Ms. Thelma Ekiyor has over 21 years’ experience working in the development sector, as an Impact Investor, donor, philanthropic advisor, and social entrepreneur and work experience in over 22 African countries. She has pioneered, founded, and led several organisations and initiatives focused on impact investing and women’s economic empowerment. In 2020, Ms. Ekiyor was listed as one of the 50 most influential women in the development sector in Africa. In August 2021, the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, USA named Ms. Ekiyor asone of the top 10 “Black Women Give Back” global Honourees.
Ms. Ekiyor is currently the Managing Partner SME.NG – Nigeria’s Impact Investment Platform, which has set up two impact funds for women entrepreneurs. She is the Co- Founder/Chairperson of Afrigrants Resources and served as its pioneering CEO. At Afrigrants, she led the establishment of “Market Women’s Quick Cash” – A financial inclusion solution to provide micro-loans to women in disadvantaged communities, impacting 3000 women in northern and southern states in Nigeria.
Ms. Ekiyor holds an MBA (Entrepreneurship & Innovation) from Imperial College London, UK; a Law Degree (LLB Honours) from University of Buckingham UK, and she is a Stanford University (USA) Fellow. Ms. Ekiyor currently serves on the Convergence Funding Committee for the SDG Impact Finance Initiative Design Funding Window.