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Reni Legal: Connecting Startups And The Legal Services They Need- Morenike George-Taylor

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Morenike George-Taylor is the Founder at Reni Legal. A law business focused on startups and small-to-medium enterprises with the goal to help 1000 startups reach their goal of optimal functionality. In this interview with Alaba Ayinuola of Business Africa Online, she shares her passion for startups, the major legal mistakes they make and how her brand is providing them top notch legal services without breaking the bank. Excerpt.

Alaba: Kindly tell us about Reni Legal and the gap it’s filling.

Morenike: Reni Legal is my dream. It is a business aimed at helping SMES and Start ups have access to affordable high quality legal services. When I quit my job in 2018, I was working at a leading law firm belonging to an SAN and loving what I was doing. However, as God would have it, I was just getting into having kids and couldn’t handle the 9-5 with my kids. This led me to try the entrepreneurship route.

I met Mr. Gabriel Dafeakeh and he wanted me to provide legal services in exchange for shares in a business. This was the first time I ever really paid attention to SMES. He inspired me to participate in the Hustle Bootcamp and this was how Reni Legal born. I saw all the difficulties and expenses faced by entrepreneurs and realised that with the kind of bills they had to pay, they could not afford good legal services. This is why I guess many of them decided to take the option of DIY! Doing it themselves. As someone who has spent 7 years in litigation, I can tell you for free that this often results in disaster. I decided to help SMES by providing the top notch services they need at a very friendly price. Reni Legal is a connector between SMES and the legal services they need without them having to break the bank.

Alaba: What was your startup capital and how were you able to raise it?

Morenike: Wow! My startup capital was all thanks to my darling husband, Gideon Okebu. I tried to keep costs for Reni Legal down. I didn’t spend money building a fancy website as I knew that the more I spent building reni legal, the more expensive my service would have to be for my clients. So I started using my husband’s office as my base, hired a P.A. spoke to a few lawyer friends who would work with me and I was good to go. I really benefited from free services as communications for my brand was handled by my friend Tobi Jaiyeola at absolutely no cost and I really appreciate it.

Alaba: What are the challenges and how are you overcoming them?

Morenike: The biggest challenge I’m facing is getting my message out there. People in this age are looking for microwave fixes and with law, this often gets people in trouble. They try to save money by not getting lawyers to review their contracts, having quacks register their companies and drafting awful partnership agreements on their own. When you speak to some SME owners, they even suggest I provide services for free as they are stuck on having no budget for legal services. However, the lessons they learn are bitter. I have clients who have lost millions and returned to me now to say they should have just hired me to draft contracts for them. My door is always open so I overcome this challenge by writing informative articles and provoking SME owners to think twice before they make legal decisions.

Alaba: What are the major mistakes entrepreneurs make when they start or run a business?

Morenike: Legal mistakes entrepreneurs make! Don’t get me started I could write an entire book about this:

  • Not picking the right directors and shareholders for their company at the time of incorporation.
  • Improperly drafted memorandum of association taking into consideration the objectives of their business.
  • Not having a partnership agreement.
  • Registering a business name when they have no intention to use it anytime soon.
  • Reviewing agreements by themselves

Need I say more? An SME needs special legal attention.

Alaba: How are you helping businesses create a sustainable practice?

Morenike:  I’m helping businesses by providing legal services they need with very flexible payment options.

Alaba: What’s the future for Reni Legal and what steps are you taking towards achieving them?

Morenike: The future of Reni Legal is that I want to create an online legal platform that interacts with clients. Right now, I am discussing with technical web developers and learning the technology out there so I can make my dream a reality. I guess you have to see my vision to understand it.

Alaba: How do you feel as an African entrepreneur?

Morenike: I have mixed feelings about entrepreneurship. Its hard. I am just grateful to Jesus that I have been able to overcome the challenges.

Alaba: What is your advice for prospecting entrepreneurs who intend to start a business or invest in Africa?

Morenike: I would say that as glamorous as entrepreneurship may look, it takes a lot of planning and time to achieve success. As long as you do what you love and are dedicated to your cause, by the grace of God, you will succeed in all you want to do. Also, GET GOOD LEGAL ADVICE.

Alaba: How do you relax and what books do you read?

Morenike: I relax by swimming, spending time with friends and watching movies. I read mostly my bible, law reports and John Maxwell books.I’m a very positive person so I love being motivated.

Alaba: Please teach us one word in your home language and your favourite local dish?

Morenike: The word I will teach you today is “Ese” which means “Thank you”. Yorubas are very appreciative people and tend to say thank you a million times. My favourite local dish any day any time will have to be “amala and ewedu”.

Also Read Interview With Street Global Venture Capital Partners, Christian Meyers And Alysia Silberg

Biography

Morenike George-Taylor: I am a wife and mother. I was born in Lagos to my parents who are accountants. I grew up being great at Arts and eventually opted to study law. I attended Queens College, Yaba, Lagos and proceeded to undertake my A-levels at Oxbridge Tutorial College where I won several awards for academic excellence. After this, I got a partial scholarship to the University of Sheffield due to academic excellence and graduated in the top 20 of my class. I won several awards at Sheffield and then attended the Nigerian Law School.

Since leaving school,  I have worked at the Legal Aid Council and in leading law firms. I have also taken several professional courses from the University of Southampton, UK, World Intellectual Property Organisation Academy, Chartered Institute of Personnel Development to mention a few.

RENI LEGAL

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Defendis, a Moroccan startup launches its cyber threat intelligence platform at GITEX Africa

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Defendis Co-Founders (Image: Supplied).

Defendis, a Moroccan cybersecurity startup with an innovative approach to Threat Intelligence, emerges from stealth with the launch of its AI-powered platform, enabling organisations to proactively contain data leaks and neutralise cyberattacks.

Defendis’s approach goes beyond traditional IOCs by providing Banks, Government Agencies, and Businesses the capability to understand what cybercriminals are doing before an attack. The platform taps into AI to identify credentials and payment Cards leaks, asset vulnerabilities, phishing attacks, fraudulent domains, and online brand impersonation attempts.

“Our mission is to provide organisations, especially those with limited resources and capabilities, with advanced cybersecurity solutions to adapt to the ever-changing threat landscape and regulatory requirements,” says Amine Bajeddi, co-founder and CEO of Defendis.

Defendis is founded and led by a team of talented young Moroccan entrepreneurs passionate about cybersecurity:

Amine Bajeddi, Co-founder and CEO: A graduate of Al Akhawayn University in Morocco and the University of Sussex in the UK, Amine Bajeddi has extensive experience in product development and business strategy. He is now dedicated to Defendis to develop cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions.

Charafeddine Nassiri, Co-founder and CTO: Passionate about cybersecurity since the age of 15, Charafeddine Nassiri is a brilliant self-taught individual. Having identified and fixed over 1,114 vulnerabilities through bug bounty programs, he was able to launch his career as a cybersecurity consultant in 2019. Today, as CTO of Defendis, he leads the development of new solutions capable of transforming the cybersecurity landscape.

Marouane Sabri, Co-founder and CMO: A graduate in communication from Al Akhawayn University in Morocco and a master’s degree in digital marketing from the University of Southampton, Marouane Sabri has extensive experience in marketing and business development. He has held key positions at Avito and Garena before joining Defendis to lead marketing and communication efforts.

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RevUp Women Initiative Awards $100,000 In Grants to 10 Female Entrepreneurs

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The RevUp Women Initiative hosted its highly anticipated Business Showcase, themed “Investing in Women, Inspiring Futures.” The event, organized by AfriLabs and Visa Foundation, brought together a diverse array of stakeholders committed to fostering inclusive economic growth through the empowerment of women entrepreneurs.

The Opening Ceremony, guided by Nanko Madu, Director of Programmes at AfriLabs, commenced with a warm welcome address, setting the tone for the day’s proceedings. Attendees were treated to a visual journey through the accomplishments of RevUp Women’s First Cohort, showcased in captivating highlights.

A highlight of the event was the Keynote Address delivered by Mrs. Ifeyinwa Ighodalo, Co-founder at WIMBIZ, who passionately spoke about the importance of investing in women and the transformative impact it can have on communities and economies.

‘It is my distinct honor and privilege to stand before you today as we gather to celebrate the remarkable achievements of women entrepreneurs and to rally behind the RevUp Women Initiative. This initiative not only celebrates the indomitable spirit, resilience, and determination of women in general but also highlights the importance of investing in women and women-owned businesses as a means of building and inspiring a future that is inclusive, diverse, and prosperous for all,’ stated Mrs. Ifeyinwa Ighodalo, Co-founder at WIMBIZ.

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Following the keynote, a thought-provoking Panel Discussion ensued, moderated by Nanko Madu, focusing on “Fostering Inclusive Growth Through Women’s Economic Participation.” The panel featured esteemed personalities including Ms. Lilian Olubi, Judge at The Next Titan Nigeria; Ms. Hajara Pitan, Wealth Coach & Business Strategist at Audacity to Soar; Sherifah Balogun, Director of Strategy, Funding, and Stakeholder Management at LSETF; and Annabel Angwenyi, Founder at Ziada. Their insights illuminated pathways for enhancing women’s economic empowerment across the continent.

Engagement continued with a lively Question & Answer session, allowing attendees to interact directly with the panelists and delve deeper into key issues surrounding women’s economic participation. The pinnacle of the event was the much-anticipated Award Ceremony, where the top ten finalists of a comprehensive selection process were announced as winners each receiving a grant of 10,000 USD:

  • Baby Grubz (Lagos, Nigeria).
  • Queen Amina Medical Integration (Abuja, Nigeria).
  • Ecokud Limited (Kisumu, Kenya).
  • Ziada, Kele Makgale (Pty) Ltd (Nairobi Kenya).
  • Ndiqala (PTY) Ltd (Johannesburg, South Africa).
  • WaziEats (Douala, Cameroon).
  • V’s VitaLife (Yaounde, Cameroon).
  • Mali Food (Lubumbashi, DRC).
  • P.aktion (Kinshasa, DRC).

The awards celebrated the resilience, innovation, and dedication of these trailblazing entrepreneurs.

“Investing in women isn’t just a moral imperative; it’s a strategic decision with far-reaching economic benefits.  As we strive for inclusive growth, it’s imperative that we recognize and harness the potential of women as drivers of economic development,” emphasized Nanko Madu, Director of Programmes at AfriLabs.

“Despite the challenges women entrepreneurs face, they demonstrate an unparalleled tenacity and determination to succeed,” said Najada Kumbuli, Head of Investments, Visa Foundation. “Supporting the growth of women-owned businesses is crucial for fostering an economy that works for everyone, everywhere.”

The RevUp Women Initiative Business Showcase not only celebrated the achievements of women entrepreneurs but also served as a catalyst for driving meaningful change and fostering a more inclusive and prosperous future for all.

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Link Me: Revolutionising Ride-Sharing for Gen Z In South Africa

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Link Me Founder, Sean Murefu.

In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is key, but consumers are also seeking more value from the services they use. Enter Link Me, a ride-sharing app tailored specifically for Gen Z in South Africa. Founded by 21-year-old entrepreneur Sean Murefu, Link Me is not just another ride-sharing app but a lifestyle brand on a mission to redefine urban mobility and offer an unparalleled experience to its users.

Link Me recognises that we are in an era where people expect more in return for the services they use. With a focus on providing value-added services and fostering a sense of community, Link Me aims to go beyond simply getting users from point A to point B but it’s about delivering an experience.

“At Link Me, we understand that consumers want more than just a ride,” explains Sean Murefu, the driving force behind the app. “They want value, they want convenience, and they want to feel connected. That’s why we’ve designed Link Me to offer more than just transportation. We’re offering an experience.”

One of the key features that sets Link Me apart is its user-friendly interface, making booking a ride quick and easy. With just a few taps on their smartphones, users will soon be able to access a network of reliable drivers and track their journey in real-time. Safety is also a top priority, with thorough background checks for all drivers and in-app safety features ensuring peace of mind for both riders and drivers.

But Link Me doesn’t stop at transportation. As part of its mission to become a lifestyle brand, the app will host public and private events for its users, fostering a sense of community and belonging. Additionally, Link Me will provide its drivers with a bimonthly lottery as a bonus on top of the money they earned, offering them the chance to win exciting prizes and incentives.

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“We want to give our users more than just a ride—we want to give them an unforgettable experience,” says Murefu. As Link Me prepares for its official launch, anticipation is building among prospective users eager to experience its unique blend of convenience, community, and value. With a commitment to providing exceptional service and fostering a sense of belonging, The app is poised to revolutionise urban mobility for Gen Z in South Africa and beyond.

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