The US government has named Andela, a company and community of software developers, based in Nigeria and Kenya, as the world’s best small and medium-sized business.
The award, which is tagged the US secretary of state Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE), was established in 1999, to recognise companies that are best representing American values in their business practices worldwide.
The award was presented to Andela in Lagos by Stuart Symington, the recently posted US ambassador to Nigeria.
Symington said the company, which recruits and trains software developers and connects them with employers globally, was not only in business for the money but also for change in human lives.
“Of all businesses in the world today, there are businesses doing their best, not just to make money, but to change lives. They are generating employment and transforming lives,” Symington said.
“In the small and medium size category last year, the global winner of the secretary of state award for corporate excellence was you guys. For all of you here, I know this is your success as head of operations, people and culture and everybody else.
“This is Andela’s day and let me say congratulations; global victory, Nigeria’s number one, Andela Nigeria. The enterprise, the innovation, the spirit of Nigeria, the learning, the connecting, means that the world ahead of Nigeria is an extraordinary one.”
Seni Sulyman, the head of operations, at Andela Nigeria said none of the successes recorded “will be possible without the hardworking team at Andela”.
Other winners in other categories are General Electric, McDonald’s Deutschland, Bureo, Interface, and Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde S.A.A.
Past winners of the award are The Coca-Cola Company, Intel, TOMS Shoes, and Procter & Gamble.