Ibukun Awosika –Entrepreneur Par Excellence

Ibukunoluwa Awosika was born in Ibadan on the 24th of December, 1962 to a Nigerian father and a Cameroonian mother. She had her primary education in Ibadan but ended up finishing her schooling in Lagos at St. Paul African Church Primary School. From there, she proceeded to Methodist Girls High School, Yaba for her secondary school education. She obtained excellent academic results, finishing with a Grade 1 and wining the Dotun Okubanjo prize for the most outstanding student.

  • Thereafter, Ibukun graduated with a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). She is also an alumna of the Chief Executive Programme of Lagos Business School and the Global Executive MBA Programme of the prestigious IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain.
  • She had an interesting number of aspirations at different phases of her life. In the secondary school, she wanted to be a doctor at the university. While studying chemistry, she developed interest in Law because she did not like Chemistry as a course. She also developed interest in Architect but finally decided to work as an Accountant. She got to work in an accounting firm during her service year. "I found the profession too regular for my restless nature" she says. She also said she is driven by the need to get things done the right way, with the right value.
  • Ibukun started her working career with Akintola Williams & Co. (now Deloitte) as an Audit Trainee during her national youth corps service. Thereafter, she worked at Alibert Nigeria Limited, a furniture company, as Showroom Manager. Three and a half months after her employment, she resigned her position to set up her own furniture manufacturing company, Quebees Limited, from which The Chair Centre Limited later evolved.
  • Today, Ibukun Awosika is the Founder & Chairperson of The Chair Centre Limited, a market leader in office furniture and TCC Security Systems, a banking security systems firm. After the ban on importation of furniture by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2004, The Chair Centre Ltd went into a joint venture with Sokoa S.A of France and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc to set up Sokoa Chair Centre Ltd., and she was appointed the MD/CEO of the joint-venture company.
  • In addition, she independently established another ultra-modern furniture facility, Furniture Manufacturers’ Mart in Lagos in the latter part of 2006. The latest additions to her entrepreneurial exploits are the opening of branches of The Chair Centre Limited in Accra (Ghana), Tinapa and Calabar (South eastern Nigeria).
  • Ibukun Awosika is the first female Chairman of First Bank. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Cadbury Plc, Digital Jewels Ltd, The Convention on Business Integrity, and Youths Business Initiative. She also chairs the board of FBN Life Assurance Limited. As a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and Aspen Global Leadership network, Ibukun aspires to use her opportunities in life to further the greatness of her country. She has served on National Job Creation Committee (NCJC), and currently a member of the National Economic Summit Group (NESG), as well as a member of Lagos State University's Governing Council. She was recently appointed to the Board of the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund.
  • In her service to humanity, she consistently impacts youths, women and so many others through the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC), Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ), and several other platforms. The latest of such platforms is Ignite TV, an initiative to proffer a lasting solution to youth unemployment by creating an enabling environment which ignites an enterprise culture and optimal professional performance amongst youth in Lagos State.
  • Ibukun Awosika is also the host of a popular television programme, Business His Way, where she shares ethical business values and principles with the business community in Nigeria and neighboring countries. The telecast is presently transmitted on seven TV stations. In the first African edition of Dragons Den by Sony Pictures, she was asked to join five other Nigerian entrepreneurs as dragons in Dragons Den, Nigeria. She is the author of ‘The Girl Entrepreneur: Our Stories So Far’ and ‘Ibukun Awosika: Business His Way.”
  • Ibukun is an ordained pastor of The Fountain of Life Church and the Founder of Christian Missionary Fund, a non-governmental body dedicated to raising support for Christian missionaries across the country. She is married to Abiodun Oludola Awosika, and their marriage is blessed with three wonderful sons.
  • She is a multiple-award winning entrepreneur and the first Nigerian recipient in 2008 of the prestigious International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) Award. Other notable awards include: Female Entrepreneur of the Year 2005 by Success Digests Magazine’s Annual Enterprise Award; FATE Model Entrepreneur Award for the year 2006 by FATE Foundation; Golden Heart Award (2007) under the aegis of the International Women Society; Award of Leadership Excellence 2008 by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lagos Island Chapter; Nominee, Entrepreneur of The Year (2005) by THISDAY Newspaper(s) Annual Merit Award; Nominee, The Best Female Entrepreneur of the Year (2006) by Financial Standard and Pan-African Organisation for Women Recognition (POWR).