Tuesday Sep 13, 2022

Ep 2 – Benjamin Fernandes, Founder and CEO of Nala Money

Learn more about Jeffrey Pfeffer and where you can buy or listen to his books: https://JeffreyPfeffer.com/


Benjamin Fernandes, CEO and founder of Nala, the African payment system, and former student of Jeffrey Pfeffer, discusses how dedication creates opportunities in starting a business. Nala’s valuation is $100 million and their ultimate mission is to increase economic opportunity for Africa globally.

  • How hosting a local TV show at age 17 exposed him to the business of mobile cross-border payments in Africa
  • The door his unique ability to keep people’s attention opened
  • How Nala is working to reduce the cost of sending money globally into and out of Africa
  • What ideas Fernandes found helpful for building his business from Pfeffer’s class at Stanford
  • Advice on fighting imposter syndrome
  • A unique protocol-breaking technique that ultimately gained Nala investors
  • The benefits of being proactive versus reactive
  • The value in having employees take responsibility for their role
  • What being scrappy brought to Nala
  • Why building relationships and networking matter and create leverage
  • Showing up for yourself and the people you work for
  • The education found in talking with founders
  • Three questions to ask a founder


Benjamin Fernandes is an award-winning Tanzanian speaker and entrepreneur. Benjamin grew up in Tanzania, then earned scholarships that took him to America for the first time at the age of 17.

At age 21, Benjamin was the youngest African in history to ever be accepted into Stanford Graduate School of Business. He holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and an Exec Ed from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, being the first Tanzanian to attend both institutions.

Fernandes was previously a national television personality in Tanzania. After that, he worked at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the United States.

In 2018, Fernandes founded Nala, a fintech startup that is on a mission to increase economic opportunity for Africans globally. NALA recently raised $10m backed by leading US investors such as Y-Combinator, Accel, Amplo and Bessemer Partners.

In 2020, Fernandes was listed as the 15th most influential Tanzanian. In 2022, Fernandes was listed in the inaugural ROW100 most influential technology leaders in the world.

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Produced by the MunnAvenuePress.com


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