Who is Ini Abimbola?

There are very few established and highly cerebral social entrepreneurs who saw things differently, and then sacrificed their resources and time to point others in the right direction. On this pioneers’ list is Ini Abimbola, the founder of ThistlePraxis Consulting, a management consultancy, sustainability, strategy and business advisory firm based in Lagos, Nigeria.

In 2008, while studying for a Fellowship at Stanford University, Ini Abimbola saw Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from a different light. This would make her visit some of the successful businesses in Silicon Valley and California at large to understand their perspective
and involvement in CSR & Sustainability. She was amazed at how these businesses incorporated CSR into their business model to enhance the sustainability and growth of their businesses and economy. Armed with firsthand case studies, she excitedly returned to Nigeria with a singular focus—to guide and point corporate organizations and entrepreneurs to the importance of CSR as a business strategy and not just a feel-good philanthropy venture as was being done in Nigeria. This led to the birth of ThistlePraxis Consulting.

Her excitement was soon cut short as most organizations struggled to understand her unconventional perspective to CSR. However, Ini Abimbola was bent at changing people’s viewpoints. She would later sacrifice her life savings to organize the first Africa CEO Roundtable on Corporate Social Responsibility, a conference she went all out to organize annually. And in the third year, most corporate organizations started listening and seeing CSR and business sustainability from her perspective. In this interview, her philosophical view and down-to-earth advice on entrepreneurship will change your perspective to starting a business: