Entrepreneur, Chika Russell, renowned for received unanimous support from the Dragon’s Den. She is the founder of the award winning snack food company, Chika’s. She works in association with World Vision to promote an educational plan currently throughout Africa – with an aim to increase this to a global programme.
Motivational speaker, Chika Russell, is an international entrepreneur, mentor and speaker. She is a qualified management accountant and spent 10 years in banking before launching her snacks business, CHIKA’S. The business has grown rapidly and in 2021 secured a $9.8 million series ‘A’ investment to fund further expansion. Chika Russell has now embarked upon her most ambitious project to date with the goal of making CHIKA’S the largest independent snack company in West Africa by 2027.
Launched in 2015 in the U.K., the CHIKA’S range of Africa-inspired snacks immediately struck a chord with retailers including Waitrose, Co-Op, Holland & Barrett and Ocado and established CHIKA’S as a leader in the space. Chika Russell has grown her business with national listings and several thousand retail stockists in the UK and internationally.
CHIKA’S is now backed by Alitheia IDF, a gender-lens private equity fund supported by the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank. Alitheia founder, Tokunboh Ishmael, describes Chika Russell as: “A great entrepreneur who understands what she is doing; very dynamic and very hungry.” With financial backing from Alitheia, CHIKA’S Africa is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria and will manufacture 2 million snacks a week, employing over 300 people, including 70% women.
Chika Russell has appeared in BBC’s Dragons Den and gave what Deborah Meaden described as one of the best pitches ever. The battle between the 5 Dragons for a stake in the business was the most watched episode of the whole series. Chika is a regular on BBC Radio’s Wake up to Money and has been a guest BBC’S Question Time.
Chika is passionate about educating women and is a partner to World Vision in their Empowering Girls program. She is a founding member of the Conduit Club, which works to develop and promote positive social impact. Chika has also represented female-led SMEs at 10 Downing Street’s Women in Business events. In 2022 Chika was invited to take part as a celebrity judge in Starling Bank’s Take Flight business competition.
Chika Russell is in much demand as a business speaker and her presentation themes include:
Women in Business
Diversity and inclusion
In 2019 Chika was selected as one of the Top 30 Inspiring UK Entrepreneurs by Business Leader and was recognised by She Leads Africa for her contribution as a female African entrepreneur. She has also been recognised as a ‘Consumer Business Rising Star’ by the Black British Business Awards.
Feedback on her speeches and interviews includes:
“Thank you for delivering such an inspiring and powerful lecture last week. Without the atmosphere of a live venue and without the opportunity to build a rapport with a physical audience, there is even greater emphasis on each and every word you are saying. Your talk was so engaging and absorbing, so relevant and resonant, and so insightful and this meant that all our audience could really relate to you and your messages.” Mr JW Pressley, Head of Marketing, RGS Guildford, online event 2021
“Incredible speech by Chika Russell … A very good example of a focused & success-driven entrepreneur @AfricaYouthGala.” Joshua Babatunde, co-founder Creditz Music.
“Brilliant inspiring session.” The Grocery Girls.
“Thank you to the amazing speaker Chika Russell.” Corporate Afrika.
“Chika was fantastic! Thank you so much for making the recommendation and for helping to arrange it. A really great start to our new school year and wonderful to be able to have her in school with us.” Pippa Gilbert, Deputy Head, Putney High School.