Founder and Chairman, FATE Foundation
Fola Adeola, OFR; MNI;
Fola Adeola is the Chairman of FATE Foundation. He founded the organization in 2000, following a one-year sabbatical at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru, Jos, Nigeria, where he carried out research on economic development and job creation policies. He is also the Chairman of Main One Cable Company Limited, owner-managers of the first open access submarine cable in West Africa. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Crises Group.
Prior to these, Fola was the founder and first Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. He ran the bank from inception in 1990 to July 2002, during which period he firmly established the institution as a strong and credible bank. Guaranty Trust Bank has grown to become one of Nigeria’s largest and most profitable companies. The bank has also expanded beyond Nigeria to other neighboring African countries in The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Ghana. The bank became listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1996.
In the public sector, Fola had served as the first Chairman of the National Pension Commission in Nigeria, which was established, following the promulgation into law, of the Pension Reform Bill, principally authored by him. Fola Adeola has served, and is still serving, at national and international levels, on various committees and corporate boards. He also served as member of the National Honours Committee, member of the Solid Mineral Committee (both federally constituted), member of council, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, and member of the Global Advisory Committee on Philantropy of the World Economic Forum. He had served as a Commissioner on the Commission for Africa, prelude to the 2005 G8 meeting in Gleneagles, UK.
Fola was nationally decorated as Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) by the Nigerian president in 2002.
Fola obtained a Diploma in Accounting from Yaba College of Technology in 1975 and became a Chartered Accountant in 1980 following his training with Deloitte, Haskins and Sells and D.O. Dafinone & Company (both Chartered Accountants). He has received professional development training at notable institutions worldwide including, Harvard Business School, INSEAD, and the International Institute for Management Development.
Secretary to the State Government, Ogun State
Prior to founding Superflux, Tokunbo served and headed various positions in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. such as Corporate Banking, Retail Banking, Corporate Services and Banking Operations. He is a prominent knowledge contributor and serves on the board of several companies and committees. Tokunbo has been involved in various developmental programmes in Nigeria such as The Presidential Weekly Business Forum, Clearing House System Automation Committee, Committee on National Cash Sorting Consortium Scheme, National Smart Card project etc.
He is a mentor at FATE Foundation and a very active philanthropist with special focus in educational upliftment.
Group Head, Human Resources, Access Bank Plc
She serves on the Board of several credible non-governmental organizations including ROWAA Widows Initiative and Propel Grad, amongst others. She also lends herself as a speaker/facilitator at trainings, workshops, seminars and conferences focused on women economic empowerment and career development.
Bolaji holds a BSc in Mathematics & Statistics from University of Lagos and an MBA degree from Cranfield School of Management, United Kingdom.She has also received various Top Management trainings at several leading institutions including Harvard Business School, Kellogg School of Management, Ross School of Business, IMD and London Business School.
Country Director, Google Nigeria
Juliet has actively contributed to developing national strategies including Nigeria’s broadband plan in 2013, and ICT incubation strategy in 2012. Recent investments include commitment to provide free digital skills training to 10 million youth in Africa, training for 100K developers and an Africa Scholarships program for current and aspiring developers including support for female developers through developer groups and a women techmakers event; funding and mentoring of technology startups in Africa through a launch pad Accelerator program, and a Google Impact Challenge providing $20Million in funding to nonprofits advancing the course of education and economic prosperity in Africa.
She has over 20 years’ experience primarily in technology, oil and gas, and new media industries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Juliet holds an Executive MBA from the London Business School, a Postgraduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge; and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. She is a recipient of the London Business School Global Women’s Scholarship, and at Cambridge University was awarded Selwyn College Scholar and Malaysian Commonwealth Scholar. She is a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society.
She was featured in the BBC Africa Power Women series in 2016, awarded IT Personality of the Year in 2012 by the Nigeria Computer Society, Digital Personality of the year 2016 by Marketing World; and received a 2015 Titans of Technology award from TechnologyAfrica. Juliet is also the founder of the Beyond Limits Africa Initiative, providing leadership and personal effectiveness to build capacity particularly among women. The program kicked off in 2016 with a self-leadership boot camp for young women featured in the BBC Power Women Interview.
Venture Builder and Operator
Seni Sulyman is a Director and Member of the Programs Committee. He was the immediate past Vice President of Global Operations at Andela, a venture-backed company that builds high-performing engineering teams with Africa’s most talented software engineers. Seni was responsible for Andela’s delivery operations function and oversees Andela’s Africa operations across Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Rwanda and Egypt. Seni was previously Country Director of Andela Nigeria. Under his leadership, Andela achieved several milestones including building and scaling a high performing cross-functional team, growing the organization by over 400% in two years, receiving the US secretary of state Award for Corporate Excellence, and creating an excellent culture that projected Andela Nigeria to #1 Best place to work in Nigeria and Africa.
Before Andela, Seni built and operated a new business jet airline serving Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt at Bristow Group, with an industry-leading 98% on-time-departure record. His prior career spans across roles at Bain & Company in Chicago, where he helped a CPG company identify half a billion dollars in cost savings; at HP in Silicon Valley, where he developed a strategy to grow the revenues of the multi-billion-dollar technology services division; at Cardinal Stone in Lagos, where he identified efficiencies in the operations of an oil and gas marine logistics company; and at Konga in Lagos, where he worked on several strategic projects during Konga’s early growth.
Seni is passionate about building an ecosystem of exemplary African businesses and leaders. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University.
Managing Director, Environmental Accord Limited
He is a member of several professional organizations including the prestigious International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA), the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), the Air & Waste Management Association (AWMA) and the International Society for Sustainability Practitioners (ISSP). He has accumulated field experience of over twenty (20) years and has written and presented several papers at workshops and seminars in Nigeria, South Africa and the United States of America. He is a member of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).
Ibrahim is an alumnus of the Aspiring Entrepreneurs Program (AEP 4 Class of 2002) where he wrote the first business plan for Environmental Accord Limited. On December 3, 2009 at the MUSON Centre Lagos, Ibrahim received the award of the FATE Alumni Model Entrepreneur (FAME) for 2009.
Chief Executive (West Africa), Standard Bank Group
Yinka Sanni is a Director and Chairman of the Finance and Fundraising Committee . He is the Chief Executive, West Africa for the Standard Bank Group. Prior to his assuming this role, he was the Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of the Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets and also doubles as the Chief Executive, Standard Bank West Africa. Prior to assuming this role, he was the Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC. Until his appointment as Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, he was the Deputy Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC (February 2011- Nov 2012). He was also the Executive Director & Head of Corporate & Investment Banking for Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC prior to his appointment as the Deputy Chief Executive of the Bank. Yinka was the pioneer Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited (July 2004 – December 2008). He was also the pioneer Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Limited between 1995 and 2004 a company he grew from start up to Nigeria’s leading independent asset management and stockbroking firm.
He has a wealth of experience spanning close to three decades in Financing, Capital Raising, M&A and Privatization Advisory. He has a broad-based knowledge of various areas of business having attended several programs and trainings including Blue Ocean Strategy Programme, Insead, Fontainebleau, France; Upstream Oil & Gas Acquisition and Divestment, Euromoney Energy Training, London; Sustainability Training at Central Bank of Nigeria; FITC Directors Continuous Education Program; Directors’ Consortium, Stanford Graduate School of Business; and Essential IT for Non-IT Executives, MIT Sloan.
Yinka holds a Bachelors degree in Agricultural Economics from The University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he emerged as the best graduating student of the Faculty in 1987. He subsequently obtained an MBA from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He has also undertaken the Harvard Business School, Boston, Advanced Management Program (AMP), and the Global CEO Program (GCP) at Ceibs, Wharton and IESE Business School. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers of Nigeria.
Executive Director, Designing Futures
Sola has over 14 years’ work experience as a strategy and organization development consultant working across the private sector, the public sector and the development sector. She has both local and global work experience in institutions such as Accenture, the Clinton Foundation, Dalberg and ESSPIN (a UKaid Initiative in Nigeria). In the non-profit sector, Sola has pioneered in a number of fields, from a start-up political party (Kowa Party) to Nigeria’s first innovation hub as the Coordinator of the FATE Institute for Venture Design (IVD), an initiative between Stanford’s Centre for Design Research (CDR) and FATE Foundation. Sola recently worked as the Executive Secretary of Freedom Foundation and subsequently, the Head of Corporate Strategy for LAT Cleveson Group (www.latcleveson.com), a diversified conglomerate with subsidiaries in maritime, agriculture and retail.
Given her passion for education, Sola co-founded Designing Futures, an education platform to promote innovative solutions that would empower generations to ‘design their future’. In collaboration with Incubator Africa, she led the establishment of Imaginal Education Initiative, a network organization of Imaginal Education (www.imaginaleducation.com). She often collaborates on reform initiatives in the education sector and works as a freelance consultant. Sola has co-authored Civics Textbooks published by Kachifo Ltd, used in private primary and secondary schools in Nigeria.
Sola has a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) from Georgetown University and a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), focused on Education Policy. She is also a Kauffman fellow (www.kauffmanfellows.org).
Partner, Banwo & Ighodalo
Seyi Bella is a Director and Member of the Communications & Advocacy Committee. She is a partner at Banwo & Ighodalo, one of the leading law firms in Nigeria. Seyi’s core areas of practice are Corporate and Project Finance, Private Equity, Mergers and Acquisitions and Fintech. In this regard, she has rendered legal advice to many corporates (including Nigerian companies and multinationals), international banks and financial institutions; and has been involved in some of the highest-profile transactions in corporate Nigeria. Although her practice focuses on secured lending and asset finance, the advice she provides to clients cuts across several sectors, including real estate, telecoms, power, oil and gas and shipping and trade.
In recognition of her professional work, Seyi Bella is consistently cited in respected legal directories and other professional publications such as IFLR1000 and Legal 500; and is presently ranked as a “Highly Regarded Leading Lawyer” by IFLR 1000. She has authored many articles in leading law publications.
Seyi is very passionate about good leadership, education and women empowerment and partners with several NGOS in furtherance of these values. She is occasionally invited to high schools and universities to speak to students about life and career choices. Seyi has an LLM from Harvard Law School and an LLB from the University of Lagos. When she’s not busy with legal work, mentoring younger lawyers or delivering presentations, you may catch Seyi enjoying a good movie or simply spending quality time with her family.
Adenike Adeyemi is an expert in social entrepreneurship, institutional transformation, non-profit sustainability, philanthropy and corporate governance. Her 20-year experience includes working in the private, public and development sectors to develop, fund and implement innovative programs and high impact policies for MSMEs and young people.
She is the Chief Executive Officer for FATE Foundation, Nigeria’s foremost business incubator which was founded in 2000 by Mr. Fola Adeola (founder, Guaranty Trust Bank). FATE Foundation has connected over 193,000 aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs with capacity building, advisory services, mentoring and financing to start, grow and scale their businesses.
Under her leadership, she established the FATE Institute as the thought leader in Nigeria’s MSMEs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem producing 13 research reports including the Annual State of Entrepreneurship in Nigeria Report. She has led the development and expansion of the FATE School of Entrepreneurship’s business incubation and accelerator programs to 27 states and published 9 books for Nigerian entrepreneurs. She also oversees the FATE Giving program which raised, disbursed and closed a $1,000,000 Fund for the FATE Philanthropy Coalition for COVID-19 Support Fund in 2020.
Adenike also led FATE Foundation’s digital pivot to launch the msmehub.org online resource portal for Nigerian entrepreneurs; the FATE E-Learn online program; and the Journeys in Entrepreneurship podcast and video series. She has raised over over $5,000,000 to date through partnerships with leading local and international organisations including the Youth Business International, Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Meta, Standard Chartered Foundation, Citi Foundation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Ford Foundation, the African Capital Alliance Foundation and the ACT Foundation.
Her previous experience includes Manager, Public & Development Sector Services, KPMG Nigeria; pioneer Executive Director, Nigeria Leadership Initiative; and Learning Support Programme Manager at the New Jersey Educational Opportunity Program. She started her career in 2001 with the West African NGO Network and has Interned at the New York based Africa America Institute.
She has a Masters of Public Administration and a Masters of Arts in Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University (2005). She also obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from the University of Ibadan (2001). She is also a 2020 Eisenhower Global Women Leaders Fellow.
Adenike’s Board and Committee experience includes Trustee of the Youth Business International; Council Member, Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industries; non-Executive Director, VDT Bitflux Communications; Director, Oxbridge Tutorial College Foundation; and Advisory Board Member, BudgIT. She is also the lead facilitator for the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) MSME Community of Practice and the Chairman, Technical Sub Committee for the 2022 NESG Nigerian Economic Summit.
Committee Member, Finance & Fundraising Committee
Deputy Director, Entrepreneurship Education, US Small Business Administration
Jack Bienko is a member of the Finance and Fundraising Committee. He is the deputy director of the US Small Business Administration (SBA) entrepreneurship education program and helps ensure that the U.S. small business community – which represents 50 percent of private sector employment – has the tools to start, grow and sustain diverse enterprises. Among the initiatives he oversees is a network of 11,000 business mentors, the acclaimed SBA Emerging Leaders executive series, an award-winning online learning platform, and public-private partnerships with global brands. In previous roles at SBA, he directed multiple corporate partnerships and provided direct services to disaster victims seeking Federal assistance.
He also serves as a business advisor, startup investor, author and (very) amateur sportsman. Jack recently completed an Eisenhower Fellowship to facilitate innovation and entrepreneurship partnership between US and China leadership teams. He is an alumnus of the Presidential Management Fellowship, Annenberg Leadership Fellowship, and New York University’s GovLab. He was recognized by FedScoop and the Small Business Influencer Awards for his dedicated advocacy for small business concerns.
Committee Member, Governance Committee
Managing Partner, Verraki Partners
Niyi Yusuf is a member of the Governance Committee. He is the Managing Partner at Verraki Partners. Niyi leads the firm in its mission to transform African enterprises and government via smart, future-focused solutions and business insights. He served as the Country Managing Director for Accenture in Nigeria and was responsible for all aspects of the firm’s strategy, team and operations.
Niyi holds a combined honours degree in Computer Science and Economics from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. Prior to Verraki, he has worked at Accenture, Arthur Andersen and JKK in a career spanning over 29 years. He is a member of the African Leadership Network and is also a Fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG). He was also a previous member of the Communications & Advocacy Committee.
Committee Member, Communications & Advocacy Committee
Managing Consultant, StreSERT Integrated Limited
Roselyn Onalaja is a member of the Communications and Advocacy Committee. She has over 25 years’ experience in leadership, strategy, human resources and talent management. She worked with Accenture Nigeria before venturing out to successfully lead the establishment and management of StreSERT. At SIL she is responsible for the company’s overall strategic direction.
She holds a bachelor degree in Linguistics and Masters in Public Administration (MPA), specializing in Human Resources Management. She is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (ACIPM), the Nigerian Institute for Training Administration (NITAD) and is a graduate of the FATE Foundation Emerging Entrepreneurs Programme. She has served as an Expert-in-Residence, for a business advisory clinic for Goldman Sachs scholars on completion of Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management (CEM) Programme in Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos and is a skilled business advisor, mentor and consultant for SMEs and actively provided human resources, people and change management support to FATE Foundation entrepreneurs.
Roselyn won the 2018 FATE Alumni Model Entrepreneur Award which is the yearly award from FATE Foundation’s Board, Management and Alumni Community recognizing an Alumnus who is building a successful business, creating jobs and also giving back to the Foundation.