Toyosi Akerele, a Social entrepreneur and Founder of RISE NETWORKS, a Nigeria-based private and public sector funded Youth Interest social enterprise.
Early Life & Education
Oluwatoyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji was born on 8 November 1983 to the Family of James Ayodele & Felicia Mopelola Akerele. She attended Ebun Oluwa Nursery and Primary School, Oregun Lagos from where she headed to Lagos State Model College Kankon Badagry, Lagos for her Junior Secondary Education from 1994 to 1996. She then went to Egbado College (now Yewa College) from 1998 till June 2000 for her Senior Secondary Education where she remarkably graduated as the best Student in the Essay Competition organised by the Aionian Group of Schools in Ogun State. She obtained a Second Class Upper Degree in Civil Law from the University of Jos in April 2007.
She also holds a Strategic Management at Executive Level from Cambridge University’s Judge Business School.
She obtained a Certificate in Youth Inclusive Financial Services from University of New Hampshire, Durham, USA.
She holds a Certificate in Media Enterprise from the School of Media and Communication, Pan African University.
She has Executive Masters’ Certificate in Project Management from The Project Management College, UK.
She studied Digital Marketing Strategy at the UK Institute of Digital Marketing.
She is also an alumnus of the United States Government International Visitor Leadership Program.
Toyosi along with a growing and highly professional Board and Team, conceptualised and designed effective programs to deepen the links and learning opportunities for Young people in knowledge acquisition, access to Jobs through skills development and Nation Building. RISE Networks’ National Youth Forum, the longest standing Pan Nigerian, Campus Wide Youth Empowerment Program has attracted hundreds of thousands of students and Young Professionals in hundreds of communities in Nigerian States in the last 8 years described in 2012 by US First Lady, Michelle Obama as the largest Youth Conference in Nigeria in a Live Televised Address ahead of her Official Visit to Africa to launch the Young African Women Leaders Forum
She is the Founder and CEO of Rise Networks. Rise Networks is a Nigeria-based private and public sector funded Youth Interest social enterprise with a primary focus on wholesome youth and education development. The organization focuses on creating intellectual development and capacity building programs for young Nigerians between 16 and 30.
Entrepreneurship and Business
With a depth of versatility and huge expanse of certified knowledge and practical experience in Human Resource, Media, Digital Marketing, Enterprise Risk and Project Management, she is also a Business savvy Executive with vested interests in a world class Printing Firm with state of the art equipment and topnotch staff strength. She founded, Nigeria’s foremost online Print Store that delivers 24 hours Printing Service at low cost to Small Businesses via the Internet as well as the fastest growing online community for Nigerian Students, forcampus.com. She also founded and incubated passnownow.com in 2012, which is the first and most comprehensive e-learning platform in Nigeria with the aim of helping indigent and deprived secondary school children to access and use Curriculum Compliant Education Content for free, from the comfort of Mobile Devices.
Toyosi got married to Obakorede Adekunle Ogunsiji who is an ICT/Innovation Professional and they have a child.
Awards and Recognition
In 2007, she was selected as one of 101 Young African Leaders by the African Business Forum.
In 2008, Toyosi won the Future Africa Awards Best Use of Advocacy Category.
In May 2010, Toyosi was selected for the Nigeria Leadership Initiative’s Future Leaders Fellowship which is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
In 2011, she won the Excellence Awards of the School of Media and Communication, Pan African University.
In June of 2011, she was described by Mrs. Michelle Obama the First Lady of the United States as one of her personal inspirations in a televised address to America as a prelude to her arrival in Africa for the Young African Women Leaders Forum of which Toyosi remains the only Nigerian member till date.
In 2013, she was honored by the Federal Government as one of the Best 100 Young Nigerians in one of the events to mark Nigeria’s 100th anniversary as a union.
In December 2014, she was named by Forbes Magazine & AFK Insider as Top 20 youngest Power Women in Africa.
In 2015, she made the Honors List of Genevieve Magazine’s Top 21 most Outstanding Nigerian Women.
Toyosi, an alumnus of the Prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program of the United States Government, is a recipient of numerous awards including Recognition by Crans Montana Forum in Europe as a New Leader of Tomorrow, This Day Awards for Nigeria’s Women of Distinction, Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 of Success Digest Entrepreneurial Awards, the Nigerian Youth Leadership Awards jointly organized by Leap Africa, International Youth Foundation and NOKIA.
Other awards and nominations include the Just U Award, Dynamix Awards and the Green Yaggy Achievement Award. She has also being honoured by 234 GIVE, a Social Initiative that encourages Nigerians to donate to the adopted Charities and improve livelihoods for the less privileged.
Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji was recently elected VP, International students affairs at Harvard University John F. Kennedy School Students’ Government.