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Women You Should Know-Ibukun Awosika

To summarize this woman could be in the following words; a Nigerian business woman, author and motivational speaker. Born on the December 24, 1962 in Ibadan, Oyo state’s capital, Ibukun Abiodun Awosika, was born and named, Bilkisu Abiodun Motunrayo Omobolanle Adekola .

Educational Background

Ibukun Awosika had her primary education at St,Paul’s Afrcian Church Primary School, Lagos and her Secondary School Education at the Methodist Girls’ High School, Yaba, Lagos. She furthered her education at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) where she obtained a B.Sc in Chemistry. Subsequent qualifications and certificates she obtained included Post Graduate Diploma and Masters of Business Administration certificates from the Lagos Business School and IESE Business School.

Ibukun Awosika: Biography of a Career Woman

Ibukun started work as an audit trainee at Akintola Williams & Co. during her National Youth Service Corps year. Given that she had a natural incline towards architecture, she eventually left for Alibert Nigeria Ltd. as showroom manager. Her entrepreneurial mind led to her establishing a furniture manufacturing company called Quebees Limited in 1989, which later evolved into The Chair Centre Limited and later SOKOA Chair Centre Limited following a venture merge with SOKOA S.A and Guaranty Trust Bank in 2004. She eventually became  the CEO of The Chair Centre Group; a group consisting of companies such as The Chair Centre Limited, Sokoa Chair Centre Limited, Furniture Manufacturers Mart Limited, and TCC Systems and Services Limited and are involved in furniture manufacturing, retail and bank-way security systems services.

Ibukun Awosika: Jack of Many Trades; Master of Many

Ibukun Awosika has not just a full hand but a full mind and heart. But this ‘fullness’ is not for the keeping, she has endeavored to empty her hand, mind and heart on others. For example, she is an ordained Pastor and founder of the Christian Missionary Fund and through this faith-based organization works with hundreds of missionaries spread across Nigeria to change lives through provision of medical, educational, and other supplies. She also has expressed high interest in social issues, especially those bordering around women. Ibukun is a co-founder and past chairperson of Women in Business, Management, and Public Service (WIMBIZ). Ibukun, aspires to use the different projects she has her hands on as life opportunities for raising the living standards of many young entrepreneurs-especially the unemployed youth-through the engagement of their potentials.

In addition to this, Ibukun serves on a number of corporate and not-for-profit boards amongst which are: First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Cadbury Nigeria Plc., Digital Jewel Limited, Convention on Business Integrity (CBi), and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority. She chairs the boards First Bank Nigeria Limited and Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC) – a facility which she promoted to help address youth employability and enterprise issues in Nigeria: She was Chairman, FBN Life Assurance Limited; FBN Capital Limited; and Kakawa Discount House Limited.

She is also a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative, Aspen Global Leadership Network, Institute of Directors, and Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria. She is a member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), served on National Job Creation Committee (NCJC), and sits on the International Advisory Board of IESE Business School, Barcelona-Spain. She is also a member of the board of Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund and former Chairperson, Board of Trustees of Women in Management, Business and Public Service. In 2011, she co-founded the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre, a career centre established in order to checkmate the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria.

Ibukun Awosika: … And A lot more in the Kitty

Ibukun Awosika is a woman whose hat has many feathers. She is a multiple award-winning entrepreneur. Some of these nominations and awards include:

  • THISDAY Newspaper Annual Merit Award- Entrepreneur of the Year (Nominee)

–     Success Digests Magazine’s Annual Enterprise Award- Female Entrepreneur of the Year       (Nominee)

–     YNaija Person of The Year (Nominee)

–     Financial Standard and Pan-African Organisation for Women Recognition- Best Female                                Entrepreneur of The Year (Nominee)

–     FATE Foundation Awards- FATE Model Entrepreneur Award of the Year (Winner)

–     International Women Society Award- Golden Heart Award (Winner)

–     International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge Award          (Winner)

She was also the first of a couple things:  the First Nigerian recipient of the prestigious International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge Award (IWEC) as a nominee of the US Department of State in 2008. On September 7, 2015, she also became the first woman to be appointed Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria. Awosika is an alumnae of the Chief Executive Programme of Lagos Business School; the Global Executive MBA of IESE Business School, Barcelona-Spain; and Global CEO Programme of Wharton, IESE and C.E.I.B.S Business Schools.

She loves to watch investigative and legal series in her leisure time. In 2008, Ibukun was among five Nigerian entrepreneurs who appeared in the first African version of the Dragon’s Den.

She has authored some books amongst which are, ‘The “Girl” Entrepreneurs’ and ‘Business His Way’.



Ibukun Awosika


First Bank

Featured image source: Entrepreneur Nigeria

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Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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