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Women in Business: Temie Giwa-Tubosun

Founder/CEO LifeBank

Temie Giwa-Tubosun is a Nigerian-American health manager, founder of LifeBank (formerly One Percent Project), a business enterprise in Nigeria working to improve access to blood transfusions in the country.

Temie was born in Ila Orangun in Osun State Nigeria to a university professor and school teacher. She is the fourth of six children. Her name “Temie” came from the abridging of “Temitope”, one of her birth names.

She grew up in Ila, Ilesha, and in Ibadan until she was fifteen. When she was ten, her parents won the US Diversity Immigrant Visa and left for the United States with the three older siblings. In 2001, at fifteen, she left to join them with her two younger siblings.

Temie attended Osseo Senior High School, Minnesota, and graduated in 2003. She then attended the Minnesota State University Moorhead and graduated in 2007. In 2008, she went to graduate school at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey from where she graduated in July 2010.

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In January 2010, she went for a graduate fellowship at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, which lasted till July of that year when she graduated Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.  She worked briefly at Fairview Health Services in Minnesota in 2010.

In August 2011, she began a fellowship with the Global Health Corps, and spent the next year at Mbarara, Uganda, working with the Millennium Villages Project a project of the United Nations Development Programme and Millennium Promise.

On May 21, 2012, Temie founded a non-governmental organisation called “One Percent Blood Donation Enlightenment Foundation” (or One Percent Project) with the aim of ending blood shortage, educating people on the importance of blood donation for anyone in need of blood, to overcome fears, prejudice, myths and apathy of people on blood donation, and to increase an efficient distribution network of blood in blood banks in Nigeria.

In January 2016, Temie founded LifeBank, a business organisation set up to tackle the problem of blood shortage in Nigeria. The founding was inspired by the birth of her first child and the complications from that experience. The technology and logistics company is based in Lagos, and incubated at Co-Creation Hub in Yaba. As at January 2017, the company has helped deliver over 2000 pints of blood to patients across the state.

On August 31, 2016, she met with Mark Zuckerberg during his first visit to Nigeria. She was one of the two women Zuckerberg referenced in his town hall meeting the next day. Of her work, Zuckerberg had said, “If everyone had the opportunity to build something like this, then the world would be a better place… I’ve been to a lot of different cities… people around the world are trying to build stuff like that. If she actually pulls it off, then she’d show a model that will impact not just Lagos, not just Nigeria, but countries all around the world.”

For Temie, “We believe that no African should die from a shortage of essential medical products at the Hospital level, and we are on a mission to solve it. Our goal is to deliver needed medical products such as blood, blood products, oxygen, as well as vaccines to hospitals across Africa. We are on a mission to save one million lives.”

Temi got a spot as one of the winners of the $250,000 Africa Netpreneur Award. She was also awarded the Jack Ma African Business Hero award.

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