Temie Giwa-Tubosun of Life Bank has been announced as the 2020 Laureate for Sub-Saharan Africa and has won the sum of US$ 100,000 in grant at the 2020 edition of Cartier Women’s Initiative.
Because of Temie’s dedication to Lifebank, they have saved 8,000 lives. As a medical distribution company, Lifebank uses data and technology to discover and deliver essential medical products to hospitals in Nigeria.
Funkola Odeleye of DIYLaw and Temie Giwa-Tubosun were shortlisted as finalists.
The Cartier Women’s Initiative which was founded in 2006, has helped women over the years to reach their full potential by shining a light on their achievements, whilst providing them with the necessary financial, social and human capital support in growing their businesses and leadership skills. This initiative is open to women-run and women-owned businesses across the globe and sector with the aim of ensuring a strong and sustainable social and environmental impact as defined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Getting proper blood supply for patient can be a tough one. Temie Giwa-Tubosun therefore founded LifeBank a Lagos-based blood and oxygen delivery company that connects registered blood banks to hospitals and patients in need of blood supply.
In 2019, Temie won $250,000 grant from the Jack Ma Foundation, and was listed in 2014 as one of the BBC 100 Women, third Nigerian on the list, along with veteran broadcaster Funmi Iyanda and Obiageli Ezekwesili, Nigeria’s former minister of education. She was also the youngest on the list.
So what is the company about?
LifeBank helps hospitals discover blood and other essential medical supplies and help deliver to the hospital in the right condition. They deploy mobile and web technology, smart logistics, and Artificial Intelligence to build an end to end marketplace and cold chain logistics. Temi’s mission is to save 1 million lives in 10 years. Temi’s passion begun when she noted that biggest cause of maternal mortality in the continent and the developing world is something called Post-Partum Hemorrhage. Basically, women give birth and shortly after, they start bleeding. However, if the hospital does not have blood to transfuse to these women, they go into shock and they die. In Nigeria where Temi was born, it killed over 26,000 young women every year. As a mother myself she had a difficult delivery and was lucky enough to have access to a good health system in US.
After this, she decided to move back home to Nigeria and help solve this problem.
After she went back home Temi knew that she needed to have conversations with experts in this sector. Also, it wasn’t just blood shortage but also lack of communication to know who has the blood type you need, and lack of infrastructure to move the blood to where it is needed on time and in the right condition. This led her to build LifeBank.
The obvious reason she created this digital health startup was to make a difference. People will never stop needing blood, it’s not a need it’s a matter of survival and that’s where LifeBank comes in.
In May 2017, she was selected as part of “six entrepreneurs who demonstrate the positive role women are playing in creating opportunities and preparing the region for the Fourth Industrial Revolution” by the World Economic Forum on Africa.
Temie Giwa-Tubosun (born Oluwaloni Olamide Giwa, 4 December 1985) is a Nigerian-American Health Manager, Founder of LifeBank (formerly One Percent Project), a business enterprise in Nigeria working to improve access to blood transfusions in the country.
Temie was born in Ila Orangun, Osun State, Nigeria to a university professor and school teacher. She is the fourth of six children. Her name “Temie” came from the abridging of “Temitope”, one of her birth names.
She grew up in Ila, Ilesha, and in Ibadan until she was fifteen. When she was ten, her parents won the US Diversity Immigrant Visa and left for the United States with the three older siblings. In 2001, at fifteen, she left to join them with her two younger siblings.
Temie attended Osseo Senior High School, Minnesota, and graduated in 2003. She then attended the Minnesota State University Moorhead and graduated in 2007. In 2008, she went to graduate school at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey from where she graduated in July 2010.
In January 2010, she went for a graduate fellowship at the World Health Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland, which lasted till July of that year when she graduated Middlebury Institute of International Studies Monterey.
She worked briefly at Fairview Health Services in Minnesota in 2010.
In January 2016, Temie founded LifeBank, a business organisation set up to tackle the problem of blood shortage in Nigeria. The founding was inspired by the birth of her first child and the complications from that experience. The technology and logistics company is based in Lagos, and incubated at Co-Creation Hub in Yaba. As at January 2017, the company has helped deliver over 2000 pints of blood to patients across the state.
On August 31, 2016, she met with Mark Zuckerberg during his first visit to Nigeria. She was one of the two women Zuckerberg referenced in his town hall meeting the next day. Of her work, Zuckerberg had said,
“If everyone had the opportunity to build something like this, then the world would be a better place… I’ve been to a lot of different cities… people around the world are trying to build stuff like that. If she actually pulls it off, then she’d show a model that will impact not just Lagos, not just Nigeria, but countries all around the world.”
Of the meeting, Temie said to Quartz, “Mark’s visit is validation for years of work and everything we’re trying to do.”