Oluwatoyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji is the Founder and CEO of Rise Networks. Rise Networks is a Nigeria-based private and public sector funded Youth Interest social enterprise with a primary focus on wholesome youth and education development. The organization focuses on creating intellectual development and capacity building programs for young Nigerians between 16 and 30.

Toyosi alongside a growing and highly professional Board and Team, conceptualised 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, described in 2012 by then US First Lady, Michelle Obama as the largest Youth Conference in Nigeria in a Live Televised Address ahead of her Official Visit to Africa to launch the Young African Women Leaders Forum.

She is also the Founder/Product Architect of Passnownow.com, Nigeria’s Foremost Learning Based Social Community that uses simple innovation to deliver curriculum based, syllabus compliant classwork notes and exam revisions study materials to underserved Secondary School Students of Low-Income Families who attend Public Schools in Nigeria.


  • Oluwatoyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji was born on 8 November 1983 to the Family of James Ayodele & Felicia Mopelola Akerele.
  • She attended Ebun Oluwa Nursery and Primary School, Oregun Lagos from where she headed to Lagos State Model College Kankon Badagry, Lagos for her Junior Secondary Education from 1994 to 1996
  • She then went to Egbado College (now Yewa College) from 1998 till June 2000 for her Senior Secondary Education where she remarkably graduated as the best Student in the Essay Competition organised by the Aionian Group of Schools in Ogun State
  • She obtained a Second-Class Upper Degree in Civil Law from the University of Jos in April 2007.
  • She also holds a Strategic Management at Executive Level from Cambridge University’s Judge Business School.
  • She obtained a Certificate in Youth Inclusive Financial Services from University of New Hampshire, Durham, USA.
  • She holds a Certificate in Media Enterprise from the School of Media and Communication, Pan African University.
  • She has Executive Masters’ Certificate in Project Management from The Project Management College, UK.
  • She studied Digital Marketing Strategy at the UK Institute of Digital Marketing.
  • She is also an alumnus of the United States Government International Visitor Leadership Program.
  • She was once the VP, International Students Affairs at Harvard University John F. Kennedy School Students’ Government.
  • She is married to Obakorede Adekunle Ogunsiji who is an ICT/Innovation Professional.

Awards and Recognition

  • In 2007, she was selected as one of 101 Young African Leaders by the African Business Forum.
  • In 2008, Toyosi won the Future Africa Awards Best Use of Advocacy Category.
  • In May 2010, Toyosi was selected for the Nigeria Leadership Initiative’s Future Leaders Fellowship which is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
  • In 2011, she won the Excellence Awards of the School of Media and Communication, Pan African University.
  • In June of 2011, she was described by Mrs. Michelle Obama the First Lady of the United States 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 Toyosi remains the only Nigerian member till date.
  • In 2013, she was honoured 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.
  • In December 2014, she was named by Forbes Magazine & AFK Insider as Top 20 youngest Power Women in Africa.
  • In 2015, she made the Honours List of Genevieve Magazine’s Top 21 most Outstanding Nigerian Women.
  • 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 Nigerian Youth Leadership Awards jointly organized by Leap Africa, International Youth Foundation and NOKIA.

Entrepreneur of the week

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