Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, a leader since her Primary School days, now renowned for her objectivity and no-holds-barred approach to development issues, is the Founder / CEO of RISE NETWORKS, a Leading Social Enterprise in Africa, with a deliberate interest in Technology and its relevance to Youth and Education Development across Africa. The performance oriented operational framework of RISE NETWORKS embodies inter-related delivery channels that include Youth and Education Development hinged on Innovation and Technology, Capacity Building on Youth Inclusion, Job Access, Strategy/Research, Content Creation, Sharing and Management and Project Management and Consulting Responsibilities along the lines of its core areas of expertise.

She is currently a Mason Fellow and Candidate in the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration Program at the Harvard University John F Kennedy School of Government, a respected inspirational and mindful young leader who is celebrated for National Leadership in the service of a larger cause, a worthy alumnus of the United States Government’s Prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program for emerging Leaders, she was described by the First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Michelle Obama in June of 2011 as one of her personal inspirations in a televised address to America as a prelude to her arrival in Africa for the Young African Women Leaders Forum of which I remain the only Nigerian member till date.

Toyosi received a 2nd Class Upper Bachelors’ degree in Civil Law from the University of Jos, has studied Strategic Management at Executive Level at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, obtained a Certificate in Youth Inclusive Financial Services from University of New Hampshire, Durham, USA, holds a Certificate in Media Enterprise from the School of Media and Communication, Pan African University and an Executive Masters’ Certificate in Project Management from The Project Management College, UK. She has also studied Digital Marketing Strategy at the UK Institute of Digital Marketing.

She is an accomplished serial entrepreneur, Author and Public speaker, her thoughts on leadership is evident in her first book, STRATE-TRICKS {strategies and tricks, the winning formula for emerging businesses} and other writings and interviews published in a wide variety of journals, newspapers and magazines, including the Nation, the Guardian, Forbes Magazine, Punch and This Day.

Toyosi spent most of her growing years shaping Nigerian Communities and her Youth; she is a devoted Mentor to hundreds of Young People in Business and Tertiary Institutions across Africa. Her values and ideals are evident in the ground breaking successes of many of the beneficiaries of her efforts and are attributable to her unflinching commitment to the value re-orientation, financial empowerment and Job Creation for the successor Generation of Africa. She is a respected advisor, content expert and commentator on issues of Entrepreneurship, Education and Governance. She is thoughtful, reflective and believes in strengthening others through shared vision, insights and perspectives. She is a creative problem solver highly skilled in attracting and sustaining Return on Investment in Business Ventures and a strong communicator with ability to present messages and influence diverse audiences.

She has, along with a growing and highly professional Board and Team, conceptualized and designed effective programs to deepen the links and learning opportunities for Young people in knowledge acquisition, access to Jobs through skills development and Nation Building. RISE Networks’ National Youth Forum, the longest standing Pan Nigerian, Campus Wide Youth Empowerment Program has attracted hundreds of thousands of students and Young Professionals in hundreds of communities in Nigerian States in the last 7 years.An instinctive entrepreneur and consummate young professional, her wide range of skills were recognized early in 2007 when she was selected as one of the 101 Young African Leaders by the African Business Leaders Forum of the Business in Africa Magazine.
She has been actively involved and remains a passionate volunteer for National and International projects and processes on the need to provide a platform for youth inclusion in policy formulation and implementation.

She has delivered Papers and presentations as well as led Expert focused group discussions on numerous occasions including the Nigerian Economic Summit, Women in Management, Business and Public Sector, Youth Africamp organized annually by Open Society Institute of East Africa, Women of West African Entrepreneurship, Africa Wide Consultation on Post 2015 Development Agenda and Expert Group Meeting, and the United Nations Media Workshop on Africa Governance Report. My media commentary and interviews include appearances on Channels Television, BET, Nigerian Television Authority, Africa Independent Television and South Africa Broadcasting Corporation.

In 2007, she was selected as one of 101 Young African Leaders by the African Business Forum, Toyosi is an Alumni of the Prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program of the United States Government, a recipient of numerous awards including Recognition by Crans Montana Forum in Europe as a New Leader of Tomorrow, This Day Awards for Nigeria’s Women of Distinction, Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 of Success Digest Entrepreneurial Awards, The 2011 Excellence Awards of the School of Media and Communication, Pan African University, The 2008 Future Africa Awards Best Use of Advocacy Category and the Nigerian Youth Leadership Awards jointly organized by Leap Africa, International Youth Foundation and NOKIA. She is also one of the honorees’ of the Top 100 Young Leaders’ Recognition at the Nigeria’s Centenary Celebrations by the Federal Government. In 2013, she was honored by the Federal Government as one of the Best 100 Young Nigerians in one of the events to mark Nigeria’s 100th anniversary as a union. Other awards and nominations include the Just U Award, Dynamix Awards and the Green Yaggy Achievement Award. She has also been honoured by 234 GIVE, a Social Initiative that encourages Nigerians to donate to the adopted Charities and improve livelihoods for the less privileged. In May of 2010, Toyosi was selected for the Nigeria Leadership Initiative’s Future Leaders Fellowship. NLI is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

In 2011, Toyosi was appointed a Member of The Right to Know Initiative, a Nonprofit focused on Human Rights and Open Data Issues and their social impact on Citizens. In 2014, she was appointed the Youngest Member of the Victims of Terrorism Funds Committee. In 2015, she was appointed a Jury Member of the Get Started Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge initiated by NESCAFÉ to empower Youth across the Continent and a Mentor of the African Entrepreneurship Awards & a Mentor on the Bank of Africa’s Africa Entrepreneurship Awards.

With a depth of versatility and huge expanse of certified knowledge and practical experience in Human Resource, Media, Digital Marketing, Enterprise Risk and Project Management, She is also a Business savvy Executive as she has vested interests in a world class Printing Firm with state of the art equipment and topnotch staff strength. As a result of the company’s insistence on global best practices and excellent standards in Quality, its Services have been useful to Multinationals, Corporate Organizations and Public Institutions. With Retail and Supply Chain for SMEs as one of my Passions, she found, Nigeria’s first online Print Store that delivers 24 hours Printing Service at low cost to Small Businesses via the Internet as well as the fastest growing online community for Nigerian Students, She also founded and incubated in 2012, which is the first and most comprehensive e-learning platform in Nigeria with the aim of helping indigent and deprived secondary school children to access and use Curriculum Compliant Education Content for free, from the comfort of Mobile Devices.

In December 2014, she was named by Forbes Magazine & AFK Insider as Top 20 youngest Power Women in Africa and she is humbled to be on the 2015 Honors List of Genevieve Magazine’s Top 21 most Outstanding Nigerian Women.

She is a humanist by choice in the scramble for modern Africa, a long time designer collector of all genres of music; she enjoys travelling, writing, teaching/mentoring and dancing. Her favorite quote which has formed her mantra for Years is one of the classics of the great poet, Maya Angelou – “I am a WOMAN, Nothing HUMAN can be alien to me”.

In 2017 Africa Youth Awards named him among the 100 Most Influential Young Africans, an initiative instituted to promote African youth movements and achieving and also restoring excellence in the works of young people across Africa.