If you were a keen follower of African news in the nineties, you would probably remember Moshood (MKO) Abiola. MKO was a Nigerian billionaire and philanthropist who won his country's 1993 presidential elections. The then military regime however refused to hand over power to him and instead detained him drawing widespread international criticism. On the day of his release in 1998, he died in detention under suspicious circumstances.
MKO was a polygamist and one of his children Modupeola "Dupsy" Abiola grew up in London with her mother Dele and five siblings. She graduated from the prestigious Oxford University with a degree in law and went on to work in private practice as a barrister. But like her father she was keen on venturing into business launching internavenue.com in mid-2012. The website has a detailed database of half a million interns for benefit of recruiting employers.
"I'd always had an interest in business and dreamed of owning my own company – I had to give it a go. Yes, the generous salary (and the shopping!) was hard to say goodbye to – I had to be strict with myself for a good while. But I'm lucky I have the support of my law firm – and the rewards are definitely worth it," Dupsy told Grazia Daily.
Dupsy's big break was appearing in popular British show Dragons Den where budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to billionaire investors. Despite confidence-bursting criticism from three of the five investor "dragons" who quickly dismissed the investment idea, Dupsy maintained her poise and managed to attract an offer of GBP100,000 from Peter Jones and Hilary Devey. She concluded a deal for 30% of her company with the former.
In 2013, Dupsy appeared on the Thomson Reuters Power List named as one of the most influential black businesswomen in Britain. She has come a long way since working on her idea "on a laptop in her pyjamas" and has been featured on various international and local British media including CNN and Channel 4.