Simi Nwogugu is the executive director of Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN), a member of Junior Achievement Worldwide, which is the world’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit economic education organization that empowers young people to own their economic success. Simi brought Junior Achievement 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 Entrepreneur’s Journey: Simi Nwogugu. After a decade of entrepreneurship, Simi returned to her role as executive director of JAN in 2016, to help the organization expand its economic empowerment programs to young people in the North, especially those displaced by the Boko Haram crisis. Junior Achievement Nigeria has reached over 670,000 in- and out-of-school youth in over 29 cities across Nigeria, and some of its alumni are successful business leaders and social entrepreneurs who volunteer their time and resources to ensure JAN’s sustainability.
Simi sits on the Advisory Council of the African Capital Alliance Foundation and is a member of the Global Advisory Committee for Teach For All. She is married with three children.