The International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge Foundation, IWEC, has announced the appointment of Mrs. Ibukun Awosika to their Board of Directors as its New President. Awosika is the Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s Premier and Leading financial services provider. IWEC is a New York-based international economic empowerment organization exclusively for women business owners, formed in 2007 with the assistance of the U.S. Department of State.
A statement signed by Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, and made available to OpenLife states that Awosika was elected to replace Miguel Valls, former president of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and president of the IWEC Foundation, who passed away last month. “The Foundation is very excited to announce the appointment of our new president,” stated Ruth A. Davis, IWEC Chairwoman and distinguished former U.S. Ambassador. “Ibukun Awosika has been a solid, steady presence at IWEC since its inception, and she is also a past IWEC awardee. Ibukun has not missed one IWEC Conference since 2008 and has lent her voice and experience not only to our conferences, but to our meetings after joining our Board in 2017. We are delighted that our Board of Directors voted on her appointment, and we’ll introduce her as our president at our upcoming 12th Annual IWEC Foundation Conference in New Delhi, on November 10th.”
The Foundation’s 2019 Conference will focus on “Connecting Women Businesses Globally: Leading the Way to Innovation and Integration”. The event would be hosted locally by the FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), which represents over 5000 women entrepreneurs and professionals across India. This year, IWEC welcomes 39 awardees from 18 countries, with a combined revenue of over US$5.7 billion among all awardees to date.
IWEC Foundation Vice Chair, Carmen Castillo, CEO of SDI International, adds: “Ibukun has demonstrated a significant commitment to IWEC over the years. Her breadth of knowledge extends from being an entrepreneur running SOKOA Chair Centre Limited, to overseeing the board of directors for the renowned First Bank of Nigeria Limited. We are looking forward to her wise counsel and to continuously drive IWEC globally as a source of support, connection and impact for women business owners all over the world.” Ibukun Awosika heads Nigeria’s premier bank, and she is also the founder and CEO of the Chair Centre Group, an association of large companies in the manufacturing, retail, and financial security services. Mrs. Awosika further holds seats in the corporate boards of Cadbury Nigeria, Digital Jewel Limited and the Convention on Business Integrity, and she is a former chair of several other enterprise boards.
Ibukun is a graduate of Chemistry from University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Nigeria, an alumna of the Chief Executive Program of Lagos Business School, the Global Executive MBA of IESE Business School, Wharton’s Global CEO Program, and the IESE and China European International Business School (CEIBS). Ibukun is a multiple award-winning entrepreneur and the first Nigerian recipient of the prestigious International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) Award as a nominee of the US Department of State in 2008. Ibukun is also a best-selling author and motivational speaker. Ibukun was just honoured last month with the International Friendship Award presented at the IESE Business School by the Queen of Spain.
FirstBank, which Awosika leads, has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years.