Image of Mike Quinn

Social Entrepreneur Speaker Series with Mike Quinn

Join social entrepreneur and Skoll Scholar alumnus, Mike Quinn, for a three-part speaker series as part of our Impact Lab brown bag lunches

Mike Quinn is the Co-Founder of an African FinTech enterprise that leverages technology, entrepreneurship and partnerships to enable essential financial services for those who need them most. Since launching in 2009, Zoona has grown to a customer base of over three million consumers and 2,000 agent outlets in three countries, has processed $2 billion in transactions, and has raised more than $30 million in venture capital. In 2015, the Nike Foundation and Unreasonable Institute selected Zoona for the inaugural Girl Effect Accelerator as one of the top start-ups in the world helping girls out of poverty based on their micro-franchise model that empowers girls and young women to become entrepreneurs.

Mike holds an Oxford MBA with Distinction at the University of Oxford, where he was a Skoll Scholar for social entrepreneurship, along with an MSc in Management Development from the London School of Economics. His entrepreneurial journey started as a volunteer in Ghana and Zambia with Engineers Without Borders Canada, and he has now lived and worked in Africa for 12 years. Mike grew up in Calgary, Canada, and completed his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of British Columbia. He received the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2018 and Accion’s Edward W. Claugus Award for Leadership and Innovation in Financial Inclusion in 2017.

About Sessions

Session 1: How to start


Tuesday, 8 October

12.30 - 1.30pm

In this session social entrepreneur, Mike Quinn, shares his story of why and how he moved to Zambia after his Oxford MBA to start a purpose-driven FinTech venture with the vision of creating a Cashless Africa. He will cover lessons he learned about finding the right opportunity and co-founders, getting to product-market fit and raising the first round of capital.


Session 2: How to build


Tuesday, 15 October

12.30 - 1.30pm

In the second session Mike Quinn will deep dive into his own experience of what to do and not do once you have raised capital. Topics will include building a team and culture, setting up and managing a board and finding a scalable operating model.


Session 3: How to scale


Tuesday, 22 October

12.30 - 1.30pm

In this final session Mike Quinn will talk about how to scale. He will share his experiences of picking the right growth strategy and gaining the courage to become a leader. He will discuss the tough decisions of when and how to expand, choosing growth or profitability and knowing when to walk away.