology. These influences are intricately woven into the individual and professional I am today.

From a tender age, my parents and close family nicknamed me “Small But Mighty” because within my pint-sized package, came mighty aspirations. As a child, I always refused to be restricted by the limits imposed by external expectations of me, with a burning desire to push beyond the limits perceived in my mind or externally imposed.

Inspiration behind my career path
I am an investment professional with over 15 years of experience in developed and growth markets. I have always been driven by my belief in the power of private capital to transform lives and my passion to unlock the power of capital as a catalyst for profound, sustainable change globally. On this journey, I have committed over half a billion in private capital to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Through my career, I have been uniquely positioned to operate at the intersection of healthcare, finance, technology and impact – often referred to as an Impact investor/healthcare operator by day and venture capitalist by night. As the Executive Director with Evercare Hospital Lekki and previous West Africa Lead of one of the first and largest dedicated impact funds globally, I have been privileged to have been part of the investment leadership responsible for scaling the fund from inception in 2015 to a global platform comprising operating across 6 countries and highlighted as one of the top 50 leaders that will “come to define the world of tomorrow.”

I have been equally driven by my belief in the central role of technology in creating a better world. Through my early-stage investment platforms, Kairos Angels and the Magic Fund, I have invested in some of the best minds and disruptive teams that are emerging as today’s regional champions and tomorrow’s global challengers.

The journey so far
My life’s course has been determined by doing the hard things. My Evercare journey started in 2015, based on my belief in healthcare as a fundamental right. On this journey, we ran into a number of unforeseen headwinds, which nearly stalled the project, not least of which was trying to commence formal operations during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Against this backdrop, it was extremely humbling and rewarding to celebrate the key milestones and groundbreaking feats achieved within the first 12 months of operations at Evercare’s 1year anniversary on March 10, 2022. Some of these milestones include successfully completing several complex clinical procedures in cardiology (five open heart surgeries, two permanent pacemaker insertions), spinal surgeries, first-of-its kind paediatric surgeries in the country and becoming the first facility in Africa to get Safecare Level 5 certification on the first accreditation exercise.

While the journey continues and there remains much work to be done, I am indeed proud of the considerable progress that Evercare has made in the past year and especially proud to say that we are on our way to transforming healthcare in Nigeria.

As I reflect on my journey to date, I have faced a plethora of challenges; navigating my career at the epicentre of the global financial crisis, encountering significant resistance trying to break into the private equity industry, navigating the extremely lonely path rising the ranks in male-dominated industries, witnessing first-hand the destructive impact of toxic leadership and failed institutions and juggling the demands of being a present and invested mother to two toddlers, while managing my professional commitments.

I have remained optimistic and learned to thrive under the pressure of doing the ‘impossible’ fuelled by a deep sense of purpose, an unrelenting tenacity, and an unwavering belief in myself. Failure for me is an unavoidable part of living a limitless life.

Other projects and activities
As we step into the fourth industrial revolution, I believe we are called to shape this technology revolution to empower people and create more equitable outcomes for our communities and the world. I am deeply committed to investing in entrepreneurs tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges. Through my early-stage platforms, Kairos Angels and Magic Fund, I identify aspirational entrepreneurs building impactful solutions, invest in this talent, provide mentorship, access to networks and functional support to power their trajectory. Across these platforms, we have invested in over 180+ entrepreneurs globally, many of who are already emerging as today’s regional champions and tomorrow’s global challengers.

What I enjoy most about my job
I am passionate about my ability to be a change agent and catalyst to transform lives through my work. This unique positioning has been fascinating and given an invaluable opportunity to work at the forefront of paradigm shifts globally. We are at a unique point in human history where world orders are shifting; new technologies are emerging. I have so many big and audacious dreams and I am excited to continue to bring these dreams to fruition.

Three women who inspire me and why
I live my life trying to take inspiration from everyone I meet. Some women who have made an impression on me include: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who stood out for me as an unapologetic, unstoppable powerhouse, relentless in her pursuit of social justice and quest for equality.

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for her role as the female to serve as both finance and foreign minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the visibility she has brought to Africa on a global stage.

Finally, Kamala Harris when in her inauguration speech, the Vice President of the USA urged young girls to “Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourself in a way that others might not see you, simply because they’ve never seen it before.”

This resonated profoundly with me as a woman who has often found herself in male-dominated rooms with few allies. I struggled with the absence of female role models until I embraced the power of my own dreams and started to see myself as the role model I was looking for.

The resilience of women during the pandemic
As an investor in healthcare, I have witnessed first-hand how women have stood at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis as nurses, doctors, caregivers, innovators and as some of the most exemplary and effective leaders in combating the pandemic. It is no coincidence that women led countries most successful in stemming its tide and impact of COVID-19.

But the pandemic has sadly highlighted the disproportionate burdens women carry and their inadequate representation at the highest levels of decision-making. And new barriers emerged to impede many women’s progress, such as unpaid care duties, unemployment and poverty.

Importance of educating and supporting women
I have been humbled by all the coverage and recognition received in this year’s International Women’s month. In particular, I was deeply honoured to have received the recognition by Lagos State as one of the EKO 100 Women. It is said that you can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women. ‘Women hold up half the sky’ and I am proud of the fact that His Excellency Governor Sanwo-Olu on behalf of the Lagos State Government took the step to recognise and celebrate the unending commitment of women to a more equal and equitable world.

Most important to me is the pledge to ‘support every effort to achieve a Lagos where all women and girls can live their lives to the fullest and achieve their potential without limits.’ My appeal is to continue to provide women a platform in the mainstream media and outside of 1 month a year. The strides many women are making are world class by any measure and deserve to be recognised, celebrated and amplified.

One thing I wish to change in the health sector
The single biggest issue facing the healthcare industry in Nigeria is the ongoing wave of brain drain, especially of clinical talent. Nigeria with over 40 per cent physician migration remains one of the leading African sources of foreign-born physicians. Evercare with its purpose-built infrastructure, best in class equipment, and focus on achieving quality metrics that meet international standards, is working hard to attract critical medical talent back to Nigeria from the Diaspora, thereby reversing some of the brain drain that plagues the sector.

It maintains a strategic focus of employing, retaining and investing in local resources to ensure a highly experienced, well-rounded, and diverse team, poised to support the advancement of medical care across Nigeria. I sincerely hope that my story and the work the Evercare team is doing, inspires more Nigerians in the diaspora to come back and take up the mantle of leadership to enable the nation to achieve its full potential both in the healthcare sector and beyond.

Being a Woman of Rubies
I love the concept of the Woman of Rubies as a forum for women across various walks of life to share their inspiring stories. As a woman that has risen through male dominated fields, trying to ‘have it all’, I am thankful for the platform to use my story to bring hope, motivate and inspire women all over the globe. I am striving to live life on my terms, fully embracing all aspects of my being and living the highest version of myself each day.

There is nothing that says you can’t be professional, ambitious, audacious, and successful but also be fun loving, free and love fashion. There is nothing that says you can’t hold down a boardroom and hold down your home. Women are powerful beyond measure, when we are liberated to demand and create the life we deserve.

My message to women everywhere is that you are powerful beyond measure, and your voice matters. Do not feel less entitled, expect more, take up more space and demand more, be bold in challenging the status quo. Finally, teach your girls to embrace a world of possibilities, to be proud of their ambition, regardless of their gender. Send them a clear message that they can be whomever they chose to be, and applaud them every step of the way.

I choose to live a life that is purpose driven, passion filled and performance oriented, and continue on my journey not focused on the pursuit of perfection, but led by the voices of those who christened me ‘Small but mighty’. They challenge me to create and compete; to build and nurture; to take risks and to leave my legacy.


It’s easy to be impressed with accomplishments of Temi Marcella Awogboro and you ought to be: 1st class degree from University of Cambridge, MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, Future Awards Africa Prize for Professional Service, the Goldman Sachs Global Leader’s Award, African Leadership Initiative Tutu Fellow and World Economic Forum Global Shaper.

Now as director of Arbraaj Group, she has committed nearly US$500 million in private partnership capital across strategic sectors in Africa in a bid to tackle some of the most pressing global challenges.But underneath it all is someone who is driven, focused, wise and self-aware. She is a living example that you can generate wealth and give back as she has done through many initiatives including co-founding Kairos Angels, an early stage investment syndicate aiming to transform Africa by partnering with visionary entrepreneurs to build scalable and sustainable businesses.

Through her integrity and generosity of time and energy, Awogboro proves herself to be a good example not just for women but for men too. Perhaps it is these inner qualities we should be impressed with.

You have lived and worked across four continents and travelled much of the globe. What impression or impact has this made on you as a person?
It has been a thoroughly enriching and rewarding journey having had the opportunity to live and work in Europe, The Middle East, The US and Africa and the opportunity to travel much of the globe. In my view leadership skills are becoming one of the most valuable assets in an ever-increasingly fast paced global world. I am always seeking to evolve into a greater version of myself and I find travel gives me opportunities for growth, be it in risk-taking, learning to adapt, building resilience and honing my problem-solving skills.

Historically, encounters between differing tribes, nations, and cultures have driven innovation and fuelled the imagination. The internet and worldwide travel options have taken us to new global heights more rapidly than in generations past.I believe entrepreneurs ready for this future of increased connection will no doubt become leaders of the movement, especially if they prepare their teams now to embrace the change.

What is your advice for the upcoming generation in their pursuit for excellence considering the rut in Nigeria youth circle?
This historical moment calls for the African youth to step up and take leadership to create the future they so deeply desire. Africa’s youth leaders must harness the power of technology, information and networks to build the institutions and infrastructure that speaks to their ideals and vision for the future. Failing to do so will result in the continent being left behind by the technological revolution, further increasing the gap with the rest of the world.

In turn current African leaders must harness and unleash the potential of its burgeoning youth by addressing the barriers which inhibit the emergence of young leaders and their ability to influence the transformation of the continent. As such, there is a need to democratize the leadership development process in Africa. Formal and informal leaderships across all levels in society cannot be a luxury afforded only to the elite, it needs to be an inclusive process through the propagation of inclusive political and economic structures.

Are there any initiatives for young people to improve their skills?
I sit on the board of generation Enterprise (GEN), our mission is to tackle the skills gap that traps young people in poverty. With its portfolio of “Social Mobility Enterprises,” GEN builds businesses that take youth from apprentice to manager to equity owner. An example is Zest Concierge Services, a premium office and home cleaning and repair company with major Nigerian technology clients, run entirely by youth from communities like Makoko.

What are your plans for the girl child in Nigeria?
I am a firm believer in the centrality of education for girls, as a critical tool for economic progress. Rapid socio-economic development of a nation has been observed to depend on the calibre of women and their education in that country. Educating girls is known to be the basis for sound economic and social development, bestowing upon them a disposition for a lifelong acquisition of knowledge, values, attitudes, competence and skills.

In order for Nigerian women to perform to their full potential, imperialist male-gender privilege, biased traditional and religious beliefs impeding women’s education must be de-emphasised in Nigerian society. I am an active advocate for women in education in Nigeria and I leverage my access to leading global institutions to encourage and agitate in favour of women seeking more ways to educate themselves. As Africa Advisory Board of Save the Children, I hope to support the initiatives that touch the lives of the girl child. In addition, I continue to mentor and engage through school visits.

You are in your thirties and have already achieved so much but do you sometimes feel under pressure as a woman to do more?
I do feel under this pressure, born of outsized expectations at work and at home and go through days where you feel you are not able to give the best of you to any one dimension – after all energy too has its limits. Nobody has it all in the way we currently define it.

For all of us, life requires trade-offs and choices. I think it is important we redefine success in more human terms rather than the fantasy of women — or men — that have it all. In my view, real success — the true definition of having it all — is getting clarity on what success means for you individually and putting your energies there.

Do you think Nigerian women are ready to take up more roles in the political space?
Women are ready and have been ready. Religious and cultural norms are applied to constrain women and these are entrenched further through policies and laws that institutionalise discrimination against women. Until we address these ‘intangible’ issues head on women will continue to be under-represented in society.

How do you think investments in the female gender should be approached?
It is important in my view that capital allocators are more intentional about overcoming inherent biases towards those who are under-represented and under-served by existing entrepreneurial structures and systems. Kairos Angels does not approach its investments with a gender lens per se but is doing its part in addressing some of these issues. Today, 50% of the Kairos portfolio is invested in businesses with female sole founders at the helm.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I don’t have a single greatest achievement. Every milestone of success has been part of the journey. Perhaps if you ask me today, my greatest source of pride is the blessing of raising a daughter and channeling my love and positivity into her. Becoming a mother has sharpened my focus, renewed my hunger to be more, and do more because I have someone who I come home to everyday that looks up to me as her hero and role model.

Credit: Guardian Woman