Ada Osakwe is a creative food entrepreneur and passionate agribusiness advocate. As the Founder and Chief Executive of Agrolay Ventures, an investment firm targeting early-stage agribusinesses, Ada seeks to redefine the food production and retail opportunity across Africa’s large consumer markets. Agrolay invests in food start-ups as well as incubates its own new agri-ventures. The company currently has four investments including The Nuli Juice Company, Nuli Foods, Nature’s Bounty and African Courier Express. For three years, on a secondment from the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ada served as the Senior Investment Adviser to Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the former Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. There, she advised the Minister on agriculture investment-related activities involving private sector investors and led investment policy and financing initiatives including the development and launch of the Fund for Agricultural Financing in Nigeria (FAFIN).
Prior to her role at the Ministry, Osakwe was a Vice-President at Kuramo Capital Management in New York, where she led the firm’s Private Equity investments. For four years, she was a Senior Investment Officer at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), based in Tunisia. She began her career as an Analyst in the Debt Capital Markets team of BNP Paribas investment bank, London.
Ada received her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, holds an MSc in Economics and Finance from the University of Warwick, U.K. and a BSc in Economics (First Class Honours) from the University of Hull, U.K.
Osakwe is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and on the 2016 Choiseul 100 Africa list, a unique ranking of young African economic leaders. She received the ‘Achiever in Agriculture’ Award in 2015 and in 2014, was named one of Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa.
A lover of nature and food production, she likes to describe herself as a creative food entrepreneur.