The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards was created in 2006 by Cartier, the Women’s Forum, McKinsey & Company and INSEAD business school to identify, support and encourage projects by women entrepreneurs.
Making Africa proud at the 2015 edition is Chinwe Ohajuruka, CEO of Comprehensive Design Services (CDS) in Nigeria, who has emerged has one of the 18 finalists drawn from six regions. They will now receive coaching from experienced businesspeople to move to the next round.
The Finalists will be invited to France for the final round of competition which includes submitting a detailed business plan and presenting their projects in front of the Jury after which one person for each six region is selected.
Below is a profile of Chinwe Ohajuruka as published on Cartier Women’s Initiative’s website
Chinwe Ohajuruka, 52, lives in the United States and is of Nigerian heritage. Her 3 degrees in architecture and 3 accreditations in green building led to the creation of Comprehensive Design Services, a company that provides “comprehensive solutions to complex problems”.
In 2011, Chinwe took a leave of absence from her job in the United States to voluntarily assist with the establishment of the Green Council of Nigeria. This position required significant research on social, environmental and financial aspects of the Nigerian economy. It was then that she became aware of the housing deficit in the country as well as the extent of the power, water and sanitation crisis. “The opportunity came when the African Diaspora Marketplace organised a business plan competition for the African diaspora in the United States to come back to their home countries and do impactful developments. When I saw the competition, the idea crystallised into affordable housing – affordable green housing in Nigeria.”