Dupsy Abiola

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Modupeola Abiola
BornMarch 1982
North London, United Kingdom
NationalityUnited Kingdom
Other names"Dupsy" Abiola
Known forIntern Avenue, Dragons' Den
Parent(s)Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola

Modupeola "Dupsy" Abiola (born March 1982) is a British (non-practising) barrister, entrepreneur and businesswoman. She is the founder and CEO of Intern Avenue,[1] an online internship website designed to connect employers with students and graduates. Dupsy appeared on the Thomson Reuters Power List named as one of the most influential black businesswomen in Great Britain in 2013.[2] She has been featured in the press and on television relating to recruitment, business, and entrepreneurial pursuits. She pitched on series ten of BBC television show Dragons' Den, attracting an investment offer from business tycoon, Peter Jones.

Early life[edit]

Born in London, England, Dupsy Abiola is the daughter of Chief MKO Abiola and Dele Abiola. Her father was a famous and successful Nigerian business tycoon and philanthropist. Dupsy grew up with her mother and five siblings in North London.[3] She has paternal half-siblings with whom she has limited contact. At aged nine, Dupsy independently set up a business producing and selling Puzzle magazines with a friend at school making a "tidy profit".[4] MKO Abiola was a strong influence on her interest in business.

Family life[edit]

Dupsy's father, MKO Abiola, became an active campaigner for civil rights and democracy and won the first free democratic presidential election in Nigeria in June 1993. Following the result, the military regime refused to relinquish power and declared an annulment. MKO was later placed under indefinite detention and was denied contact with the outside world (including his family). His incarceration sparked national and international outrage. Many supporters including former UN Secretary and Nobel Prize Winner, Kofi Annan, attempted to secure MKO Abiola's release.[5] There were widespread protests and high-profile political assassinations, including key civil rights campaigners and members of the Abiola family. MKO Abiola died very suddenly on the day of his intended release on 7 July 1998 when Dupsy was sixteen. The circumstances surrounding the death of her father remain an incredibly difficult and emotional subject for her.[6]


Despite a troubled upbringing, Dupsy was a gifted student who received academic prizes and awards including a Frederica Lord Bursary and an International English Speaking Union Scholarship. Dupsy attended South Hampstead High School[7] for secondary school and then went on to read law at Oxford University (New College). She was an elected JCR committee member, and an active public speaker, and legal debater. In 2004, Dupsy was notably singled out by fashion designer, Tom Ford, during an event at the Oxford Union who interrupted his speech to praise her beauty and dress sense.[8]


Legal career[edit]

After university, Dupsy was awarded a Lord Denning Scholarship and Eastham Scholarship by the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn and began her career at the Bar.[9] She attended Inns of Court School of Law and was called to bar in 2006. Dupsy moved into Private Practice as an employed barrister after completed Pupillage at 22 Old Buildings. She worked on a number of complex and high-profile cases, including involvement in the Wembley litigation.

Intern Avenue[edit]

Dupsy left her career as a lawyer to create Intern Avenue in late 2010 which is her first large scale entrepreneurial project. Intern Avenue publicly launched in Autumn 2012. Intern Avenue was developed in London which has begun to develop a blossoming technology scene. The site has been well-received and featured by the national press and technology press included Wired.[10]

In November 2018, Abiola was named to the Financial Times' list of the 'Top 100 minority ethnic leaders in technology.'[11]

Television and reception[edit]

Dupsy appeared on Channel Four in February 2012 discussing entrepreneurship with Business Minister, Mark Prisk MP.[12] On 7 October 2012, Dupsy pitched her business on episode 5, Series 10 of BBC Dragons' Den and appeared in extended BBC footage on the "Psychology of a Successful Pitch".[13] She was offered backing by business tycoons, Peter Jones and Hilary Devey. Intern Avenue became the first recruitment business to successfully pitch on Dragons' Den since its inception in 2004.[14] Peter Jones described her as a "real entrepreneur in the making" and that her pitch was "superb".[15]


  1. ^ Beaty, Zoe (9 October 2012). "Grazia". Grazia Daily. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  2. ^ Eboda, Michael (2013). "20 Under 40s". Thompson Reuters. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  3. ^ Ash, Dan (2012). "MKO Abiola's Daughter Dupe Dupsy Abiola on BBC's Dragon Den UK". UGhanaian. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  4. ^ Lee, Aaron (2012). "Venture Magazine Interview" (PDF). Venture Magazine. Retrieved 22 January 2013.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Annan, Kofi (2012). Intervention – A Life in War and Peace. United States: Penguin. ISBN 1594204209.
  6. ^ "The Psychology of a Successful Pitch". BBC. 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  7. ^ Brady, Tara (8 October 2012). "Dragons' Den Peter Jones invests £100k in former South Hampstead High School girl". Ham and High. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  8. ^ Menkes, Suzy (16 November 204). "Tom Ford works his charm on students at Oxford Union". New York Times. Retrieved 22 January 2013. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ "Court and Social". The Times. 3 January 2006. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  10. ^ Guest, Author. "Silicon Europe Startup of the Week: InternAvenue". Wired UK. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  11. ^ "The UK's top 100 black and minority ethnic leaders in technology". Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  12. ^ Prisk, Mark (2013). "Political Slot on Investment". Channel Four. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  13. ^ "The Psychology of a Successful Pitch". BBC. 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  14. ^ "Contracts/Deals: Intern Avenue gets £100k Dragons' Den investment". Recruiter. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  15. ^ Brady, Tara (8 October 2012). "Dragons' Den Peter Jones invests £100k in former South Hampstead High School girl". Ham and High. Retrieved 22 January 2013.

External links[edit]