Our Woman Crush Wednesday, Chinenye Uwanaka is a Nigerian lawyer and the founder of The Firma Law Advisory, a law firm specializing in emerging sectors, including mining and information technology. She is dedicated to community development and utilizes her legal expertise to support local companies and multinationals in Nigeria.
Chinenye is passionate about providing pro bono legal aid and advocating for human rights awareness, focusing on pre-trial detainees, indigent members of society, and women and children who have experienced violence.
Her journey began in 2017 after winning a beauty pageant in Nigeria, which inspired her passion for community development and led her to pursue a law degree in the UK. Upon returning to Nigeria and completing her legal training, Chinenye started her career at the Law Firm of Afe Babalola & Co. However, she soon sought a more impactful way of practicing law in Nigeria, which lead to the birthing of The Firma Law Advisory, where she now heads the Strategy and Business Development Team.
Chinenye is a strong advocate for emerging enterprises and actively supports non-profit organizations in Nigeria, particularly in education, health, and social justice. She channels her passion for impact investing through The Firma Foods Ltd, focusing on agriculture, and The Firma Energy Ltd, dedicated to renewable energy, with a strong emphasis on underserved areas.
Beyond her work, Chinenye is the Convener and Co-founder of Africa Policy Conversations (AfPC), a Pan African Think Tank, and serves as the Co-Chair of the Advisory Board for the ‘Nigeria Youth Futures Fund.’ She is also the Thematic Lead for Innovation and Intellectual Property for the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER).
Chinenye’s dedication and contributions have earned her various accolades, including a Social Impact Award from Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN, and recognition through the 40 under 40 Esq Legal Awards.
As the Founder and CEO of The Firma Foods and The Firma Energy, she has created platforms for impactful investments in agriculture and renewable energy.
Chinenye is not only a change-maker but also an International Speaker and Instructor, known for convening, hosting, and moderating various stakeholder engagements, conferences, and webinars, involving government agencies, policymakers, experts, economists, entertainers, and business leaders.
She has collaborated with organizations like The World Bank, European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim Bank), Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), NITDA, and the Development Bank of Nigeria, among others.
Her academic background includes a Diploma in French, a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Essex, United Kingdom, and an Executive Management certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School in the United States of America.
With her undiluted dedication to making a positive impact, Chinenye Uwanaka continues to inspire change on multiple fronts.