The Board

Nnenna Onyewuchi

Nnenna has over a decade of experience in marketing communication. She started her career at McCann Erickson, New York, managing business development activities for the New York office and coordinating offices across the network for global pitches, before moving into Strategic Planning, where she rose to the position of Vice President.

While at McCann, she helped conceive Tag Ideation, a lifestyle marketing practice group, developing a set of proprietary research tools and co-designing a proprietary branding model. She returned to Nigeria in 2004.

Since returning to Nigeria, Nnenna has worked in advertising, event planning and content development for international brands like Standard Chartered, MTV, Coca-Cola, BAT, Celtel, Motorola and Microsoft, as well as local brands such as Paga, FCMB, V Mobile, Virgin Nigeria, Cross River State Tourism, Oando and First Bank.
After positions at Chris Parkes Marketing Solutions, Small World Media and TBWA/Concept, Nnenna joined ZK Advertising in 2007. In her time at ZK, she developed comprehensive strategies for clients including Zain, Dangote and several PZ Cussons brands. In her second year at ZK, Nnenna also took on the role of Creative Director, developing award-winning advertising for a variety of clients.
In 2011, Nnenna and her partners took over the agency, rebranding it to Yellow Brick Road. She is also a founding partner in Blackbox, a strategic marketing consultancy.

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Kathleen McGinn

Kathleen is the Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, having previously served as the Chair of Harvard Business School’s Doctoral Programs and as Director of Research and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development. Professor McGinn studies the role of gender at work and in negotiations.

Her current field research investigates these issues in North & Central American professional service firms, among self-employed women in India, and in relation to health and welfare outcomes for young women in Zambia.

Professor McGinn advises not-for-profit organizations in the areas of negotiation, gender and employment relations. Before joining Harvard, Professor McGinn taught at Cornell University’s Johnson School and Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She received her Ph.D. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Prior to her academic career, Professor McGinn was a director of labor relations in the public sector. When her daughter left for college, Professor McGinn and her husband moved to a long-abandoned farm and are (forever) in the process of bringing it back to some semblance of its prior self.

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Bryan Mezue

Bryan is the founder and MD of Banyi Group, an investment and advisory firm that promotes market-creating innovations in Africa. Banyi Group advises key decision-makers on how disruptive innovations can drive development and also partners with world-class operators to build disruptive companies in Africa.

Prior to founding Banyi, Bryan was a research fellow at the Forum for Growth and Innovation, where he collaborated closely with Professor Clay Christensen to pioneer research on the relationship between disruptive innovations and economic development. Their work explored how governments, investors and entrepreneurs can super-charge development outcomes by embracing the principles of market-creating disruptions (simple, scalable solutions targeted at non-consumption).

Featured in publications such as Foreign Affairs and Harvard Business Review, their work has proved a hallmark for many emerging market leaders and continues to spur further research.
Bryan was also a Manager at Bain & Company, where he was a founding member of the firm’s Lagos office and led multiple public and private sector projects across Africa. He is a co-founder of WAVE, and serves on the board. Bryan received an MBA from Harvard Business School and completed his undergraduate degree in Warwick University.

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Sola Adeola

Sola is passionate about education. She’s always seeking opportunities to empower and enable all to realize their dreams and potential, and to be contributors to society. She calls this freedom and achievement by design. In the course of her education and professional experience, she has built up skills in project management, program management,

program evaluation, process analysis and redesign, recruiting, mentoring, strategic thinking and execution. Sola is a thinker and an executor.

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Shirley Somuah

Shirley is a Principal at CardinalStone Capital Advisors (CCA), an SME focused private equity fund manager. She is passionate about building transformational businesses of scale across Africa, through catalytic investments alongside passionate entrepreneurs. In her current role, she leads the CCA investment team on transaction execution and portfolio company oversight.

Over the course of her time at CardinalStone, she has led thesis development, investment appraisals, operational set-up and value-creation efforts across businesses in agriculture, consumer goods, industrials and mining.

Prior to CardinalStone, Shirley was a management consultant in the New York and Dubai Offices of Oliver Wyman. In this role, she advised business across a range of industries in the Middle East and Africa. Shirley was also involved in conceptualizing and setting up the African Leadership Network – a community of emerging leaders from across Africa.
Shirley received an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.Sc in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.

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