Dr Ola Orekunrin

“It’s the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, without a doubt. Now my company is actually running I can laugh at all the times I spent carrying my laptop around sourcing for funding and coming home in tears.” Dr Ola Orekunrin


Dr. Ola Orekunrin is a medical doctor, helicopter pilot and the healthcare entrepreneur founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria, West Africa’s first Air Ambulance Service. She’s dedicated to bringing trauma care to the most remote parts of Western Africa and her company, an air ambulance service based in Lagos, is doing just that. Ola graduated as a medical doctor from the University Of York in the UK and is a member of the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine.

The catalyst for a major life and career decision came when her sister became very, very ill on holiday whilst staying with relatives in Nigeria. The local hospital was unable to manage her sickle cell anemia condition, and as a result, Ola and her family started to search for an air ambulance so that she could be safely transported to a suitable medical facility in the country. The tragedy for the family was that there were no air ambulances to be found, even though the search took them from Nigeria, to Ghana, Sierra Leone and Cameroon, and across West Africa. The only one to be found was in South Africa, 5 hours away, but by the time the logistics had been arranged, Ola’s sister had died of her condition….. This motivated her to establish Flying Doctors Nigeria in 2007, successfully, undaunted by difficult challenges.

Ola currently resides in Lagos, Nigeria where she is considered a national expert of disaster medicine and pre-hospital care. Her company has been featured on various local TV and radio stations as well as the BBC and CNN. (Source:http://www.lionessesofafrica.com/lioness-ola-orekunrin/ (modified to include more details))
Dr Ola

Quotes by Ola Orekunrin

  • I believe that the solutions to development in Africa lie in the minds of Africans. Particularly African entrepreneurs. An important part of Africa’s future lies in our ability to take Western ideas and adapt them to Africa”
  • “True success is about a passion to create a better world, live a life that you can look back on and be truly proud of.”
  • “Your background does not determine your destiny.”

Lessons that can be learnt from Ola Orekunrin’s story

  • There is no entrepreneurship journey without challenges, the celebrated ones are those who undauntedly overcame them.
  • Discover what you can do for your country. It’s not what your country can do for you, it’s what you can do for your country ” John F. Kennedy (American’s past president)
  • Instead of drooping about your sad experience or re-telling your sad story, find a solution to that problem. Be a solution-provider!

There’s still more…. Join us next week Monday for another inspirational entrepreneurship story.

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Originally posted on March 26th 2018 on www.thefinancialliterate.wordpress.com  (A previous version of The Financial Literate)

Entrepreneurship Stories That Inspire- Dr Ola Orekunrin (Founder, Flying Doctors Nigeria)

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