Title and Organization:
Simi Nwogugu is the CEO of Junior Achievement Africa (JA Africa), which equips young
Africans with financial literacy, entrepreneurship and employability skills for future success. JA
Africa is a member of Junior Achievement Worldwide, which is the worldâ€™s largest
youth-serving non-profit economic education organizations. Prior to joining JA Africa, Simi
served as the executive director of Junior Achievement (JA) Nigeria, which she brought to
Nigeria in 1999, after she served as a volunteer in New York and realized that the
entrepreneurial training programs were exactly what the large unemployed youth
population in Nigeria needed.
Simi started her career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs after studying
economics and English at Mount Holyoke College, and it was at Goldman that she was
introduced to JA New York. After setting up and running JA Nigeria for three years, she left to
pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School, after which she worked at MTV Networks in
Business Development and Corporate Strategy for a few years before launching HOD
Consulting, Inc., a New York-based leadership development firm that helps major
corporations retain and advance high-performing women, particularly women of color.
Simi and her contribution to work-life management in the United States, youth
empowerment in Nigeria and her own personal struggles to balance work, family and social
responsibility, are the subject of a Harvard Business School case study titled, An
Entrepreneurâ€™s Journey: Simi Nwogugu. After a decade of entrepreneurship, Simi returned to
her role as executive director of JAN in 2016, to help the organisation expand its economic
empowerment programs to reach one million young people across Nigeria, which was
achieved in the first quarter of 2020.