Damilola Solesi is the founder, CEO and creative director of SMIDS, Nigeria’s foremost animation studio.
She has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Bowen University, Nigeria. She studied business and entrepreneurship at Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta and holds a certificate in entrepreneurial management from the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan-Atlantic University.
Following her lifelong dream to create animations and cartoons, Damilola started SMIDS animation studios in 2010, a company that focuses on developing creative content for kids and family entertainment meant for audiences around the world. At SMIDS, she leads a team of artists and animators who create 3D computer animation, 3D content production, motion graphics and visual effects. The company has been ranked as one of the top two animation companies in Nigeria by the PWC (Price Water Coopers) industry report.
Damilola is the recipient of many awards and grants. She is a Goldman Sachs Scholar, a mentee on the IBM Women Enterprise Challenge, a recipient of the Empowering Women series award and one of the 1,200 exceptional women who won the federal government Youth enterprise with Innovation (YouWin) grants for young entrepreneurs in the second run of the program.
In 2015, she was accepted as one of the Mandela Washington fellow under the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), the flagship program of President Barack Obama.
Damilola strongly supports and promotes women’s interest in technology. She is the co-founder of Women R.I.S.E, a platform where women are inspired to expand their interests in technology through collaboration, networking, training, mentorship, and funding to help them play a stronger role in growing the technology startup scene in Nigeria and Africa.
In 2017, her company released an animated comedy, sketch-based, short form, web series called BOXED in response to the lack of animated children’s content in Nigeria.
Why TechHer Loves Her:
Damilola is a great example of what is possible when one follows their dreams and passion. She stayed true to a dream she had as a child and not only did she create a profitble business out of it, she has made a name for herself!
Mrs. Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi is married to Mr Olugboyega Lesi. She fell in love with tech after attending a computer school while waiting for admission into the university. She then decided to give go for it.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Essex University, United Kingdom and a Masters in Analysis, Designs and Management Information System from London School of Economics and Political Science.
Mrs. Lesi has received several awards and honours such as:
She is the Founder of W.TEC and has reached out to impact over 7000 women in Nigeria.
Mrs. Lesi worked as Technology Associate in 2003 at Suicide Prevention Centre in Newton, Massachusetts, USA. She coordinated and provided direction for the centre’s technology and online media-related activities.
In 2005, she joined Lonadek Oil and Gas Consultants as a Training Coordinator and later became the Project Manager for a project called Vision 2020 Youth Empowerment and Restoration Initiative. As a project manager, she managed to create awareness and encourage Nigerian students towards Science and technology career.
For over 5 years, she has been a member of Association for Progressive Communication whose goal is to empower and support organisation, social movement and individuals in and through the use of Information and Communication Technologies to build strategic communities and initiatives. Oreoluwa facilitated a workshop in Nigeria in 2010 and South Africa in 2008.
Oreoluwa has written a number of publications related to technology including:
In 2008, Mrs. Lesi founded W.TEC for the purpose of encouraging Nigerian girls and women to use technology to empower themselves socially and economically. Every year, the non- governmental organisation runs a two weeks technology education and mentoring residential program for the girl child. The objective is to help girls develop interest in Computer and Information Technology. She also designed a program for women to develop technology skills that are relevant to their career as well as using online tools to for learning, self-development and professional development called W.TEC’s ICT Empowerment Programme for Young Women.
She was one of two recently selected by the Swedish Embassy to visit Sweden under the VIP Visitors Programme. The visit aims at connecting young Nigerian entrepreneur's with Swedish colleagues whose work is to promote an exchange and dialogue on how entrepreneurship, information and communication technology can help create a positive impact and increase quality of life.
Why TechHer Loves Her:
Oreoluwa is an epitome of change in the technology industry. We are totally in love with her drive to empower women not only on how to use technology, but how they can use it to improve their lives.
Information Gleaned from the Internet.