I’m a food entrepreneur, educator and podcast host. I explore the topic of women leadership, entrepreneurship, inclusion, and social justice.
I grew up in Nigeria, born into the Ibo tribe. I was born into a family of working-class women. I remember watching my mom stay up all through the night besides pregnant women to deliver their babies. I guess I got my work habits and caring nature from my mom.
I believe that leadership development is a tool that helps us embrace our full potential and make space for others to embrace theirs.
Growing up, I was surrounded by a community that cared for each other; not a social media community – a real community. I recall sitting down under a tree while an elder would tell the other children and I stories under the moonlight. At University, I received a B.Tech in Food Science and Technology from FUTO and an MA in Management and Leadership from Webster University, USA.
For over 20 years, I have run and managed my own business – first, a clothing boutique for women and then a restaurant that grew into a multi-branch company with 2 locations and 7 sales outlets with a large catering branch, employing over 56 team members and over 20 external suppliers and consultants.
I believe that I’m called to learn and teach what I know. I have been equipped to grow successful businesses, and I show the same to other women through many education platforms. I learned entrepreneurial leadership from e-myth coaching in 2011 for ten months. I also completed my first leadership development programme at Dale Carnegie in New Jersey, the USA, in 2010. After my very first business failed, I learned how to start a successful business through an entrepreneurship boot camp, organized by Access Bank, Nigeria. I’m very grateful to the bank, GTB, which believed in me and approved my first multi-million Naira loan to start my dream business – a restaurant. The manager that approved my loan is called Aku Odinkemeelu. I have learned so many tactical lessons, like social media and email writing, from various online marketers, and I’m grateful to them.
After moving to the Netherlands in 2013, I launched Ataro Food and Spices in 2015, teaching the beautiful culture and food of West Africa to the Netherlands. My Ataro Foods company packages and distributes West African Spices around the world. Ataro Foods has expanded to include a marketplace for African Food and Cultural products.
I now teach and mentor women entrepreneurs and aspiring leaders on how to rise and lead in their business and career.
I have organized several women leadership events and masterclasses.
I created the Rise and Lead “Inspiring Women” show and The Spotlight Podcast. I believe in the power of collaboration and partnership. I have partnered with so many local and global companies like Salesforce, UPS, Coca Cola and many more to organize women-focused events.
I’ve spoken at small and large events, as well as corporate stages.
A Little More About My Background and Body of Work:
Each week, I publish a blog called “Rising to Leadership”, which you can find here. I’m also writing a book on the same topic.
During the pandemic, I started writing a book on small business development. I share part of the content as a blog on social media and my website.
I’m happily raising 5 kids (3 boys and 2 girls) with my husband.
I love hosting parties and creative events. I connect people through events.
I write and speak about entrepreneurship, leadership & culture development and West African Cuisine.
I have faith in God.
- Entrepreneur, business strategist and inclusion and equity consultant for small businesses, corporate organizations and event organizers.
- The host of Inspiring Women Leaders Show.
- Expert public speaker at live and online events – spoken at major organizations, including Elsevier, United Nations, Rise and Lead Summit and many more.
- Advisor and facilitator of digital media and events for several organizations.
- Creator of the best-rated women leadership summit in the Netherlands – Rise & Lead Summit.
- Founder of Rise and Lead Women.
- Founding Chair of BIEL Foundation – Beauty in Every Life.
- Co-founder of ATARO.
- I’m a two-time award recipient from Women’s Economic Forum and the Rotary Club.
- I have opened and run two restaurants and catering operations with seven sales outlets employing over 56 staff members and hitting 8-figures in revenue.
- I hold a BSc. in Food Science and Technology and a Master’s degree in Management and Leadership from Webster University, USA.
Here’s what I’m currently working on:
Organizing a yearly women’s leadership event, called ‘Rise & Lead Summit: Leadership. Inclusion. Equity.’ The date is September 24th & 25th, 2020.
Consulting for organizations on leadership development and Diversity and Inclusion initiatives.
Leading the Founder Table Club for high potential female entrepreneurs.