Wednesday, February 25, 2015

E-Magnify Salutes Business Women in Black History: Folorunso Alakija

Name: Folorunso Alakija

Age: 64

Role: Founder, Executive Vice Chairman

Business: Famfa Oil Limited

Industry: Oil, Printing, Fashion

What Makes Her Historic: 
Folorunso Alakija is a Nigerian-born author and entrepreneur who amassed her fortune in the oil, printing, and fashion industries. According to Forbes, this pioneer and self-made billionaire’s net worth exceeds that of Oprah Winfrey, making her the world’s richest black woman. Alakija was born into a wealthy Nigerian family and educated in Nigeria and London, where she later worked in the 1970’s as a secretary for the International Merchant Bank of Nigeria. She left that post to study fashion design at the American College, London and the Central School of Fashion, where she later founded the highly successful Rose of Sharon House of Fashion and earned Nigeria’s honor as Best Designer in 1986. By 1993, she had leveraged this role to purchase an Oil Processing license and formed Famfa Oil. Alakija is also known for her philanthropy. In 2008, she created the Rose of Sharon Foundation, which has assisted more than 2,760 widows by offering financial support, scholarships for their children, and start-up capital in the form of interest free loans. Alakija lives in Lagos, Nigeria, with her husband of 38 years, their four sons, and their grandchildren. 

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