Zainab Aliyu left for the UK in 1999, for a Foundation Programme in Business Administration at Henley College, Coventry and proceeded to the University of Nottingham where she studied Industrial Economics with Insurance. She completed her Masters in Corporate Strategy and Governance afterwards at Nottingham University Business School and went on to study for the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA).
Her career began in 2007 at Deloitte UK, where she qualified as a chartered accountant. She spent four years providing outstanding service to clients in the energy industry and subsequently leading projects in the Assurance Group carrying out internal audits and reporting to the Deloitte Board and Audit Committee.
Afterwards, she worked with Baker Hughes UK, engaging in risk and compliance projects across five continents for two years, where she continuously made recommendations, to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness (which included a regional review of Latin America treasury policies), and ultimately profitability, whilst adapting to various cultures and working styles.
Her next role was Project Accounting Manager/Financial Controller for an indigenous oil and gas company in Nigeria, where she worked for 7 years, responsible for managing, controlling, and reporting on three assets in various stages of development, with a combined annual budget of over $300 million in 2020.
Zainab had been on a self-discovery journey since 2016 and had yearned for more than the daily grind of a 9-5, more than being a wife and mum, all of which she was super grateful to God for, but wanted more. After the tragic passing of her mum in February 2020 to cancer, and the pause caused by Covid shortly after, Zainab was reminded of how short life is and what truly mattered.
She had absolute clarity to follow and pursue her dream. This hunger, clarity and journey led to the founding of AABOUX in 2017, which she left the corporate world for to focus on full time in 2020, one of the most fulfilling ventures built on love, creativity, passion, purpose and vision of building a global brand and leaving a legacy for her children and impact.
AABOUX is a luxurious leather brand that specialises in handcrafted limited-edition statement pieces, using the finest and most exquisite ethically soured leathers, with techniques perfected by their third-generation skilled artisans in Lagos, Nigeria.
AABOUX has a product line of over 30 magnificent pieces, 8 stockists in 5 countries (Nigeria, USA, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya), served customers in over 18 countries and featured in numerous magazine publications. They participated in New York Fashion Week in February 2023.
In November 2022, Zainab joined the Board of Leadway Pensure as an independent non-executive director serving in the Finance & Strategy; Risk & Compliance; and Audit committees.