#LLAInterview: “I love to see things get better and do well so with the vast knowledge I have,” Yvonne Chioma Ofodile, MD at Zetile Oil & Gas and Founder, 360 Woman Africa.

Image credit: Yvonne Chioma Ofodile

Yvonne Chioma Ofodile has over 10 years of combined experience in areas like human resource, business development and strategy, commercial/haulage sales and marketing, leadership and personal development within the oil and gas industry. She serves as the Managing Director at Zetile Oil and Gas– an integrated downstream Oil and Gas company that provides excellent and superior value across the entire value chain.

Yvonne is the founder of 360 Woman Africa, a leadership and enterprise development non-profit for women in Africa, and a UK certified Clarity and Business Coach. As an active young inspiring leader, she was listed as Top 100 inspiring and influential women in Nigeria by Leading Ladies Africa and in 2012 she was named a GEMSTONE Ambassador and has volunteered with GEMSTONE Leadership and Nation-building NGO where she served as the state coordinator for 4 years, during her time as a coordinator she specialized in event management, strategy, client services, and account management.

Yvonne has been recognized by several platforms for her work as a change agent, inspiring young women leaders and businesswoman with a deep interest in human capital development and business growth. A prolific public speaker, a mentor at the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs(AWE) by the US consulate as part of the White House led Women’s global development and prosperity initiative and a leading personal development coach in Africa..

She is the Founder of a Woman Skill development scheme; a platform she set up to challenge women to live their best lives intentionally towards the achievement of their dreams and actively growing the number of women-led/owned businesses and women in leadership positions. Through this platform, she showcases successful people in different walks of life who have against all odds consciously pursued their dreams to set up enterprises and are today celebrated for what they do.

In this interview with Yvonne, the #LLA100WOMEN2020 Honoree shares the inspiration behind becoming an entrepreneur, how her non-profit organization (360 Woman Africa) quips women with technical skills to thrive in a global and modern economy, some of the challenges she’s faced and what has kept her going, plus her next 5-year vision for herself/businesses. Lean in!

Can you tell us about you? Who is Yvonne Chioma Ofodile?

Yvonne Ofodile is the Founder and C.E.O of Zetile Oil and Gas Ltd an integrated downstream oil and gas distribution company that provides services across its entire value chain, she is also the Founder and Executive director of 360 Woman Africa, a leadership and enterprise development non-profit that equips women with technical skills to thrive in a global and modern economy.

The organization apart from its annual conference which has held for the past 4 years with over 1,000 conference delegates in attendance and other trainings, workshops, seminars and networking events it has held since inception has in the past 1 years given grants through its Fund Your Dream scheme to vetted and approved small business that are members of the 360 Woman tribe.

Yvonne is a graduate of Business Management from the University of Derby in the United Kingdom, she also has a diploma in management from the Chartered Management Institute in the United Kingdom and is also an associate member of the Chartered Management Institute in the UK, a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultant, an associate member of Women in Business, Management and Public service and a member of the coaches association of Nigeria.  With over 7 years in the coaching industry as a UK certified life coach, she spends a huge part of her leisure time coaching women in and out of her network on personal development, leadership, clarity, and business.

Image credit: Yvonne Chioma Ofodile

The inspiration behind establishing 360 Woman Africa.

My mother Dr (Mrs)Modesta Chinyere Ofodile is a huge part of my inspiration behind 360 Woman Africa. Growing up I saw her crush ceilings of every kind, break societal norms and limitations that are most familiar with women. I saw her daily work hard to reach her fullest potential, stand at every opportunity to teach and inspire change within women associations both in her place of work and communities she belonged to with the support of my dad Late Chief Augustine Agu-Ofodile.

She always wanted more in all spheres, as a mother for her children she wanted to see they had the best and were the best, as a public servant and lecturer she gave her very best to every student that worked through her down. This told me registered something in the subconscious, that I can be everything I want to be. That I have a place within the society, a vacuum to fill and a huge contribution to make.

As I advanced in life and started my journey to self-discovery and purpose, I then found with the help of my mentors Mr and Mrs Fela and Tara Durotoye, that if there is one thing I would do in life without been paid a cent for it, if there was one thing that kept me up at night, it would be my earnest desire to see more women in my community and society at large thrive; thereby, contributing their quota to nation-building and economy growth. Hence, the birth of 360 Woman Africa. 

Image credit: Yvonne Chioma Ofodile

You are a woman of many parts. What drives and motivates you?

An unbelievable sense of belief, deep-rooted faith and trust in God and my deep desire for global impact drives and motivates me daily to keep going. 

Measured impact and achievements with 360 Woman Africa.

Since inception in 2014 but officially registered in 2018 we have trained, worked with and mentored over 8,000 women both virtually and physically. Young women who are employees and entrepreneurs between the ages of 20-45.

Women who we are proud of, who now have businesses and have employed people which now helps reduce unemployment rates and who are now contributing within their communities by paying it forward. The Fund your Dream initiative is seen to have given about N500,000.00 to 5 women in business to help support and grow their brands.

Motivation and Inspiration behind your organization and what you do.

It will be the same as I have stated above. Additionally, for Zetile Oil and Gas, it would be for the fact that I worked within the industry for about 7 years and resigned to start up my company. So, for Zetile Oil it’s strictly business-driven. I love to grow things; I am not an introvert or a quiet person (lol), I love to see things get better and do well so with the vast knowledge I have in the downstream industry.

A special shout out to my mentor and former boss Engr Gabriel Ogbechie(GMD, Rainoil Ltd) and also my first boss in the industry, Mr Kenneth Ndabia: they daily inspire and motivate me to be my best. So, like every other thing I do, I am here, in the long run, building an enterprise that will outlive its founder for generations to come; and of course,  better the nation.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced, and what’s kept you going? 

For 360 Woman Africa, it would be access to funding majorly, few others will be adequate support from the media, busy schedule of the trainers, etc, however, what has kept us going is the deep-rooted desire to deliver on our vision.

Memorable moments and highlights in the course of your work? 

This is hard (lol). Sincerely, I have had several of them, for every time we set a goal and nailed it, for every time we wrap up a project, for every time recognition is sent our way, a recommendation and a host of others. The most recent would be the Top 100 listing from you guys. It gave everyone in the team a good feel to keep working. Thank you to Francesca Uriri for showing up for me.

Image credit: Yvonne Chioma Ofodile

With how far you’ve come, and your success, what achievements do you hope for in the next 5 years?

Where do I start? Okay, I will do 3.

  • Take the Woman Thrive annual conference and skill development scheme by 360 Woman Africa to over 5 states in Nigeria and 2 African countries consistently in the next 5 years.
  • Get our work on Forbes global magazine and win the social enterprise award category at the Future Awards.
  • Increase Zetile Oil and Gas Ltd retail marketing outlets to 10 across 5 states in Nigeria.

 

The Leading Ladies Africa weekly interview series focuses on women of African descent, showcases their experiences across all socio-economic sectors, highlights their personal and professional achievements and offers useful advice on how to make life more satisfying for women.

Do you know any woman of African descent doing phenomenal things? Send an email to lead@leadingladiesafrica.org and we just might feature her.

 

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