This September, The Assembly will be hosting its first ever specialised training program for fashion and creative entrepreneurs – The Creative Class. The purpose of this program is to accelerate entrepreneurs in the fashion and creative sector with the essential knowledge and tools they require to start and grow sustainable businesses.
The program will provide a platform for entrepreneurs and emerging talent to attend a back to back curation of Masterclasses and Fireside chats, learn and connect with industry experts, network with their peers, get business advice and support to run a sustainable fashion brand or creative enterprise in Nigeria.
Yoanna Chikezie, Consultant & Founder, The Assembly
Pepper Chikezie Founder of The Assembly, a serial Entrepreneur who has worked in Fashion production, marketing and branding for 10 years. Extensive experience in roles varying from Stylist to Fashion Editor, Consultant to Brand Manager and Head of Channel of a 24/7 African fashion and lifestyle channel, SPICE TV. Armed with a BA Hons degree in Culture, Society and Communications from the University of Birmingham where she was the President of the African & Caribbean Society, Pepper also has an MA in Strategic Fashion Marketing & Management from the London College of Fashion. Pepper is a seasoned fashion professional and works as a Consultant, Creative Director and Content Curator in Nigeria and the UK.
Timilehin Tikolo, General Manager, TM Lewin
Having obtained an MA in Fashion Retail Management from the London College of Fashion, he went on to work in a wholesale and business development role for Michael Kors menswear. In this role he was tasked with the development and growth of MK’s men’s business in the UK through the opening of various channels such as shop-in-shops in Selfridges, concessions in Fenwick, and brand owned standalone men’s stores across the UK. After this, Timilehin went on to Tom Ford and Paul Smith to work in more fluid merchandising and wholesale roles, during which time he worked closely with international teams and learned a lot about growing and expanding a global brand’s presence in a local market using a combination of traditional and more innovative/digital methods. Presently he works for Smartmark as the Brand Manager for T.M. Lewin in Nigeria and Ghana with a dynamic and all-encompassing role, covering everything from brand strategy and profitability through to marketing and operations.
Banke Kuku, Creative Director,Banke Kuku Textiles
Born in Lagos in the 1980’s, Banke Kuku moved to the United Kingdom at the age of eight. The cultural fusion, between the country of her birth and the country where she spent her formative years, has heavily influenced her penchant for bold patterns, resulting in statement prints with captivating impact. She graduated from Central St Martins College and then Chelsea College of Art and Design, having studied Textiles, her passion for textiles led to her subsequently authoring a book on the Nigerian textiles industry. After working she launched her brand, Banke Kuku Textiles in 2011,inspired by her dedication to and creativity in fusing West-African and Western-eclectic inspirations to create intricate and unique designs/ textiles.
The resultant designs, through collaborations with fashion houses including Duro Olowu, Jewel by Lisa, Virgos Lounge and Lot78, have been worn by the likes of Michelle Obama and Lupita Nyongo as well as gracing the catwalk in New York Fashion Week.
Wale Ajiboye, Associate Director,Acumen,West Africa
Sitting on the lawn of Central Park in 2008, Wale knew that the time for change had come. Wale dreamed of a different future for West Africa and, despite large student loans, made the decision to leave his career in banking and apply his newly-minted MBA to development in his home country of Nigeria. In his words, “As Nigeria moves towards becoming a top economy, sacrifices must be made and mine just started.” Five years later, in 2013, Wale returned back to that same Central Park lawn, this time standing in front of 75,000 people to receive the Global Citizen Award from Professor Mohammad Yunus for Abuja Enterprise Agency’s work providing entrepreneurship and IT training to youth across Africa.Today , Wale is the Associate Director, West Africa Fellows Program at Acumen, bringing along 13 years of experience in social enterprise development, banking, public policy, as well as community and youth development. He has also worked as Project Manager of Business Leadership at LEAP Africa, Principal Manager of Abuja Enterprise Agency, Senior Banking Officer at GT Bank, and he holds a Masters of Business Administration from Hult Business School.
Crystal Chigbu, Founder & Executive Director, The Irede Foundation
Crystal Chigbu Is the founder and Executive director of The IREDE Foundation. A not for profit dedicated to advocacy for child amputees founded in 2012. The IREDE foundation has championed the cause of proving over 90 limbs to child amputees across the length and breadth of Nigeria. Also, leading the Out On a limb walk annually across over 20 locations. Before starting up Irede she was the E-commerce Account Manager at Procter & Gamble, Nigeria.
Crystal is a serial entrepreneur and the host of The Hope Grill – a show that focuses on teaching; infusing and helping people experience hope.
Crystal is driven by a strong desire to bring out the best in everyone she meets. She also has a Facebook group: The Hope Grill Community for people that want to stay strong and help others stay strong and inspired .
Yahaya Maikori,Entertainment Lawyer,Founder, Law Allianz & Chocolate City Records
Yahaya is a founding partner of Law Allianz – a law firm with core expertise in Entertainment law (which consists of Gaming, technology, Media, ecommerce & Intellectual Property) and Corporate/Commercial law.
A graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife; He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1993 and was recently admitted as a solicitor of England and Wales.
He currently Chairs, the Entertainment, Media and Sports committee of the Nigeria Bar Association – Section on Business Law; seats on the Nigeria Copyrights Commission’s law Review committee and was recently inducted into the International Masters of Gaming Lawyers (IMGL). Yahaya has been involved in the review and amendment of acts for the Nigeria Copyrights Commission, Nigeria Broadcasting Commission and National Lottery Regulatory Commission aside from consultancy work for several international bodies.
A prolific speaker he was appointed by the Federal Government into Digiteam (the body responsible for the digitization of broadcasting in Nigeria),he was also recently selected as the Facilitator for National Assembly Business Round Table (NASSBER) “E-commerce and IP” working group.
Winner of – Legal Monthly’s “Entertainment lawyer of the year – Nigeria’ 2013 he was also co winner of the 2011 Omidyar/Legatum sponsored “Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship” held in Nairobi, Kenya.
An entertainment enthusiast and entrepreneur, he also sits on several boards.
Bidemi Zakariyau, CEO,LSF PR
Bidemi Zakariyau is the Founder & CEO of LSF|PR, a full service public relations agency with core competencies in corporate communications, consumer and lifestyle brands.
Awarded the Best Law Student during her Foundation year, Bidemi went on to study Law at the University of Sheffield, after which she interned at two top tier law firms, then on to Law School.
During Law school, Bidemi founded LSF|PR,which currently represents global and local companies including Philips, Baker Hughes (a GE Company), Reckitt-Benckiser, and Remy-Cointreau to name a few.
LSF|PR is a recipient of a certificate of excellence by the SABRE Awards (2018) – the worlds biggest PR awards programme, dedicated to benchmarking the best PR work across the globe.
Bidemi has been listed by Forbes Africa as one of the innovators and game-changers in business on the prestigious 30 Under 30 list (2018), Rising PR Practitioner by the Nigerian Institute of public Relations – Lagos Chapter (2017). In 2016 she won the Future Awards for Media Enterprise.
In April 2017, she launched an online magazine (www.theluxedigest.com) with the aim of playing a key role in altering the perception of Africa and fostering Pan-Africanism.
Bidemi is a member of The Nigerian Bar Association and The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations. In 2016, at the age of 27 she was appointed to join the board of Réle.
Wonu Okoye,Fashion Business Coach, Big Start Up Co
Wonuola is a seasoned fashion retail startup and business coach having been an entrepreneur for 9 years and setting up several retail businesses in the process. She started her career as an investment banker for HSBC in the UK followed immediately by CITI bank where she spent 2 years.She proceeded to Ocean and Oil holdings, Lagos for 3 years gaining further experience in investment banking at Agrentil Capital and Management Consultancy from Avaizon consulting. While in these roles she was engaged with clients in tech, advertising, design, aviation, engineering, FMCG, retail and beverage industries. Wonuola also crafted media strategy at 1music and is currently a business director at Rosabel Limited. Wonuola is co-founder of fashion retail platforms L’Espace & LPM, and co-founder of MeiDei, a multi-brand fashion and beauty platform.In 2017, she launched Apaart Africa, a luxury exotic leather goods brand with only N6,000. Apaart has since sold over 500 bags and continues to be a market leader in the leather goods industry. Her experience in management consulting, finance, strategy and fashion retail has positioned her as the go to business coach for entrepreneurs looking to build lasting brands in the fashion industry. Her mission is to change the fashion business narrative in Nigeria.
Wonuola graduated with a BEng in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nottingham and an MSC in Biochemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham. She sits on the board of various organizations including MeiDei Retail and Haute Fashion Africa .
Rukky Ladoja,Founder, Creative Director,GREY
A pioneer in the ready to wear fashion industry in Nigeria and a recipient of the British Council and Lagos Fashion Week Award for “Young Creative Entrepreneur”, Rukky Ladoja’s pieces have drawn inspiration from traditional basket weaving techniques, local tattooing and west African royal accessories. The norms and ideas behind these traditions are broken down into clean silhouettes and then reimagined using laser cutting, jacquard weaving and vibrant digital prints.Over the years, Grey’s growing popularity in both the Nigerian and international market has resulted in features in Vogue Italia and Elle South Africa. In addition, the versatile yet striking pieces from the label have become firm favorites with stylish women such as Chimamanda Adichie, Oluchi Orlandi and Genevieve Nnaji. One of the key mediums through which Grey has been able to evolve without losing its original DNA is through collaborations. Using small batch production to reduce waste and react according to increasing demand. Rukky has continuously collaborated with local artists, artisans and other designers to be able to continue to create pieces that are widely appealing and locally sustained. Most Recently, Grey partnered on a six-piece capsule collection with clothing label “THIS IS US”; whose key ideology is to use only locally found cotton “Funtua” for all its pieces. The commercial success of the collaboration has since resulted in the development of a larger collection project that seeks not only to continue to source locally produced fabric but also increase the production and quality of fabric being produced. As well as presenting at the prestigious Lagos fashion week in Nigeria annually, Grey has had successful presentations at the International Fashion Showcase at London fashion week. It has also focused its marketing and sales strategies towards trade shows such as the WWD Women’s Magic trade show in Las Vegas and most recently Pitti Super in Milan for spring summer 2018.
Founded in 2011 by Rukky Ladoja and Obida Obioha, Grey’s thematic collections takes ideas or stories rooted in the traditions of Ladoja’ culture and make them globally relatable using more contemporary techniques. Our priority is to organically explore ways to make fast fashion individual and high fashion approachable by designing long lasting style options for every woman looking to incorporate beautiful fragments of African society directly into their wardrobe.
Ifeanyi Enukorah,CEO, Speakwell Consulting
Ifeanyi is British Council Certified Master Trainer and has been presenting and facilitating customised interactive workshops since 2005 to audiences in Nigeria, UK, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan. He is valued for helping creative enterprises and teams think strategically and engage in meaningful conversations that allow for reflection and inquiry that lead to change.
He is an exceptional facilitator and trainer, skilled at designing interactive processes that gain buy-in and commitment to action plans by identifying common ground and using consensus building. He is a resourceful problem-solver with a broad skill base.
Over the last 10 years he has designed and facilitated meetings and retreats for the British Council in Nigeria and over 260 Creative Enterprises in the performing arts, fashion design and branding and has helped them align their values, clarify goals, and identify obstacles to change and achieve desired outcomes.
Reni Somoye, PR Consultant, Co-Founder, Brand Camp
Reni is a graduate of Rutgers University, having obtained a B.A. in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations and certificates in Leadership and Africana Studies. Post university, she executed projects with brands such as Nike, EA Sports, the American National Basketball Association (NBA) and McDonald’s. In Nigeria, she has worked on campaigns for the Bayelsa State Investment and Economic Forum, the Nigerian Centenary Pageant, Gidi Culture Festival and #DJObiWorldRecord. In 2016, Reni co-founded BrandCamp, a training platform to empower Nigerian business people to take control of their public relations and social media. BrandCamp has trained representatives from Jumia, IGI Plc, and Daily-Need Group, among others.With over a decade of experience in communications and strategy across countries, she recently joined Quadrant MSL, a strategic communications consultancy which was founded in 1999 as Nigeria’s first full-service public relations company. Reni’s work at QMSL includes communication strategies, video production, development and positioning
Damilola Odufuwa, Social Producer, CNN Africa
Passionate about social media, pop culture and telling engaging African stories, Damilola has built a successful career in the African digital media industry. As the editor-in-chief of both Zikoko and Konbini Nigeria, Damilola has been responsible for building two influential and innovative digital media publications targeted at Nigerian millennials. Now, Damilola works at CNN Africa – running the social media division as a social producer.In recognition of her work in media, she was listed as one of the ‘100 Most Inspiring Women In Nigeria in 2018’ by Leading Ladies Africa.
Claire Idera, Fashion Designer & Illustrator
Claire Idera is a creative entrepreneur with an educational background in architecture, creative practice and fashion design. She became the go to Illustrator in Nigeria which gained her a nomination in The Future Awards Africa 2016, Culture & Arts category, a first of its kind. She completed her Masters programme with a Menswear collection that was exhibited at the Design Museum London.
Claire Idera has also developed teaching experience over the years ,teaching fashion design at Kingston University London, as well as Arts & Design Portfolio at Oxbridge College. She currently freelance designs for clients like Lisa folawiyo and Haraya.
Afriyie Donkor,Cosmetic Formulator / Business Consultant
Afriyie Donkor is a natural cosmetic formulator and a consultant. Her interest in natural skincare began over 15 years ago when she studied Aromatherapy and launched a global skincare business using organic and Fairtrade ingredients. Afriyie supplied spas, health stores and aromatherapist with her products. Afriyie ran “make your own” soap and skincare products workshops alongside the business and was soon requested by businesses and local government authorities to run workshops for members of staff and customers. Westminster College in London learnt about her workshops and invited her to sit on the governing board and mentor business students. Afriyie now runs a thriving business creating cosmetic courses and teaching entrepreneurs how to formulate professional skincare products that compete with leading brands. Afriyie has organised and facilitated skincare workshops for Adidas and travels to Africa teaching cosmetics making. As a consultant, Afriyie has helped clients secure contracts and get their products into leading supermarkets, major retail stores, hotels and airlines.
Victoria Fabunmi, Investment Manager for Venture Capital Fund , Co-Creation Hub
Victoria is a Finance Professional with experience in buy and sell side advisory, fundraising, principal investments and private equity primarily in FMCG,Finance, Agriculture and Technology. She is currently the investment manager at Growth Capital Fund by CcHUB where she is responsible for deal origination, execution and portfolio management. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from University of Lagos and is a CFA Candidate.
Chioma Nwakwesi, General Manager Strategy & Performance, Zaron Cosmetics
Chioma Nwakwesi is an ACCA chartered accountant by profession and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria
She’s currently the GM, Strategy & Performance at Zaron Cosmetics; a wholly owned indigenous cosmetics brand with geographical spread across Africa particularly Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Her role comprises, primarily overseeing the global Marketing & Sales, Finance and HR functions.
Chioma is not only passionate about adding value and contributing to her organization’s long-term growth and development but she’s also interested in mentoring young women in the work place.
Funmi St. Matthew Daniel , Strategic & Creative Consultant, Funmi Daniel
Funmi St Matthew Daniel is a seasoned fashion retail professional who worked with retail giants the Arcadia Group and Tesco Clothing UK before relocating to Nigeria. Working with Mango, famed Nigerian Designer Tiffany Amber, Exquisite Magazine and Jumia Nigeria doing everything from Brand Planning/Management & Creative Direction, to Product Selection & Magazine Editing, Funmi has a 360° understanding of the fashion retail industry.
Funmi has now founded FunmiDaniel.com working as a Strategic & Creative Consultant for brands in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle space including to name a few, Grey Velvet, Abaya Lagos & Raya.
Elvina Quaison, AFFORD Business Club Manager, AFFORD UK
Elvina Quaison is the AFFORD Business Club (ABC) manager at AFFORD, the ABC is a unique diaspora entrepreneur focused space to assist and enhance our members businesses. Elvina has worked with Diaspora organisations for over 15 years. In 2011 she managed projects in AFFORD assisting Diaspora contribute their skills and knowledge by volunteering in Ghana. She also managed a project facilitating Diaspora entrepreneurs’ goals of setting up a business in Africa, specifically Ghana. Following this work she followed suit and lived in Ghana for over three years. Elvina brings her knowledge and deep interest in the UK African Diaspora to her work with AFFORD.
Jacqueline Brown, AFFORD Business Club Manager, AFFORD UK
Jacqueline is Diaspora Experience Manager at AFFORD and has been working with African businesses for the past 7 years in the creative sector. With a background in the creative sector working with the international fashion industry for nearly 20 years, Jacqueline has not only developed her network in the ethical and sustainable fashion community but has also built her own creative enterprise since 2011 and grown a flourishing network in the African fashion community where she facilitates business trade opportunities for those in the diaspora community and friends of Africa.
Odunoluwa Longe, Co-Founder/ Lead Counsel, The Longe Practice
Co-founder and CEO at DIYlaw, Nigeria’s foremost and award-winning legal technology startup, Odun is also Co-founder and Lead Counsel of The Longe Practice LP, (TLP), a law practice focused on proving legal solutions for entrepreneurship in Africa. She likes to refer herself as a LawyerTM of entrepreneurs where LawverTM = Lawyer + Lover. A natural progression of her background and experience is her recent foray into early stage investing.
She started her career at the law firm of Solola & Akpana in the corporate commercial practice and immediately prior to founding TLP, worked for years as in-house counsel in the investment banking sector, providing dedicated legal advice in private equity, structured products, derivatives and asset management at ARM Investments and FBN Quest (formerly FBN Capital). In addition to her LLB from the Lagos State University and BL from the Nigerian Law School, Odun has a Master’s in Law (Business Concentration) from Northwestern University School of Law and a Certificate in Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University.
Odun loves all things technology and until recently, lived her alternate life vicariously through her clients. Now that she has co-founded DIYlaw, she is able to identify with and understand them better. She was recently featured in “Founding Women” by Eunice Baguma Ball as one of the African women defying the odds to build successful businesses in tech Odun is a HiiL Innovating Justice Fellow and a mentor at XL Africa, Ventures Platform Accelerator and Google Launchpad Africa. She seats on the Boards of Ventures Platform Startup Foundation, a non-profit that supports entrepreneurs and innovators who create solutions to Africa’s most urgent problems and Bunmi Adedayo Foundation, a non-profit focused on improving primary school education for less affluent children in Nigeria.
Isioma Onochie Aihie, CEO Grey Velvet Stores
Isioma Onochie Aihie, a serial entrepreneur started her career as a Systems Analyst at Fortune 50 company’s, Merck and Co and Microsoft in America and ended it as Head of IT at premier downstream oil company, OANDO. Dissatisfied with the lack of social and edutainment outlets for children and teens, she founded Funtopia, Nigeria’s foremost family entertainment centre through which she revolutionallized the concept of ‘family entertainment’. Her penchant for innovation soon led her into publishing where she created JUICE a bi-monthly magazine targeted at the upwardly mobile teen. She also had stints as content developer, producer and consultant executive in charge of production for indie productions and stations including the defunct HiTV, TVC and Bloomberg Africa. Through this journey, she met a number of budding fashion and accessories designers and in 2012, she realised a long term desire to promote Nigerian fashion by opening her first fashion retail store, Grey Velvet, the first and only concept store to solely stock brands that are 100% Nigerian /African, at the time. Almost 4 years later, she has opened 4 other stores as well as a garment manufacturing company and is looking to open more stores across the continent and internationally as well as continuing to push African fashion though the promotion of upcoming designers and sales of their pieces.
Nneka Eze, Partner, Dalberg Advisors
Nneka is a Partner at Dalberg, a group of impact-driven companies that focus on applying private sector approaches to unlocking people’s full potential, everywhere. She leads Dalberg’s work in Nigeria as the Lagos Office Director. She has worked with private corporations, state governments, and foundations on strategic planning, market analysis, investment planning, and performance transformation. Nneka’s work has focused on a range of sectors including agriculture, education and youth employment, financial services, and inclusive growth, and she leads Dalberg’s work in the creative industries.
Prior to joining Dalberg, Nneka was a consultant at McKinsey & Company in Washington, D.C. She currently sits on the West Africa Steering Committee of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and on the investment committee of VestedWorld, an SME-focused private equity fund. Nneka holds an AB in economics cum laude from Harvard University.
Dr Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, Group Chief, Sustainability & Governance Officer, Dangote Industries Limited
Dr Nnoli-Ezien is the current Group Chief, Sustainability and Governance Officer at Dangote Industries Limited. Under her leadership, Dangote Cement published its first globally-benchmarked Sustainability Report in 2017. Her mandate is to lead the effort of integrating Sustainability Thinking and Reporting across all Dangote Businesses in Africa.
She is the Co-Founder of Rising Tide Africa, a group of women angel investors harnessing our network, resources, passion and capital to create a New Africa. She is also an alumni of the Wharton School and the London School of Economics, a Reinhard Mohn Fellow of Bertelsmann AG, and obtained her doctorate degree from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt in 2006. At the Africa Conference on Women in Governance, Business and Community Leadership and Women of Influence Awards in London 2010, she received the African Star Excellence Award in Business Development. She is also fluent German and conversational French.
Munachi Alfa,Principal Consultant, Masal Financial Consultants
Munachi Alfa is a Finance Consultant and the Principal Consultant at MASAL
Consultants Ltd, a financial management firm that provides public accounting,
bookkeeping, financial planning and advisory services to SMEs, entrepreneurs
and private individuals.
Prior to starting MASAL Consultants Ltd , Munachi was the Finance Advisor at
Metinar Energy an Oil Servicing Company for 2 years, whilst maintaining the
position of CFO of Nalserve Ltd, a Telcommunication Servicing Company f or 5
years. She also served as an advisor and ad-hoc manager in other start-up
companies within that time frame.
Munachi holds a Master’s from The European Business School, UK in Global
Banking and Finance and a BSc in Economics from the University of Surrey,UK.
She also has other professional qualifications in Corporate Finance, Accounting
and SME Finance.
Adenike Ogunlesi, Founder & CRO , Ruff ‘n’ Tumble
Adenike Ogunlesi is the Founder and Chief Responsibility Officer of Ruff ‘n’ Tumble. Driven by a passion to prove that Nigeria is able to produce good quality she’s built a brand with over 15 retail outlets across Nigeria and an E-commerce platform; making Ruff N Tumble one of the most recognizable brands in the Nigerian market. Adenike is the founding member and the first president of the Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW) at the Nigeria Employer’s Consultative Association (NECA). She was the pioneer advisory board member of the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) at the Pan African University’s Lagos Business School. She is also an Advisory Board member and mentor at WISCAR (Women in Successful Careers) which is a structured mentoring programme for young women. She is a Non-executive Director at Lafarge Holcim Plc, a board member of the Feed A Child Programme and Amazing Amazons.Adenike is a winner of numerous awards and an avid motivational speaker talking to women’s groups, entrepreneurs and young people.Happily married to Adegbola Ogunlesi, who’s an industrialist in the beauty industry, and one of the founders of men’s fashion label, Sofisticat.
Who is this event for?
The Creative Class is aimed at idea stage entrepreneurs, pre-seed and early stage start ups in Nigeria’s fashion and creative arts sector.The goal is to have participants take away key insights they can immediately apply to their businesses.
You should attend if;
You’re looking at expanding your creative business.
You have an idea for a creative business,but you’re not sure how to execute.
You’re looking to network with other creative entrepreneurs and professionals.
You’re looking to gain concrete knowledge on how to run a sustainable creative enterprise.
You’re looking at transitioning from a professional in the creative industry to a full fledged creative entrepreneur.
How to Register
Register here by 12PM on Monday, 3rd September. Spaces are limited in order to make sure all attendees get the most value out of the event.
The British Council , No 20 Thompson Ave, Ikoyi, Lagos (Creative Enterprise Program + Digital Skills Training +Fashion ENTR_)
Were House , No 7B Mike Adegbite avenue, Lekki Phase 1,Lagos (Fashion NXT_)
Date: Monday, 17th September, 2018 – Saturday, 6th October, 2018
Time: 10 AM Daily
Registration Fee: N5000
*Registration Fees are non-refundable and non-transferable