Founder and Executive Vice Chairman of CWG Plc, Austin Okere has received prestigious commendations from participants Foundations of Entrepreneurship class fall programme at the Columbia Business School (CBS), New York where he shared his experience in line with his role as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR).
The participants at his “fireside chat” session, composed of members of the CBS 2021 Fall class shared their commendations with the faculty in their numbers. For example, Chahat Chawla, a Senior Foreign Associate at Allen & Gledhill LLP said:
“I see Austin Okere not just as an entrepreneur, but also as a world leader – he had a vision that he was trying to bring to life, and it extended more than just a business I think his philosophy and the culture he created can be extended and applied to other realms as well.”
Similarly, Elizabeth Jourdan, a Deputy Chief Investment Officer at Granger Management Holdings also said:
“I thought that Austin Okere was really inspiring in the way he now dedicates his time to mentoring and coaching entrepreneurs and leaders. For him, success is about empowering others and making a positive impact on his community and shared prosperity.”
Another class member, Krishna Kurra, Vice President at Barclays Cards & Payments explained that Austin’s session had the sort of impact as a result of his experience as a leading entrepreneur in Africa. According to him,
“There are many successful entrepreneurs in emerging markets. However, it is rare to see someone who can bridge the emerging markets business environment with the developed markets business environment. Austin Okere makes it look easy and seamless to go back and forth between these two worlds. Amazing to see how Austin developed the business in Nigeria working with international corporates while working through the realities of Nigeria. I believe it’s much more challenging to develop a business in emerging, high-risk environments such as Nigeria than many other countries in the world.”
Speaking on the commendations, Mr Okere said that he is elated by the feedback as they justify his contributions as an entrepreneur in residence over the years. According to him, the commendations also offer some succour in the face of the prevailing negative narrative about African leaders and people.
“I have been an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at CBS since 2009, sharing my perspectives and insights with many cohorts of the MBA program through the CWG Plc case study developed and published by the institution. It is feedback like this that makes all worthwhile, a candle really loses nothing by lighting other candles.”
Recall that Austin was appointed EIR at the CBS in 2010 following his recognition by the school for his role in the growth of CWG Plc from a being startup to becoming a Pan-African ICT Powerhouse. This was followed by a case study on the success of CWG Plc by CBS and MIT in 2012.
Austin Okere is an entrepreneurship enthusiast. He is focused on mentoring and inspiring young people around the globe to achieve their full potential.
He was recognized with a “Lifetime Entrepreneurship Achievement Award” by the American University of Nigeria in January 2017 for his dedicated service and outstanding entrepreneurial accomplishments
He is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Columbia Business School (CBS), New York and a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Agenda Council on Innovation and Intrapreneurship.
Austin Okere also serves on the Advisory Board of the Global Business School Network (GBSN), a body dedicated to advancing the cause of knowledge sharing to inspire and transform business education across the globe.
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