How do we design business models for marginalized?

Oladimeji Ojo
3 min readJul 16, 2019


It's rather paradoxical that the more we try to solve societal problems for marginalized, they attach myths to it and compound the problems. How do we design a solution that's self convincing and clear.

I had just finished up a task around Ojoo, and I decided to board a cab down to Challenge, from Ojoo, in Ibadan. As we passed through Samonda, we came across some riders in lemon-coloured helmets with a customized P at the back of their helmets, we recognised them to be O-ride bikers. Our cab driver pointed out that the O-ride bikers are getting people to their destination no matter how far, just for #50. Then a man who should be in his late 50s, who was seated at the front seat, beside the driver replied,

"they even make passengers put on their helmet, kai, may I not be misfortuned."

He continued that the driver should not allow any of his family members patronise the O-ride bikers because their intentions must be evil.

Before I could say jack, other passengers on board had started criticising the O-ride revenue model, how the O-ride bikers will make profit by getting passengers to their destinations at just #50, if there isn't nothing else attached. The fear of having to use one helmet, what if the helmet was programmed to deprive passengers destiny of future goods? They said.

All these time, my mouth was wide opened in amazement. I thought within myself that they have spoken from experience. But O-ride is different, so how do I clear their doubt? I tried explaining to everyone in the cab that O-ride had just been funded by OperaMini, and the cheap services was just a method of getting customers excited and getting them used to their services, since people like cheaper things. I also explained the helmet was for their safety, in case anything goes wrong on the highway. Only few reasoned with me, while others held on to the helmet myth, since it wasn't common for two persons to use helmets on a bike in Ibadan.

I compared O-ride with Taxify when the business just got to Ibadan, few could relate; and at that point, the driver asked if cab drivers should be scared they might be sent out of business by the Taxify people. I laughed till water ran out of my eyes, but the driver was serious about his question, so I had to explain the process to him, and he was relaxed since they used different business model, and they will always get their customer share.

Here is the spotlight: The Helmet myth and how some persons will always try to find out why and how businesses do what they do, and without answers, they make something else out of it, which makes everyone opined of such to stay away from such services.

These people are the majority.
How do we design business models for self clarification or to be self convincing? Or to educate people of one's actions and inaction?