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Press Release

EY Selects Ego Iwegbu and 54 other women founders for its EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ EMEIA class of 2023



EY has announced the details of the 55 women founders, from 53 different businesses across 10 sectors, selected for the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women EMEIA class of 2023. Representing 18 countries across the EMEIA region, this international cohort employs more than 1,600 people.

The EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women is a bespoke executive program that identifies and champions savvy, ambitious women entrepreneurs, with established, profitable businesses, in fulfilling their bold ambitions and turning their visions into business masterpieces.

Julie Hood, EY EMEIA Strategy and Transactions Leader & EMEIA Entrepreneurial Winning Women Executive Co-Sponsor, United Kingdom, says: “About 16 years ago, the EY organization looked to uncover the obstacles facing women entrepreneurs scaling a business. Today, EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women is a thriving and impactful program. I am excited to welcome the new class coming in this year that will join the global community.”

This program targets high-potential women entrepreneurs with established businesses who are ready to scale and grow their business globally.


Suwin Lee, EMEIA EY Private Leader and EMEIA Entrepreneurial Winning Women Executive Co-Sponsor, United Kingdom, says: “From five women entrepreneurs in one country to a global community of close to 900 entrepreneurs across almost 60 countries, EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women is a vibrant community made up of those who view challenges as an opening for opportunities and solving the world’s biggest problems.”

The participants of the 2023 EMEIA EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program are:

  • Kremena Karaulanova (Bulgaria), Owner of Laren hotel cosmetics & textile
  • Eva Vucheva (Bulgaria), General Manager of Contento
  • Militza Zikatanova (Bulgaria), Owner of Wine Cellar Villa Melnik 
  • Anne Karina Asbjørn (Denmark), Co-founder and CEO of Copenhagen Cartel
  • Madonna Saied (Egypt), Founder and CEO of V-licious
  • Laura Figulla (Germany), CEO of Mbiomics 
  • Chanyu Xu (Germany), Founder and CEO of Her One        
  • Devidutta Dash (India), Founder and CEO of Lemme Be
  • Ishani Roy (India), CEO of Serein Inc
  • Anne Abberton (Ireland), CEO of FiXX Coffee
  • Elaine Brady (Ireland), Managing Partner of Barden
  • Loretta Dignam (Ireland), Founder and CEO of The Menopause Hub
  • Sandra Healy (Ireland), Founder and CEO of Inclusio
  • Stella Power (Ireland), Founder and Managing Director of Annertech       
  • Caroline Reidy (Ireland), Managing Director of The HR Suite           
  • Meg Faure (Jersey), CEO of Parent Sense
  • Dina Abdul Majeed (Jordan), CEO of 360Moms       
  • Stella Sigana (Kenya), Founder and Executive Director of Alternative Waste Technologies
  • Sophia Tienstra (The Netherlands), Founder and Owner of LX matten
  • Claire van Beek (The Netherlands), Co-founder of Moodies
  • Shadha Musallam (Palestine), CEO of Agritopia for Agricultural Technology
  • Irina Arsene (Romania), Founder and Chair of the Board of
  • Muzon Ashgar (Saudi Arabia), CEO of MZN Bodycare        
  • Shereen Tawfiq (Saudi Arabia), Founder and CEO of Balinca
  • Lauren Anderson (South Africa), CEO of Koa Academy
  • Farana Boodhram (South Africa), CEO of Midesk Global
  • Ego Iwegbu (South Africa), Co-founder and CEO of MsLondon Cosmetics
  • Tarisai Moffat (South Africa), Co-founder and Managing Director of Gateway Synergy
  • Ngwanamatloa Mokone (South Africa), CEO of ABOT Technology    
  • Vanessa Raath (South Africa), Head Cheerleader of The Talent Hunter
  • Majbritt Byskov-Bridges (Switzerland), Co-founder and COO of Alver
  • Mine Uran, (Switzerland), Founder and CEO of Alver
  • Gülay Akay (Türkiye), Owner/Dentist of Dentakay
  • Züleyha Albaş (Türkiye), Co-founder of Buckaroo Food
  • Merve Çelebi Bayazıt (Türkiye), Board Member of Element Proje
  • Nesrin Doğan (Türkiye), Chairman of the Board of Directors of Doğanlar Tarım
  • Deniz Eraydın (Türkiye), General Manager of Reisswolf Türkiye
  • Tülin Kalyoncu (Türkiye), Managing Partner of Mat Consultancy & Packaging Solutions
  • Elçin Özkan (Türkiye), Founder of Sestri Travel
  • Nesrin Serin Onkardeşler (Türkiye), Founder and General Manager of USB Certification
  • Altınay Tunalı (Türkiye), Managing Director of Tunadan Makina
  • Nazlı Buse Üçer (Türkiye), Co-founder and Creative Director of Ribbon Flowers
  • Saana Azzam (United Arab Emirates), Chief Inspiration Officer of MENA Speakers
  • Heba Rumhein (United Arab Emirates), Owner of The H concepts and events
  • Margaret Dabbs OBE (United Kingdom), Founder and CEO of Margaret Dabbs London
  • Lemon Fuller (United Kingdom), Founder and CEO of Lemonade
  • Emma Macdonald (United Kingdom), Co-founder and CEO of TBCo
  • Nazanin Nankali (United Kingdom), Director of Powertutors
  • Emma O’Brien (United Kingdom), CEO of Embridge Consulting
  • Jenny Ousbey (United Kingdom), CEO of OVID Health
  • Pauline Paterson (United Kingdom), Founder and CEO of Dr.PAWPAW
  • Julianne Ponan MBE (United Kingdom), CEO of Creative Nature
  • Alla Ouvarova (United Kingdom), Co-founder and CEO of Two Chicks
  • Anna Richey (United Kingdom), Co-founder and CEO of Two Chicks
  • Helen Tupper (United Kingdom), CEO of Amazing If

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Press Release

Emil Ekiyor Named In “Indiana 250” Most Influential List



Emil Ekiyor, Founder at InnoPower (Image: Supplied).

IBJ Media has named Emil Ekiyor, one of Africans in the Diaspora leading accomplished community leader and entrepreneur, in the 2024 Indiana 250, the annual list of the 250 most influential leaders in Indiana. The Indiana 250 Most Influential List, now in its third year, recognises the state’s most influential and impactful business and community leaders, representing public and private companies, law firms, universities, not-for-profit, government and community organizations. Mr Ekiyor, is recognised for his accomplishment as a community leader and entrepreneur dedicated to empowering African and African American communities. The list is available at  


Born in Nigeria, Emil embarked on an educational journey to the United States at age 15. He excelled academically and athletically in high school, earning a full scholarship to the University of Central Florida. As a college football team captain, Emil demonstrated stellar leadership and strategic skills. He went on to have a six-year professional football career with the Tampa Bay Bucs, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders. Upon retiring from the NFL, Emil transitioned into entrepreneurship and community leadership roles.

Emil currently serves as CEO of InnoPower Indy Inc., driving innovative community empowerment programs. He has also served as President of the Indianapolis Black Expo Indy chapter and Indy Youth Sports, while serving on nonprofit boards like Friends of Education, Teach for America Indy and the Boys Scouts of America.

With a commitment to advancing black talent and closing wealth gaps, Emil brings collaboration, innovation and courage to his community leadership. He continues to create sustainable change as a beacon of hope for African and African American communities.

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Press Release

The Nigeria Office for Philanthropy to Showcase I-PHILANTHROPY Platform at 2024 IMBW @ RALLY



Nigeria Office for Philanthropy (NPO) Chairperson, Thelma Ekiyor Solanke (Image: Supplied).

The Nigeria Office for Philanthropy (NPO) is set to introduce its groundbreaking I-PHILANTHROPY platform at a high-profile roundtable discussion during the 2024 innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY, taking place on August 27-28 in Indianapolis. This landmark event, hosted by NPO Chairperson Honorable Thelma Ekiyor Solanke, will explore innovative solutions for creating access to capital in disenfranchised communities.

I-PHILANTHROPY is a cutting-edge digital solution that leverages technology to support Nigerian small business owners and create unprecedented access to capital for micro-enterprises. The platform’s success in Nigeria offers a promising model for addressing similar challenges faced by underserved communities in the United States.


“I-PHILANTHROPY represents a paradigm shift in financial inclusion and support for micro-enterprises,” said Honorable Thelma Ekiyor Solanke. “We’re excited to share our experiences at innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY and explore how this model can be adapted to empower disenfranchised communities in the USA.”

The roundtable will discuss:

– I-PHILANTHROPY’s impact on capital access for Nigerian micro-businesses.

– Potential applications of the model in US minority communities.

– Strategies for engaging diaspora and global participants in local economic development.

– Opportunities for international collaboration in supporting grassroots entrepreneurship.

This showcase is a highlight of innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY, a premier event that combines innoPower’s focus on empowering minority-owned businesses with RALLY’s emphasis on innovative solutions to global challenges. The conference brings together entrepreneurs, investors, community leaders, and innovators to share knowledge, build networks, and drive economic empowerment.

“The I-PHILANTHROPY platform aligns perfectly with our mission to foster growth and success among minority-owned businesses,” said Emil Ekiyor, Founder at innoPower. “This roundtable offers a unique opportunity to learn from international best practices and explore new strategies for addressing capital access challenges in our communities.”

Erica Schweyer, Executioner at RALLY, added, “By bringing together diverse voices from technology, business, and philanthropy, we aim to catalyze transformative ideas that can have real-world impact on disenfranchised communities both in the US and globally.”


Sign up for the Roundtable and receive a 88% discount


About Nigeria Office for Philanthropy (NPO):

NPO is at the forefront of leveraging technology for social good in Nigeria. Their I-PHILANTHROPY platform is revolutionizing how global participants can support Nigerian micro-enterprises and contribute to local economic development.

About innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY:

This collaborative event combines innoPower’s focus on fostering growth and success among minority-owned businesses with RALLY’s emphasis on innovation and transformative ideas. It brings together entrepreneurs, investors, community leaders, and innovators to share knowledge, build networks, and drive economic empowerment.

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Press Release

Swedfund invests USD 30 million in Access Bank to fund underserved MSMEs in Nigeria



Swedfund invests USD 30 million in Access Bank Nigeria Plc to reach underserved MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) at scale. By providing long-term capital and capacity building to unbanked and under-banked companies in Nigeria, the investment is expected to support sustainable private sector development and inclusive growth.

Nigeria, with a population of 230 million, has an unemployment rate at a staggering 33%. Additionally, over half of the rapidly growing population is below the age of 30, which further exacerbates the need for job creation and workforce development. As Nigeria also copes with a multitude of crises, including insecurity, food shortages and inflation, the resilience and power of MSMEs is critical to driving sustainable development and reducing poverty.

Swedfund’s investment aids in advancing sustainable private sector development, encouraging inclusive growth, and expanding access to finance. Access Bank, known for its strong market presence and with a committed MSME strategy, serves as an effective partner to reach MSMEs in need of financing in Nigeria, says Kitanha Toure, Regional Director of West Africa at Swedfund.


Access Bank is systemically important and well-positioned to reach a significant number of MSMEs in Nigeria. Swedfund’s investment will contribute to direct and indirect job creation and other tax-generating activities as well as improved access to finance for rural and underserved groups, female- and youth-owned companies.

Access Bank is eligible to meet the 2X Criteria, a global baseline standard for gender finance, and recognised as the best SME bank for women entrepreneurs in Africa.

The loan is part of a syndicate led by the Dutch development finance institution, FMO, with a total value of USD 295 million. The syndicate consists of other Nordic and European development finance institutions such as BII, BIO, Finnfund and Norfund.

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