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#BellaNaijaWCW: How Bola Onada Sokunbi of Clever Girl Finance is Empowering Women toward Financial Independence

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In the last decade, there has been a significant spike in women empowerment advocacy and we’re here for it! There have been calls for humans to “have their own money,” as it’s the number one step to tackling gender inequality.

We know how some of these stories (in Nigeria and Africa) go – a man is the breadwinner of the family, sadly and shockingly, he dies, sometimes without insurance or any form of inheritance for the family; he may have even left some debts. The woman is devastated by the loss of her husband, and then the fear of her reality. She has to cater for herself and the children. No job, maybe no education or skill, no work experience, and no money.

These stories are changing and we must applaud those at the forefront of this change. Our #BellaNaijaWCW feature today shines the light on Bola Onada Sokunbi, a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI), money expert influencer and the founder/CEO of Clever Girl Finance.

Clever Girl Finance “is a financial empowerment platform for women who want to take charge of their finances and lay a solid financial foundation for themselves in order to live life on their own terms.”

Money-related issues are some of the strongest causes of relationship failure and collapse of many homes, and guess what? The female gender is the worst hit. Bola’s Clever Girl Finance provides women with financial guidance and key financial tips and tools to inspire them to pursue their dreams of financial independence in order to turn their dreams into reality.

Things were going well for Bola’s family until her dad retired 15 years before he had planned due to job loss and some health challenges. He had managed to send her three older brothers to university in England before this time, and she was the only one not yet in the university.

Her mother stepped up to the plate and gave her the opportunity to go to school, in Austria, England and the United States. Now, this is one of the stories with a happy ending, but this is not the case for many.

After college, Bola applied the money lessons she got from her parents and was able to save $100,000 in a little over 3 years even without earning a 6 figure salary.

“I did it by contributing to my employer sponsored retirement account, keeping my expenses low, saving half of my salary, and starting my own side gig that earned me $40,000 in the first two years,” she says.

Now the mistakes of previous generations are being repeated in this generation, and Bola wants to change that. Bola, having built a successful career in technology, business and strategy in over 11 years (working in Accenture, Comcast and Time Warner Cable) and made her own money mistakes, established Clever Girl Finance in 2015 with the goal of showing women how to have control when it comes to managing their finances.

The platform has a blog, a “Clever Girls Know” podcast, and also runs the Clever Girl Finance Academy. In 2017, Bola was named in YNaija/Leading Ladies Africa’s 100 Most Influential Women in Nigeria list.

Star Features