Creating Enabling Policies for Small Businesses: Lessons from Africa
While large companies typically have teams focused on advocacy and government lobbying to ensure their interests are advanced and protected, most small businesses do not have the resources to do the same.
This session features two experts from Kenya and Nigeria, Adron Naggayi Nalinya and Toki Mabogunje, who will share their experiences in building the skills of entrepreneurs and supportive infrastructure to shape micro and macro-economic and financial, and sector-specific policies that positively influence their ecosystem.
It will also provide practical insights into steps for amplifying the voices and protecting the interests of small businesses in hostile business environments.
Adron Naggayi Nalinya
Adron is a non-resident International Legal Specialist with the New Markets Lab based in Uganda. Her prior legal experience includes intellectual property, environment, energy, human rights, and health. Her work at NML is focused on a number of aspects of international law and development, including agricultural law and regulation, land tenure, financial services, and legal issues impacting emerging businesses. She is an Ugandan lawyer who holds a Master's in Law (LLM) degree from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.
Toki Mabogunje is a Nigerian lawyer, broadcaster, poet and business consultant. She is the 3rd female president of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), and the founder Toki Mabogunje & Co. Toki is a member of the governing council, the World Chamber of Federation. She is a law graduate from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife. She earned her LLM in International Business Law from the University of Exeter, England. Mabogunje was honored in 2014 as the Personality of the year for World Theater Day and Cultural Ambassador by NANTAP.
Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli
Mrs. Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli is an expert on social innovation, African agriculture and nutrition, entrepreneurship, and youth development. She has over 25 years of international development experience and is a recognized serial entrepreneur, author, public speaker, and consultant. She is the Max Bell School of Public Policy's McConnell Visiting Scholar for 2021-2022.
Mrs. Nwuneli started her career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, working in Chicago, New York, and Johannesburg. She returned to Nigeria in 2000 to serve as the pioneer executive director of FATE Foundation, supporting young entrepreneurs to start and scale their businesses. In 2002, she established LEAP Africa to inspire, empower, and equip a new cadre of principled, disciplined, and dynamic young leaders in Africa. In the same year, she established NIA to support female university students in Nigeria to achieve their highest potential.
Over the past 13 years, she has focused exclusively on transforming the African agriculture and nutrition landscape. Through her work as the co-founder and Managing Partner of Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition, she has partnered with a range of private and public sector organizations to implement ecosystem solutions in the African agriculture and food landscapes. As the co-founder of AACE Foods, which produces a range of packaged spices, seasonings, and cereals for local and international markets, Mrs. Nwuneli has propelled the growth of a catalytic business. As the founder of Nourishing Africa, a digital home for food and agriculture entrepreneurs operating on the African Continent, she is accelerating the growth of the ecosystem and supporting entrepreneurs in 35 African countries. Her latest start-up—Changing Narratives Africa—is building bridges by showcasing the Continent’s contributions to the global food ecosystem and scaling proudly African food and beverage brands.
Nwuneli serves on the boards of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), AGRA, Nigerian Breweries Plc. (Heineken), Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. India, Fairfax Africa Holdings Canada, Royal DSM Sustainability Board, Netherlands, and the African Philanthropy Forum. She previously served on the Boards of Nestle Nigeria Plc., the World Vegetable Center and Cornerstone Insurance Plc.
Nwuneli was recognized as a Young Global Leader and a Schwab Social Innovator by the World Economic Forum and received a National Honor from the Nigerian Government. She was listed as one of the 20 Power African Women by Forbes, on the 2019 100 Most Influential Africans List by New African Magazine and was a Harvard Business School 2021 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award Honoree. She is a TED Global speaker.
Nwuneli is the author of "Social Innovation in Africa: A Practical Guide for Scaling Impact," and "Food Entrepreneurs in Africa: Scaling Resilient Agriculture Businesses," both published by Routledge. She is also the author of “Working for God in the Marketplace.”
She holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was a Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government at the Harvard Kennedy School and an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow.