People-centred and purposeful: Joint BBA alumnus co-founded award-winning consulting firm
Nov 01, 2022
For Amarachi Nnah-Ogbonda, graduating with a joint degree in business and economics was a happy accident.
Nnah-Ogbonda moved to Canada on a full scholarship offered by the state government of her home country, Nigeria, to study economics. She started out at Fraser International College (FIC), where she completed her first year, and had the opportunity to take business electives.
Despite majoring in economics, she enjoyed business courses so much that she kept taking them as electives to learn and grow. Eventually, she realized she had taken so many business courses that she could enrol in a joint major—and she completed her joint degree with a cumulative grade point average over 4.0.
Since graduating, Nnah-Ogbonda has co-founded two consulting start-ups: Impact Plus Consulting Canada and Impact Partners Consulting Nigeria, both of which aim to fulfill her goal of delivering purposeful work and consultation for organizations across many sectors including education, technology, finance, social services, and more. She also teaches economics part-time as a sessional lecturer at Wilfrid Laurier International College.
During her time at SFU’s Beedie School of Business, Nnah-Ogbonda represented SFU Beedie at the 2014 Belgrade Business International Case Competition (BBICC) hosted in Serbia, where she developed core consulting skills that have served her well in her career. She received coaching from Peter Tingling, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, who has remained influential in her career trajectory over the years.
“SFU Beedie professors and leaders have been instrumental in my journey to date,” says Nnah-Ogbonda. “I consider them part of my advisory committee and I strongly feel that alumni should nurture these relationships post-graduation. SFU Beedie’s faculty and leadership have a wealth of knowledge, experience, and networks that could help you take your career to the next level.”
After graduating, Nnah-Ogbonda started her career as a business analyst with CHC Helicopter, then located in Richmond, B.C. She found the role on SFU Beedie’s job boards and her involvement in case competitions helped her prepare for and secure the job. Nnah-Ogbonda spent four years at CHC and changed roles to financial analyst, senior financial analyst, and finance manager, even relocating with the company to their new headquarters in Dallas, TX.
Nnah-Ogbonda went on to complete her MBA at Melbourne Business School (MBS) and decided to transition fully into consulting. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she relocated back to Canada with a desire to continue her trajectory of doing purposeful and meaningful work. She partnered with a close friend and fellow SFU alumnus, Precious Ile, whom she has known for over a decade, to co-found Impact Plus Consulting.
“Our expertise in strategy, community engagement, finance, and project management helps organizations make better strategic decisions,” says Nnah-Ogbonda. “We aim to help organizations achieve over 90 per cent buy-in on priorities that matter most to them and set them up for successful implementation.”
Impact Plus Consulting Canada recently worked on a project with the Faculty of Human and Social Development (HSD) at the University of Victoria (UVic) which won them the 2022 Core Values Award presented by IAP2 Canada, an association of professionals in the field of public participation. The UVic HSD faculty’s new dean engaged Impact Plus Consulting to facilitate the development of their faculty’s first five-year strategic plan in 40 years.
Using a grassroots approach, Nnah-Ogbonda’s team engaged over 600 HSD community members—students, staff, faculty, and alumni—to make their voices heard in developing the strategic plan. The highly collaborative nature of the plan resulted in over 90 per cent buy-in and was approved by the faculty council with no revisions.
“Participants told us they felt truly listened to because we acted on their feedback,” says Nnah-Ogbonda. “They also told us that it was one of the most engaging processes they’ve been part of, especially in a fully remote setting due to the pandemic restrictions.”
In the next few years, Nnah-Ogbonda sees herself contributing more to the economic development of Africa as an impact investor and policy advisor—objectives that are already in motion via her other start-up, Impact Partners Consulting Nigeria, a sister-brand she co-founded for the African market.
As for Impact Plus, Nnah-Ogbonda wants to continue doing meaningful and purposeful work. “I see us delivering more high-stakes, high-priority projects for government agencies, non-profits, and for-purpose businesses in Canada and beyond.”