You are :



Connection established successfully.

Invalid username and / or password.



Headlines :

Nigeria: Olamide Orerunkin, from doctor to entrepreneur

Smiling and deep in her speaking, Olamide Orerunkin Brown is now a confident and inspiring entrepreneur. The young Nigerian woman, who runs « Flying Doctors », an air ambulance service, likes to tell, in the various conferences where she is invited, how she had to face fear, shyness and introversion to assert herself and create her company, in her twenties.

It was after a family tragedy, which affected her personally, that Olamide Orerunkin decided, when she was in her twenties, to launch an air ambulance service in Nigeria, her country of origin. Earlier, her little sister, 12, who lived with her in England, went on vacation to Nigeria. In the middle of her stay, she fell seriously ill. The local hospital not being able to cope with anemia, the family was desperately looking for an ambulance helicopter in the country or in neighboring countries (Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Ghana) to bring her to a more specialized hospital, but to no avail. The only nearest helicopter capable of transporting her was at 6 hours away in Johannesburg, but failed to arrive on time to save her. “It was a very difficult situation for my family because we were too close. At the time, when it happened, I said to myself, never again, never again in a family in Nigeria, “she said in a TedX conference in 2015. When she decided to launch the first air ambulance services in Lagos, she was at the time a medical graduate. In 2007, she created « Flying Doctors », a company that offers air ambulance services, medical repatriation to hospitals abroad, medico-logistics and inter-hospital transfers …

Facing fear, shyness, finance challenge …

“At the time when I made this decision, I was a very shy and introverted medical student. I didn’t have business connections or a network of friends to start an air ambulance service,”she said. In addition to her personality, she also had to face the challenge of financing her company. “When I graduated, most people bought cars. But I knew that my uncle was not Dangote. So I had to save enough to start my own business. For example, I had to live in a house where there were 8 people or continue to drive my old car. I was saving about 60% of my salary as a doctor in England, “she said in an interview with a Nigerian channel. Despite the obstacles, she was able to create and perpetuate her business. Today, “Flying Doctors” has a fleet of 20 helicopters, with 47 employees, including doctors, working 24 hours a day. The company has branches across the country and operates in the country and region to facilitate medical evacuations and save lives. A success, which Ola Orerunkin justifies by her hard work, perseverance, the mentoring of her elders and her readings on leadership.

Born and raised in England in a foster family at Lowesoft, she received her medical degree from York University at the age of 21. In 2008, thanks to a scholarship, she studied in Japan and conducted research in regenerative medicine. She worked for ten years at the National Health service in England, before devoting herself fully to “Flying Doctors”. She has received several awards, including the Achievement Award (2018) given by the Silverbird Group in Lagos. She was also honored by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a young world leader in 2013.