Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli
Ndidi Nwuneli--0.jpg
Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli
Born (1975-03-22) March 22, 1975 (age 46)
NationalityNigerian, American
OccupationSocial Entrepreneur
Years active25
Known forLEAP Africa, AACE Food Processing & Distribution Ltd, Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Ltd, Nourishing Africa.

Mrs. Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli is an expert on African agriculture and nutrition, philanthropy, and social innovation. She has over 25 years of international development experience and is a recognized serial entrepreneur, author, public speaker, and consultant. Through her work in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, she has led the design and execution of high-impact initiatives focused on policy, strategy, organizational design, ecosystem solutions, and growth.

Early life[edit]

Ndidi Okonkwo was born on March 22, 1975 at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital in Enugu, Nigeria to a Nigerian professor of Pharmacology—Paul Obuekwe Okonkwo[1] and an American professor of History—Rina Okonkwo.[2]

Her father, who is from Awka, Anambra and her mother who is originally from New York, met at Cornell University in 1965.[3] Her parents were educators by profession. They taught and mentored students with the goal of improving the Nigerian Education System. In an interview with the National Mirror Nwuneli explains, “I was born the third of five children. My parents[....]exposed my siblings and I to the concept of patriotism and service from very young ages....during the dark years of the late General Sani Abacha years, when many professors fled outside the country, my parents stuck it out, going for many months without salaries. Even with these challenges, holidays in our home were devoted to giving to others; trips to orphanages and other charity organizations formed a critical part of our socialization".[4]

She grew up in Enugu, where she attended primary school at University Primary School. She attended secondary school at the Federal Government College Enugu from 1986–1991. From 1991–1992, she completed a bridging program, combining her final year of high school and freshmen year of college at the Clarkson School in Potsdam, New York.

Education[edit]

Nwuneli attended The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in 1992, where she concentrated in strategic management and multinational management. She is a recipient of the Albert A. Berg Scholarship and was also selected to become a member of the Friars and the Onyx Senior Societies for her outstanding leadership efforts. In addition, she was the president of the Penn African Students Association, and a member of several societies including the Penn Gospel Choir and the Black Students Union. She was also an intern at Mitchell & Titus and Arthur Andersen. In May 1995, at 20 years old, Nwuneli graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Economics.

By 1997, she was enrolled at Harvard Business School (HBS). While there, she received both the Harvey Fellowship[5] and the National Black MBA Association Graduate Scholarship, both recognizing her academic accomplishments. Her extracurricular activities at Harvard include founding and Co-chairing the Annual African Business Conference;[6][7] Vice President of Faculty and Student Affairs for the Africa Business Club;[8] International Liaison for the African American Student Union;[9] and Publicity Chair for the Christian Association. She graduated with her MBA at 24 in 1999.[10]

Career[edit]

Nwuneli's career began in her junior year at The University of Pennsylvania when she held a Summer Business Analyst position with McKinsey & Company in New York. In 1995, she was offered a full-time position at McKinsey as a Business Analyst working out of Chicago, Illinois. She also worked for McKinsey in their office in Johannesburg, South Africa.[11] Her work with McKinsey in 1997 led to the management and training of police officers across 25 South African Police Service Stations, as well as an increase in criminal convictions and a reduction in crime rates.[12]

In 1998, she accepted a position as the Lead Consultant with a non-profit founded by Professor Michael Porter called The Center for Middle East Competitive Strategy. She consulted with Palestinian and Israeli businesses and made recommendations for decreasing transaction costs and increasing trade across the region.

Work in Nigeria[edit]

In 1999, Nwuneli worked as the Lead Consultant for The Ford Foundation on a project focusing on Nigeria's largest microcredit institutions, COWAN and FADU.[13] That year, she rejoined McKinsey and served on client service teams, consulting for consumer goods companies and large American retailers. In 2000, she resigned from her position at McKinsey and returned to Nigeria to serve as the Executive Director for the FATE Foundation (founded by Nigerian Businessman, Fola Adeola).[14] In an interview with HBS African America Alumni Association about engaging female entrepreneurs, she explains: "Nigeria has some of the most entrepreneurial people in the world but access to financing, networks, and growth remain a challenge[...]I believe empowering women to start and grow their businesses is critical to Nigeria's development, but educating women is the real silver bullet."[15]

In 2002, Nwuneli founded two nonprofits, LEAP (Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability, Professionalism) Africa and Ndu Ike Akunuba (NIA), Igbo words which translate in English to Life, Strength, and Wealth.[16] NIA's focus is on female empowerment—inspiring university students in Southeastern Nigeria to live full and meaningful lives.[17] LEAP Africa is a youth-focused leadership development nonprofit organization.[18] LEAP provides training on leadership, ethics and civics.[19] As the founder of the organization, she has been invited to speak at the UN Commission for Social Development, the World Economic Forum and the Clinton Global Initiative.

LEAP has worked in partnership with the Ford Foundation, Citi Foundation,[20] World Bank, United States Government, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, ALI (Aspen Institute's Africa Leadership Initiative),[21] Nokia, and the International Youth Foundation.[22] Nwuneli served as LEAP Africa's Founder and Chief Executive Officer from 2002-2007 and is still an active Board Member in the organization.[23]

Entrepreneurial Pursuits[edit]

n 2010, Nwuneli and her husband Mezuo Nwuneli, Co-Founded Sahel Capital Partners and Advisory Limited and AACE Foods. In 2016, Sahel Capital separated its management consulting and private equity businesses, and Sahel Capital Agribusiness Managers Ltd. was established. In 2018, Sahel Capital Partners & Advisory Limited changed its name to Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited to fully embrace its mandate as a consulting company, and its focus on the agriculture and nutrition landscapes. AACE's work in promoting nutrition, supporting smallholder farmers, and displacing imports have been recognized by the Africa Diaspora Marketplace, IAP, and AECF.Both firms have served as catalysts in the Nigerian and West African agribusiness landscape.

Nwuneli founded, and is the Chair, of Nourishing Africa, a digital knowledge, financing, and data hub which is enabling agribusiness entrepreneurs in 34 African countries to scale.

Governance & Boards[edit]

Nwuneli is on the Board of LEAP Africa, AACE Foods, Fairfax Africa Fund, Godrej Group,[24] DSM Sustainability Advisory Board,[25] AGRA, GAIN - Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, and Nigerian Breweries Plc. Previously, she participated in the World Economic Forum as a committee member on the Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership from 2011–2014.[26]

In 2019, an American Philanthropic organization, Rockefeller Foundation appointed Nwuneli to its board.

In 2021, Mrs Ndidi Nwuneli was appointed on the Board of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.[27]

Awards & recognition[edit]

  • Named amongst Schwab Foundation's Social Innovators, 2020
  • Honoree of the Global Fund for Women during their 25th Anniversary Celebration in San Francisco, 2013[28]
  • Winner of the Harvard Business School Nigeria Business Club 2013 Leading Social Entrepreneur Award[29]
  • Forbes: 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa, 2011[30]
  • Excellence Award from Anambra State, 2011[31]
  • Selected for Harvard Business School's Africa Business Club's Excellence Award, 2007[32]
  • Selected as Young Manager of the Year by THISDAY Newspapers (Nigeria's leading newspaper), 2005[33]
  • Received a National Honor – Member of the Federal Republic – from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on December 16, 2004[34]
  • Selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, Davos; 2004[35]
  • Selected as a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland; 2002[36]

Author/Research[edit]

Publications[edit]

  • Author, Food Entrepreneurs in Africa: Scaling Resilient Agriculture Businesses, 2021
  • Author, Social Innovation in Africa; 2016 [38]
  • Editor, Passing the Baton, LEAP Africa; 2011[39]
  • Lead Author, Building a Culture of Ethics: A Practical Guide for African Leaders in the Public, Private and Nonprofits Sectors, LEAP Africa; 2009[40]
  • Editor, Rage for Change: A Practical Guide for African youth who Desire to Make a Difference, LEAP Africa; 2008[41]
  • Editor/Co-Author, Get on Board: A Practical Guide to Establishing & Sustaining High-Impact Boards of Directors, Farafina; 2007[42]
  • Lead Author, Defying the Odds: Case Studies of Nigerian Companies that have Survived Generations, LEAP Africa, 2006[43]
  • Articles on leadership, management and ethics: Under the Tree of Talking (Funded by the British Council), Journal of Convergence, Farafina, Business Day, the Guardian and Business in Africa Magazine; 2003-2007

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Prof. Okonkwo, Paul Obiekwe". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Moffitt, Nancy. "Wharton Women Mean Business". Retrieved 25 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "A Serial Entrepreneur". Retrieved 26 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "A Serial Entrepreneur". Retrieved 26 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "List of Fellows". Retrieved 26 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Biography of Ndidi Nwuneli". Retrieved 26 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Africa Business Conference". Retrieved 26 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Africa Business Club". Retrieved 26 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "African American Student Union". Retrieved 26 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "NB Appoints Ndidi Nwuneli as Director". Retrieved 26 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Daley, Zuzanne (March 25, 1997). "Apartheid's Feared Police Prove Inept and Corrupt". Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. New York Times. Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Q&A With Ndidi". Retrieved 26 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "A Look at The Agricultural Giant of West Africa" (PDF). Retrieved 26 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "FATE Foundation Partners NOTAP On Innovation Promotion". Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ Nwuneli, Ndidi. "What impact did HBS have on your life and the life of others?". Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ Soyombo, Fisayo. "Forty-Forty: A Compendium Of Young African Legends". Retrieved 4 March 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Ndidi Nwuneli". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "Home". LEAP Africa. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  19. ^ Bakare, Esther. "Ndidi Nwuneli: Nigeria's pride in entrepreneurship development". Archived from the original on 10 January 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ Dahunsi, Lanre. "2015 LEAP Africa/Citi Foundation Employability Programme for Nigerians". Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ Colgrove, Caitlin. "Africa Leadership Initiative". Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ "Youth Empowerment Program Evaluation Report: Nigeria – LEAP Africa". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ "Partners and Donors". Archived from the original on 20 February 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. ^ "GCPL appoints Ndidi Nwuneli as Additional Director". The Financial Express. 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2017-02-04.
  25. ^ "DSM welcomes new Sustainability Advisory Board member Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli". Retrieved 2017-02-04.
  26. ^ "About Ndidi Nwuneli". Retrieved 2 March 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^ "The Nigerian Economic Summit Group | Blog Post: Official Press Release: NESG Appoints New Board Directors". nesgroup.org. Retrieved 2021-04-17.
  28. ^ "Ndidi Nwuneli". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  29. ^ "Africa Business Club at Harvard Spotlights Inclusion, Innovation". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  30. ^ "The 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa". Retrieved 28 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  31. ^ Soetan, Folake. "21st Century Leadership: Ndidi Nwuneli, Founder, LEAP Africa, AACE Foods". Retrieved 28 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  32. ^ "Alumni Relations". Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  33. ^ "Women You Should Know: Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli". Retrieved 28 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  34. ^ Eneanya, Jennifer. "Ndidi Nwuneli; Shaping Visionary, Ethical & Creative Servant-Leaders". Retrieved 28 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  35. ^ "Research Assistant to Ndidi Nwuneli: Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Africa: Catalysts for SustainableTransformation" (PDF). Retrieved 28 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  36. ^ "Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli (MFR)". Retrieved 28 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  37. ^ Okonkwo Nwuneli, Ndidi. Working for God in the Marketplace. Retrieved 28 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  38. ^ "Social Innovation In Africa: A practical guide for scaling impact (Paperback) - Routledge". Routledge.com. Retrieved 2017-02-04.
  39. ^ "Passing The Baton". Archived from the original on 20 February 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  40. ^ "Building a Culture of Ethics". Archived from the original on 20 February 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  41. ^ "Rage for Change". Archived from the original on 20 February 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  42. ^ "Get on Board". Archived from the original on 20 February 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  43. ^ "Defying the Odds". Archived from the original on 20 February 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)