Aston postgraduate sets up new book charity

Ayo Ajayi
MBA Graduate Ayo Ajayi with Paul Hebron, Aston University's Alumni Relations Officer

7th May, 2010

A week after graduating from his MBA programme, Ayo Ajayi, a big-hearted Aston University graduate, has helped to establish an innovative new charity which will see books from Aston University’s library shipped to books-deprived universities throughout Nigeria.

The inception of the Michael Andrew Olorunfemi Foundation was prompted by Ayo as a way of providing better educational opportunities for young people in Nigeria. The charity will ship its first batch of books to the country later this month. Between 200 and 1000 books will be donated in the first shipment with at least a further five shipments planned in the next twelve months. The books will focus on subjects offered by the University including Business & Management, Engineering, Modern Languages, Teaching, Life & Health Sciences, Social Sciences, IT, Teaching and English language.

Ayo Ajayi, MBA graduate, Aston Business School, Aston University, said:

“I was inspired by the massive opportunities that I benefitted from during my time at Aston Business School and, before I left to go back to Nigeria, decided I needed to develop a programme which would enable me to give back to the community I come from.

“Education is crucial for development, but with the limited investment in education in Nigeria, this seems to be a perfect way of making a difference and contributing towards empowering people, particularly youth. The remarkable support and exposure that I received during my MBA programme, and particularly the ethics and social responsibility module provided the inspiration for this books project.”

“This kind of collaborative project will significantly compliment to improve the standard of education in Nigeria, build capacity and will hopefully meet the aspiration of the Nigerian students for access to up-to-date and relevant educational material.”

Ayo concluded: “This pioneering project is the result of teamwork, I could not have done it alone. I wish to give credit to all those who have supported the project so far, and are continuing to do so.”

Dr Brigitte Nicolaud, MBA Director, Aston Business School, Aston University, added:

“Ayo has been a delightful student throughout the course, showing both total dedication to his studies whilst bringing joy and fun to his colleagues with his contagious smile.

“Ayo’s energy and determination in setting up the ‘Books for Nigeria’ project is truly inspirational. I don’t think anyone or anything could have stopped him!”

Ayo’s charitable activities have been supported by Chief Olorunfemi – a senior business official in Nigeria and a close relative of Ayo’s. Since completing his MBA, Ayo has returned to his home in Lagos, Nigeria to pursue a career in business consultancy. Co-ordination of the Michael Andrew Olorunfemi Foundation activities from the UK will be continued by current MBA students Wale Adigun, Ayoola Adeola and Fatima Jika. The Foundation will also be supported in Nigeria by Aston Business School Alumni Nigeria chapter led by Tochukwu Kemakolam.

Notes to Editors:

  • Aston Business School’s world renowned MBA programme allows aspiring senior executives to develop high level management skills. The programme, which includes modules such as business, ethics &  responsibility, innovation and entrepreneurship, leadership development, strategic management, marketing management, business finance and organisational behaviour scores consistently highly in global rankings. In 2009’s FT league table, it was positioned 12th in the UK and in the same year in The Economist league table it came in at 67th in the world.

  • Due to high demand, the Aston MBA programme will be offered via two new routes from the end of 2010 – the Distance Learning MBA and the Executive MBA. Visit www.astonmba.com for more information.


For more information contact Dhiren Katwa, Press Officer, Aston Business School on 0121 204 4954 or email d.katwa1@aston.ac.uk.

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