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The University of Southampton
Southampton Business School

Business alumni driving social change with tech

Published: 10 September 2021
Damilola Teidi-Ayoola
Damilola Teidi-Ayoola, Director of Incubation and Acceleration at the Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB)

After completing her information technology (IT) degree in Cyprus, Damilola Teidi-Ayoola (MSc Business Strategy and Innovation Management, 2014), decided she wanted to use technology in creative and innovative ways to make a difference to people’s lives.

Damilola is the Director of Incubation and Acceleration at the Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB), Africa’s leading innovation centre.

“My role involves building strong pan-African programmes to support technology companies across the continent,” says Damilola. “I lead a team that provides support to start-ups, as well as engaging with various key stakeholders to create an enabling network for high growth technology companies in Africa to thrive.”

This is a very different path to the one she originally set out on. After completing her first degree, Damilola worked for an IT company in Nigeria, which is where she realised she was more interested in the process of bringing new technology solutions to the market.

“I decided to take the Strategy and Innovation Management course at Southampton because it was perfect for the transition I had decided to make. I was also offered a part-scholarship, which made my decision even easier!

“Taking the course was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I enjoyed everything about it: the lecturers, the coursework and my classmates, some of whom have become friends for a lifetime. It gave me all the theoretical knowledge I needed to satisfy my interest, gave me a sound background, and got me excited about the future.”

Inspired by internships

Keen to gain some practical experience to take back to Nigeria, Damilola completed two internships while studying for her master’s: as a market research analyst for consultancy firm Kinetik Solutions, and as a programme management office intern with the University’s IT department.

“The internships taught me a lot about how to manage a team so that everyone feels connected and productive; this has stayed with me and influences the way I manage my team today. I’d recommend taking an internship as a great way to gain an edge in the careers market.”

In my role today, I am always so proud to see companies that we’ve supported in their early stages go on to create impact and build businesses across multiple markets. It helps keep my excitement about innovation – which was ignited during my master’s at Southampton – alive.”

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