CHIBUNDU ONUZOChibundu Onuzo (born 1991) is a Nigerian novelist. Her first novel, The Spider King’s Daughter, won a Betty Trask Award, was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Commonwealth Book Prize, and was long listed for the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Etisalat Prize for Literature. Her second novel, “Welcome to Lagos” was recently published in January 2017.She made the headlines, from BBC to CNN, after signing a two-novel deal with revered British publisher of literary fiction, Faber & Faber, making her its youngest ever female author. She started writing The Spider King’s Daughter when she was 17, got an agent at 18, signed with Faber at 19, finished editing while 20 and got published at 21. She has a bachelor’s degree in history from King’s College London, and a master’s degree in public policy from University College London. As of 2017, she is studying for a PhD at King’s College London.
OMONIKE FOWOWEOmonike Fowowe is easily one of the best symbols of relentless optimism you would find. She is the founder and president of EMR Group, a group of companies comprising of EmrMarketing, Emr PR & Media, EMR Properties, Theos Luxury and more. She has built a plethora of marketing communications and humanitarian brands under the holding company which she founded in 2011. She has worked with clients like Access Bank, Zaron, Mall for Africa and CoolWorldPZ Cussons, Marcopolo Hotels & Suites, Marcopolo Properties, among so many other large and small brands.
KEHINDE SMITHKehinde Smith is the CEO of My Extensionz My Lash Extensionz, My Celebrity Teeth, HerBlings, & Taste My Fashion. Her brand is well known for supplying the highest quality of virgin hair to everyday working class women, hair salons and celebrities worldwide. My Extensionz was established in 2012 by sisters Kehinde and Tawio Smith, who were driven by the lack of affordable, quality extensions available on the market. As avid extensions users, the sisters channeled this frustration and set out on a mission to not only find high quality and affordable extensions for themselves, but for all women experiencing similar issues. After several months of research, traveling overseas and using themselves as testers, My Extensionz was born. Through social media promotions and word of mouth, the sisters gradually gained a small, yet loyal client base. By 2013, MY Extensionz was operating two retail locations in Chicago and a thriving online boutique. My Extensionz accomplished something special; high quality hair extensions at a competitive price. Due to social media, excellent customer service, strategic branding and insightful marketing, My Extensionz has placed itself in the top-tier of the market and is currently regarded as one of the go-to companies for the highest quality virgin hair extension
ZURIEL ELISE ODUWOLEZuriel Elise Oduwole is a girl education advocate and film maker best known for her works on the advocacy for the education of girls in Africa. Her advocacy has since made her the youngest person to be profiled by Forbes. In November 2014, at age 12, Zuriel became the world’s youngest filmmaker to have a self-produced and self-edited work after her film showed in two movie chains, and then went on to screen in Ghana, England, South Africa, and Japan. Oduwole has met with 24 Presidents and Prime Ministers in line with her education advocacy work. She has also appeared in popular television stations including CNBC, Bloomberg TV, BBC and CNN. In 2013, Oduwole was listed in the New African Magazine’s list of “100 Most Influential People in Africa”. Earlier in January 2017, she was honored in Washington DC by the US Secretary of State – The Rt Hon John Kerry, for her work in the area of Girls Education Development in Africa, and her new idea of skill transfer to unemployed youths on the continent. She launched her foundation, DUSUSU (Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up), and its first partner was African billionaire Aliko Dangote of the Dangote Foundation. DUSUSU initially started off as a project that Oduwole had launched when she was 10 years old. She was recently honoured by UNESCO at the “Soft Power” Global Conference for her continuous work in speaking for Girls Education.
ORODE UDUAGHANOrode Uduaghan is the personification of strength, courage and compassion. She is the CEO of Exclusive Brands Africa, a group of companies comprising of Otres Restaurant, Gigs Rental, Pink Pearl Foundation and Rubies vocational school. As a teenager, the tragic loss of her aunt to Breast Cancer pushed her to find ways to help other women battling with the disease. Despite getting limited support and even discouragements, she forged ahead and today is the brain behind one of Nigeria’s most relevant cancer organisations – the Pink Pearl Foundation (PPF). The foundation has successfully helped treat hundreds of women diagnosed with cancer and provides awareness and various forms of support to women living with cancer. It has also recorded several achievements including the production of a Breast Cancer awareness movie titled “Living Funeral“.
SOPHIA IKE-ONUSophia Ike – Onu is the founder of the5kshop.com – an e-commerce platform that stocks high quality Nigerian products. “The Nigerian fashion scene lacked quality and affordable fashion brands within the purchasing power of the average population,” said Sophia. Not only are all products on the5kshop made locally, they do not cost more than five thousand naira (the namesake for Sophia’s business). Sophia started her business at home with a local tailor and launched her brand at a local fashion exhibition. Her items sold out during the two-day event. This reinforced her business idea and that the demand existed for indigenous products. She now employs three tailors who make over 400 fashion pieces a month for the business.
BIDEMI ZAKARIYAUBidemi is the founder and CEO of LSF|PR – a full service public relations consultancy with a core focus on corporate communications and consumer brands. She is the Publicist for one of Nigeria’s top retail fashion store- Grey Velvet. She has worked for high profile clients such as Jack Daniel, Remy Martin, Nissan and a host of celebrities. She won The Future Awards Africa Prize For Media Enterprise 2016.
OZINNA ANUMUDUOzinna Anumudu is passionate about two things – fashion & branding. Having secured a bachelor’s degree in Economics in The United States, she pursued a masters in a field she was more passionate about, Communication, in Paris. There after, she relocated to Nigeria and has created a niche market for herself with branding & the Nigerian Fashion Industry in under three years. Zina recently founded a brand management company, The Style Concierge,which caters to creatives & businesses in the fashion & lifestyle industry. Ozinna.com serves as a medium for Zina to share her work, her fashion, her life and everything in between.
DERIN FABIKUNDerin Fabikun started her clothing outfit in 2009, at the age of 19. She’s a graduate of management from Covenant University. Designing for her started as a hobby. She has always had a passion for Fashion. Back in university she made outfits for herself, adding to already made dresses she had. Then it graduated to making tunics for her sisters, then friends and friends of friends. Since her entry into the scene with her elegant, unique and stylish pieces, her designs have been worn by a number of celebrities like Mimi Onalaja, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Zina Anumudu, Bolanle Olukanni, Ini Dinma Okoji, Dodos Uvieghara and more. She won the ELOY awards for female designer of the year in 2016. Derin is known for her aesthetic designs that feature droopy arms, lace and unique mermaid gowns.
VERA OBIELUMANIVera Obielumani is a Creative Director and CEO of VeraNora Couture (VNC), an Urban African Fashion Label based in Warri, Delta State. She started VeraNora in 2009, inspired by her mother, Nora, who is a retiree, at the age of 18 while still in the University of Port Harcourt majoring in Biochemistry. VeraNora started out as a hobby with just one tailor in her employment and two dresses a week, four years later, it is now a full fashion house which specializes in both men and women wears. Her creations have been showcased on runways and red carpets across the country worn by celebrities and beauty queens like the Miss Nigeria and MBGN Winners for 2012. She runs a fashion and design academy where she organises sewing classes in PortHarcourt and Warri. Vera runs a project where she gives back to the community by running free design training programmes for young girls in Warri, and craft making for secondary school students during the summer holidays. She also runs skills acquisition training for NYSC members.’
FLORENCE IFEOLUWA OTEDOLAFlorence Ifeoluwa Otedola, famously known as DJ Cuppy, is a musician and entrepreneur. Cuppy’s musical endeavors began at a young age. By the time she turned 18, whilst attaining a BSc Economics at Kings College London, she was already producing her own tracks and DJing around the world. To this date, Cuppy’s DJ skills have taken her to over 25 countries and she continues to fill dance floors across the globe. In 2014, Cuppy released her first compilation House of Cuppy, which saw her pioneer a fresh new sound she dubbed “Neo-Afrobeats” -an electric blend of Tropical House and Afrobeats music. The compilation was launched successfully in London, New York and Lagos, and the following year was succeeded by an 8-country tour, Cuppy Takes Africa, now a TV show on FOX. Having been featured by the likes of Forbes, Vogue, and the Financial Times, Cuppy has worked with some of the biggest and most exciting international organizations. Jumpstarting her US invasion in 2015 with an internship at Roc Nation, she performed at SXSW Festival and starred as the resident DJ on MTV’s ‘Uncommon Sense’ Show; all whilst attaining a Masters in Music at New York University.
YASMIN BELO-OSAGIEAs a big believer in female entrepreneurship and empowerment on the African continent, Yasmin Belo-Osagie (26) saw a gap to create a space for young women to become movers and shakers on the continent. In 2014, on her return to Nigeria after completing her studies in the US, Belo-Osagie seized the opportunity to form her own start-up, together with Afua Osei. They called it She Leads Africa. The business serves as a platform on which young women across Africa can create and share entrepreneurial ideas. It provides support for their ideas and access to professionals who can assist with advice and funding to turn start-ups into major business enterprises.
ESEOGHENE ODIETEEse is the founder and creative director of Hesey Designs, a fashion accessory outfit that produces one of the finest handcrafted Afrocentric fashion accessories. Right after graduating from Covenant University in 2013, she started her business with a $60 savings and little experience. Today, the millennial has been able to raise $60,000 (60,000) dollars equity free funds to further grow her business. She has won various awards like Google Africa connected, British council enterprise challenge amongst others and has designed sneakers for Virgin Boss, Sir Richard Branson.
THEODORA MOGOTheodora Anne Mogo the CEO of Doranne Beauty, a make-‐up and skin care company that offers make-up and hairstyling services for all events and occasions. She attended Babcock University and graduated with a Bachelors of Art in Mass communication. This young entrepreneur found herself entangled in the world of beauty after completing a beginners makeup training program. As her passion for beauty continued to grow, she dedicated the bulk of her time-when not neck deep in her academics- to learning more about hair, makeup and beauty in general. Theodora being the hardworking young lady that she is began dealing in the sales of quality human hair and offering part time makeup services to a couple of her friends and family in her second year in the university. After years of joggling between her miniature entrepreneurship and school, she practiced as a public relations officer at West African Eclipse. Miss Mogo finally found her strength and went into full time Makeup. Theodora who is a strong believer in her faith, has never stopped enforcing the mantra that beauty comes from within however, makeup only defines a woman’s physical appearance. With hard work, God and the most supportive family and friends on her side, the sophisticated Theodora Anne Mogo has been able to break many barriers with her talent in makeup artistry.
GOODNEWS EKWUEME (HONEY DYNASTY) – AGRICULTUREHoney Dynasty is a registered commercial Bee farm and honey production company in Nigeria. They are into production, packaging and sales of honey and other bee farm products such as royal jelly, bee’s wax, propolis, pollen, venom and life bees. They have been in operation since 2016, purchasing quality and unadulterated honey from local bee keepers, packaging and selling to retail outlets and end users. They are focused on leveraging on the vast opportunities available in the agric industry to contribute their quota in growing the Nigerian economy; to create employment opportunities, to tackle the unfortunate issue of honey adulteration, to create quality awareness of the benefits of honey and it’s by-products to the human health, industries and the society at large, to export to other countries and to make profit.
DARE ASOBELE (EXECUTIVES HELPING INITIATIVE) – ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP & GOVT. ENGAGEMENTHe started Executives Helping Initiative in 2013 as a Law student at the University of Lagos. The idea was to help make a difference in the society. He just wants to make a difference and he is opened to partnerships. He is currently passionate about mental health hence why they started a special project called Anti-Suicide and Depression Squad, hoping to make a difference in the mental health space.
YETUNDE SALIMON-AKANDE (BEADORNED BY YETTIE) – ARTS & CULTUREBe adorned by Yettie is a fast growing fashion brand. “BeAdorned” (for short), which started in 2014 and was incorporated in 2017 focuses on the creation of handmade ready to wear, bespoke, afro centric, and urban African pieces made out of passion and creativity. Contemporary fashion fused with modern African trends describes the brand better. The brand is solely aimed at promoting African culture through fashion and design.
GRACE OKOLI (SHANYI ORGANICS) – BEAUTY & MAKEUPShe is a serial entrepreneur, God lover, inspirational speaker, organic enthusiast, modest fashionista, lifestyle blogger amongst others. Her journey to self discovery and entrepreneurship started in 2015 from a seemingly bad situation or delay in being mobilized for the compulsory national youth service corps. The one year delay led her to self discovery and later the identification of a problem/vacuum in the organic beauty industry in Nigeria. After much research, formulations and testings, she launched her first business Shanyi organics in January 2016, an organic beauty brand that focuses in the formulation and sales of hair and beauty care products targeted at the afro textured woman and her family.
FEMI BABBS (SCION MAGAZINE) – CREATIVE WRITING & CONTENT CREATIONHe is a pharmacist, writer, publisher and author. He is the CEO/founder of Scion Magazine Nigeria, one of the most widely recognised youth based magazines in the south-west. He is also the author of the book; “Beyond the Grades”, a book focused mainly on the creativity of youths and their diverse abilities to make a name for themselves.
PRECIOUS ENIAYEKAN (SPARKLE GLOBAL) – E-COMMERCESparkle Global is a Nigerian Fashion Company. It started in 2013 as an online retail company with the mission to help people get high quality fashion items and accessories at affordable prices. Soon, it grew into a multifaceted brand offering fashion related services and items to a diversified clientele from high end luxury brands to high quality affordable fashion items and accessories. Their vision is to make all customers look and feel good about themselves regardless of their fashion budget.
IBIYINKA AMOKEODO (PROJECT 17) – EDUCATIONShe is the co-founder of Project17, an organisation that sets to teach the Sustainable Development Goals at all levels because of her vision to help achieve the goals in Nigeria by 2030. She also wants everyone everywhere to be aware of the global goals and she’s doing that through several projects. She is also a member of the Oxfam Youth Advisory Board. She is passionate about humanity and the development of her country, Nigeria.
RITA IDEHAI (ECOBARTER) – ENERGYShe is a conscientious young lady who is always striving to gain better knowledge and information. She founded Ecobarter, a waste resource recovery and repurposing enterprise, out of the zeal to proffer sustainable solutions to socioeconomic and environmental problems. She is a Tony Elumelu Foundation 2017 Alumni.
TIANA TOLORUNLOJU (LUXEDOS DESIGNS) – ENVIRONMENT & INTERIOR DECORATIONShe is a creative, young and smart individual who puts her creativity into designing signature furniture and home interiors. Her content for social media is also highly educative and she shows that she isn’t just in the business for herself, but also to share knowledge and encourage new designers.
IFEOLUWA IBIYEMI (ESTIB EVENTS) – EVENT PLANNINGShe is a young girl who learnt the art of decoration and event planning from her university days. She had always dreamt of setting up her own event company, thus Estib events was birthed right from school. Estib events offers professional event services for birthdays, weddings, etc and also provides clients with vendors who provide exceptional event services. The goal is to create long lasting, beautiful memories and change the notion that “there is nothing like a perfect event”, while also creating job opportunities for professionals as well as side jobs for young people.
BLESSING ODOEMENA (ZIKORAH AFRICA) – FASHIONShe is a 24 year old graduate of physics from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri. She is the founder, designer and creative director of Zikorah, an African inspired women’s wear clothing brand that focuses on bringing innovation to African fashion and beyond through its unique, versatile and affordable fashion pieces. Zikorah which is an indigenous Ibo name meaning “show the world” was established in 2017 and currently caters to the wardrobe of young and middle-aged women in Africa and beyond who seek to embrace the African culture. Zikorah currently has its headquarters in Lagos and is currently expanding beyond Nigeria, Africa and globally as well.
SYLVIA UDEMEH (BRIDGEBOOKS) – FINANCE & FINTECHShe is the founder and managing partner at Bridgebooks, a smart accounting and payroll solution for SMEs in Africa. By championing financial literacy and inclusion in Africa, she is helping SMEs build financial structures that can enable them to accelerate business growth and become channels for economic sustainability in Africa. Since the launch of Bridgebooks in April 2018, it has over 300 subscribers with more than 45% in their first month subscription. Bridgebooks is building a community of financially literate business owners and closing the financial inclusion gap for SMEs in Africa.
OYINKANSOLA MAKINDE (SWEET TINGLE LTD) – FOOD & DRINKSShe is the Chief Executive Officer of Sweet Tingle Limited, a fast rising finger foods, grills and cocktails catering outfit which she started in 2013. An enterprising individual, she has been involved in business management since 2005 recording modest strides. She enjoys cooking and everything about the kitchen and she does it without stress. Sweet Tingle has comfortably handled finger foods and cocktails catering at events for both corporate and individual customers including banks, educational institutions, high net worth individuals and many more. When she isn’t catering, Oyinkansola enjoys seeing movies and playing monopoly.
TOMIWA TALABI (LAGOS LIFE) – HOSPITALITY & TOURISMHe is a social media influencer and the CEO of Lagos Life, an online platform that showcases the true essence of Lagos. He is also the brain behind “Explore Lagos Tours”, a tourism company under the Lagos Life umbrella with the main focus to help people experience and explore the city of Lagos.
AMANDA AFOLABI (DARA NATURALS) – HEALTH & SKIN CAREShe is a TV Presenter at Ebonylife TV and the founder of Dara Naturals, an organic skincare company. She studied Computer Information System at Babcock University, but on graduation decided to follow her passion in the media industry and started off her career at 19 on Rave TV Channel. She then moved to work at Ebonylife TV co-hosting Moments Z, a pan African TV show for millenials. At 21, she decided to veer into another passion of hers which is Organic skin care and she started off her business called Dara Naturals. She is a go getter and believes the only limitation we have as humans is in our mind.
OREOLUWA SHONIBARE (WII CREATE) – MANUFACTURING & LOGISTICSHe is the Co-founder of Wii CREATE, a content, design and print company that provides its services to corporate and individual clients. He and his cofounder, Donald Onwochei have since then pushed the limits of prints and design opening new markets from Universities to start ups and Non-Governmental Organizations. He is a value driven entrepreneur with an eye for gaps in markets and industries. He holds a strong belief that Nigerian millennials will play a big part in the development of the country. He is also the founder of Amb Designs – a graphic design agency which was set up while he was at University.
FIYIN GAMBO (CLIQ MEDIA) – MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONSHe is the CEO of Cliq Media and co-founder of White space. His mission is simple, “to give you never seen before images on the big screen.” He does this with his company, Cliq media by honing spectacular technologies like visual effects (popularly known as film trick) to tell African stories differently. His films have been recognised nationally and internationally with features on BBC, Ebony life TV, Channels, Punch Newspapers and many more. He’s been dubbed “Africa’s youngest Action Film director” by many with appraisals for industry experts in Nollywood and Hollywood alike, with a recent private screening of his film preview to Former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Fiyin Gambo is almost done obtaining a B.Eng. in Civil Engineering at Covenant University. He dreams that very soon there would be long queues in Chinese and American cinemas for Nigerian movies.
OSWALD OKOJIE (OZZMANIC MUSIC)He owns a record label that has successfully made an impact in the entertainment industry over the years. The label is changing the face of the Nigerian music industry and is a leader in the Nigerian entertainment industry.
UMAR FARUQ (THE UNPUBLISHED GALLERY) – PHOTOGRAPHYHe is a self taught street and fashion photographer whose work revolves around documenting reality through everyday images of people, places and aesthetics. Documentary using mostly monochrome as his preferred palette, his works include “Once upon a night in Lagos,” “100 men & what they wear” as well as “Ibadan: A narrative under construction” which is an ongoing project dedicated to changing the brown roof narrative ascribed to Ibadan where he’s presently schooling. He is also a published photographer, having shot both cover photos and editorial content for The Lens Magazine in 2017. Al-Faruq curates his works on Instagram @theunpublishedgallery and he’s , the Founder & Lead strategist of The Rookie Club, an arts non-profit dedicated to encouraging a conversation-driven arts community.
CHIAMAKA OBIAGBAOSO (PEN-IMPACT WRITING AND PUBLISHING ENTERPRISE) – PROFESSIONAL SERVICESShe is a trained biomedical scientist in the field of Anatomy and a professional health systems and programs strategist. Over the past two years, she has served as a Health Systems Planning consultant to various organisations including UNICEF Nigeria, various state ministries of health, as well as the Federal Ministry of Health in the ongoing National Strategic Health Development Planning for 2018-2022.
REGAL SET (BOOK DRIVE, CU) – SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIPThe BookDrive CU is hinged on Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals; Quality Education. The goal is aimed at achieving inclusive and equitable quality education for all which will require increasing efforts, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia and for vulnerable populations, including persons with disabilities, indigenous people, refugee children and poor children in rural areas by 2030. In a bid to be a part of this World-change movement and promote Nation building, the Regal set saw the need to take up the project and enact it in Nigeria. The vision is to ensure that all Nigerian boys and girls complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes in line with target 4.1 of the Goal 4.