In the fall of 2012, Mrs. Taffi Ayodele co-founded The Thando’s Group LLC, a Lagos and NY based footwear design and distribution company that provides a platform for African artists to co-design shoes for women that are comfortable, convenient, stylish and affordable. The Thando’s Group LLC shares profits with their featured designers and seeks to have a positive impact on the image of the African continent across the globe. Thando’s shoes are available on Nigeria’s largest online marketplace, Jumia.com in addition to eight other retail platforms. Mrs. Ayodele was the third place winner for the She Leads Africa Startup Competition in Lagos and was listed in Forbes as one of the 10 Emerging Women Entrepreneurs to Watch in Africa. In addition to The Thando’s Group, Mrs. Ayodele is Principal of TW Advisory, a boutique small business advisory practice. TW Advisory works both with firms that are planning expansions or explorations of new business opportunities. Mrs. Ayodele has helped owners identify sources of capital, develop marketing strategies to expand customer bases, and identify and bid on government and corporate contracts
Prior to starting TW Advisory, Mrs. Ayodele worked as Director of the Opportunity Programs Group for Financial and Professional Services at The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) from 2008-2011. DASNY is a public authority empowered to provide financing and construction services to nonprofit higher education and health care institutions, certain state agencies, and nonprofit organizations specified by law. In Fiscal Year 2010, DASNY issued more than $7.1 billion in tax-exempt bonds ending the fiscal year with an outstanding portfolio of bonds and notes of approximately $41.8 billion.
As Director of the Opportunity Programs Group for Financial and Professional Services, Mrs. Ayodele developed and implemented Authority-wide diversity programs and initiatives to broaden procurement opportunities and increase utilization of minority and women-owned businesses (M/WBE) with respect to financial and professional services.
She also worked alongside the Authority’s Executive Director on Governor David A. Paterson’s Task Force to increase participation by M/WBE firms in the financial and legal sectors. Mrs. Ayodele worked with the Task Force to recommend procurement policy and guidelines, develop performance measures to evaluate firms, collaborate and benchmark with other public authorities, and execute recommendations of the Task Force.
Prior to joining the Authority, Mrs. Ayodele served as Vice President of Investment Banking at Blaylock Robert Van, LLC. In addition, she was a business development consultant for Chesterfield Advisors, LLC.
Mrs. Ayodele is a two-time graduate of New York University with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the College of Arts and Sciences and an MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business.