• Thursday, June 13, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Unoma Okorafor, co-founder, Fairview Data Technologies

Unoma Okorafor, co-founder, Fairview Data Technologies

Unoma Okorafor is the founder and president of ‘Working to Advance STEM Education for African Women’ (WAAW) Foundation, a 501(c) nonprofit founded in 2017 to promote Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) education for African women, and ensure that talent is engaged in technology innovation on the African continent.

A serial and social entrepreneur, Okorafor is also the founder and CEO of Herbal Goodness, health and wellness company that manufactures organic health beverages and supplements. She is also the co-founder and Principal at Fairview Data Technologies Inc, a data science company operating in manufacturing and supply chain. She is a licensed real estate agent.

Okorafor received her undergraduate degree from the University of Lagos, her M.Sc. from Rice University, Houston, TX, and her PhD at Texas A & M University, all in computer engineering. She is a graduate of INSEAD’s social entrepreneurship program and Stanford University Business School’s executive program in social entrepreneurship.

Her industry experience includes: Tech Lead, Education Technology Division at Texas Instruments. She has worked at Intel, HP and IBM research labs. Okorafor is a member of IEEE, ACM, SWE and NSBE, and was a recipient of the Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the AAUW Engineering Dissertation Fellowship and the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Fellowship for promoting STEM education. She is a visiting professor at the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) Abuja, Nigeria where she teaches computer science courses.

Unoma has been a speaker and thought leader at several events including SXSW, WISE Conference, Women’s Forum and Ashoka Foundation Change makers. She is a 2010 Crans Montana ‘Future World leader’, and was a recipient of the 2013 Anita Borg Social Change Agent Award, and the 2016 winner of the GEM Tech Awards from ITU and UN Women.

Recently turning 50, she found herself overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude and accomplishment, knowing that these five decades have been a journey of not only her personal growth, but also an opportunity to impact the world positively through ‘Herbal Goodness’ and the WAAW Foundation. From the very first day, her mission has been clear, which is to harness the power of nature to promote health and wellness, and to empower underrepresented groups in stem fields, ensuring they have the support and resources to thrive.

As she steps into the next decade of her life, Unoma Okorafor is more committed than ever to pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved collectively. She has authored several international journals and conference papers.