Ada Osakwe

Ada Osakwe

Founder & Chief Executive, Agrolay Ventures and Nuli

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Ada Osakwe is the 2021 Forbes Africa Businesswoman of the Year. As an award-winning entrepreneur, investor and passionate African development advocate, she has a successful track record with 20 years’ experience in private equity investing, development finance, public policy and startup venture-building. She is Managing Partner of Agrolay Ventures, a principal investment firm that deploys capital to early-stage companies that have the potential to transform ecosystems, with a focus on food and agriculture. She’s also the founder of Nuli, an innovative farm-to-table beverage brand and restaurant chain that uses fresh, locally grown produce sourced from smallholder farmers in Nigeria.

Ada serves on the Boards of private equity fund Factor [e] ventures, the global agriculture non-profit, One Acre Fund, and the leading plant-based food distributor in Africa, Infinite Foods. She is a member of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Presidential Youth Advisory Group and serves on the Advisory Group of Generation Africa, an initiative to invest in young African agripreneurs co-catalyzed by Econet and Yara International. She is the interim Chief Operating Officer of the World Hunger Fighter’s Foundation (WHFF), a non-profit founded by Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, to support young food innovators for a hunger-free world.

Ada served as Senior Adviser on Investments to Dr. Adesina when he was Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, launching novel initiatives that attracted millions of investments to Nigeria’s agribusiness sector, as well as catalyzed Youth engagement in Agriculture. Prior to her public service she was Vice President at Kuramo Capital, a New York-based private equity firm, and was a Senior Investment Officer at the AfDB. She began her career as an Analyst at BNP Paribas investment bank, London.

She is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow. Consecutively, from 2016 to 2020, Forbes Africa listed her as one of the Top 100 Africans contributing to economic impact on the continent. She has also been a recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year and Achiever in Agriculture awards in 2015 and was on the Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa list in 2014.

Ada has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management; an MSc in Economics (First Class Honors) and Finance from University of Warwick, U.K.; and a BSc in Economics from the University of Hull, U.K.

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