…holds singular honour of being the first and only entrepreneur to have won in both emerging and master categories in any region globally
Mitchell Elegbe, the Founder and Group Managing Director of Interswitch Group has been inducted into the Ernst and Young (EY) World Entrepreneur of the Year (WEOY) Hall of Fame.
This proud moment took place at the WEOY award ceremony in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on Thursday June 8, 2023, before an audience which included a panel of esteemed and independent judges, luminary speakers, the ecosystem of EY Entrepreneur of The Year alumni and EY executive leadership, including EY Global Chairman and CEO, Carmine Di Sibio.
According to EY, the World Entrepreneur of the Year Hall of Fame is an elite corps of men and women who have been recognized for their exceptional entrepreneurial achievements. For more than 35 years, EY has been celebrating ingenuity through the Entrepreneur of the Year program. The programme has recognized more than 10,000 outstanding entrepreneurs for their vision, innovation, courage, and leadership in building and growing successful businesses — businesses that influence the way people live, the products and services we depend on, and the economic vibrancy of our local communities and global markets.
This year, 49 entrepreneurs from 45 countries across the world were inducted into the 2023 WEOY Hall of Fame. Elegbe had the unique distinction of being the only black and African global finalist and inductee into the coveted hall of fame, as well as the only entrepreneur in the 37-year history of the awards to have won in both the emerging and master categories at various times in their region.
Following his induction, Elegbe expressed his appreciation to the global EY team and the Nigeria team, particularly the Senior Partner and EY Entrepreneur of the Year Leader for West Africa, Ashish Bakhshi.
He said: “I am honoured to have been inducted into this prestigious body which is renowned for its rich and vibrant legacy. I express my gratitude to the Ernst and Young team for providing this platform that acknowledges and celebrates entrepreneurs across the world.” He added, “This recognition will further cement our commitment at Interswitch to never stop pushing the boundaries of innovation in a bid to foster an Africa where payments are a seamless part of everyday life.
Elegbe was inducted for his laudable contributions as an exceptional African entrepreneur, who has contributed in no small measure to the economic development of Nigeria and Africa as a whole, having distinguished himself in business leadership and technology development.
This induction follows his emergence as the EY Entrepreneur of the Year (Emerging Entrepreneur category) 11 years ago, in 2012 and his emergence, in March 2023, as the West African Entrepreneur of the Year in the Master category.
Elegbe is a multiple award-winning professional and a renowned business leader in the Information Technology and Financial Services industry and is recognised for driving revolutionary payment innovation in Africa. He has won several awards, some of which include Harvard Business School Association (Nigeria) Leadership Award in the General Management Category; African Banker Awards 2019 as the African Banker Icon; CNBC/Forbes All African Business Leader (AABLA) Awards for West Africa as well as Financial Technology (Fintech) Africa Awards, Payments and Transfer category in 2016, among other deserving recognitions. He is also a Bishop Desmond Tutu Fellow of the African Leadership Institute.
Elegbe founded Interswitch in 2002 to provide a solution to problems associated with payments in Nigeria. Since then, the company has grown to be a leading payment and digital commerce company that helps to build and manage payment infrastructure and provides robust technology-based solutions to individuals, financial institutions, and governments across Africa.