Social Entrepreneur, Women & Girls Advocate


Vivian Onano is a social entrepreneur and humanitarian recognized for leading change on the African continent. She’s an advocate for education, women economic empowerment and leadership. Vivian wants to re-define Africa as a more inclusive world where women and youth can play an important role in its development.  

Graduate of Carthage College, and a strategic development consultant on education, youth empowerment & employment, and women economic empowerment, Vivian is the Founder/Director at Leading Light Initiative and Youth Advisor at Global Education Monitoring Report, UNESCO.  She is currently the Vice-Chair of the Global Youth Empowerment Fund Board of Trustees, Nutrition International board director, Women Deliver board member, Africa Shared Value Initiative Leadership Council and Concordia Africa advisor.  

In 2016 New African Woman Magazine considered her one of the “30 under 30: Faces Changing Africa Now”. She was also named “One to Watch” by Forbes Woman Africa. As for awards, in 2015 she was recognized by Mrs. Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” award by MORE Magazine for her advocacy work around girls’ education. Next year she gained the MTV “Africa Re-Imagined” award, and in 2017, she received the New African Woman on the Rise award. She’s also a speaker in several events defending girls and women’s rights. 

Vivian wants to change the way the world defines development, and create space for girls and women to play important and decisive roles in Africa.