Adaora Mbelu-Diana

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Adaora Mbelu-Diana founder of trellis group
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Adaora Mbelu-Diana born 1987, is a Nigerian Creative Industrialist, Entrepreneur, Blogger and Philanthropist.  Adaora Mbelu-Dania is the founder and currently Head Of Innovation at A2 Creative – a Trellis Group Company. Trellis group is a group of companies in the brand development and experiential marketing space which was responsible for the ideation and experiential launch of Guinness Africa Special across Nigeria and has worked on several projects across various industries, with brands such as Microsoft, Google, Sterling Bank, Union Bank, Techno Oil, Lagos State Government, Nokia, Diageo, Absolut. Trellis is also home to Nigeria’s Foremost Graffiti Artist, Osa Seven, Professional Violinist, GodwinStrings, Media Personality, Denola Grey. By the time she was 29, she was already running a million-dollar enterprise – A2 Creative.

Adaora is born into a diverse family background, a Nigerian Father and a Sri Lankan Mother, she considers herself a world citizen. She was born in Colombo, Srilanka, and raised in Lagos. Adaora’s journey in creativity and leadership started as a child, when she represented her primary school at the Lagos State Debate competition in the early 90’s and often appeared on the then popular children’s TV program “Speak Out” and “Children’s Variety”. Adaora was also vice president of the music club and health prefect of her primary school, where she coordinated the music band, and represented the school at various music competitions.

In 1997, she was admitted into the prestigious Queens College Secondary School, where she excelled academically and socially. At the age of 16, Adaora represented the future of Nigeria at the Global Young Leaders Conference in Washington DC and New York, she was among 350 outstanding scholars from various countries to attend the program. She was chosen again to represent Nigeria at the Congressional Youth Leadership Conference in Vienna, Austria.

Adora futhered her education at Northern Kentucky University, USA, where she studied Economics and Entrepreneurship, and was drafted into the National Honors Scholars Society as well as the Entrepreneurship Institute Honors Committee.

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Adaora Mbelu Diana, founder of trellis group

At 21 years old, Adaora started her career as a credit risk analyst at Citigroup, USA, before moving back to Nigeria in 2008. Adaora moved to Nigeria in 2008 and found that there were so many young Nigerians in the creative sector that were unable to harness their creativity and build sustainable brand/ business structures – she focused on bridging this gap. She has worked with various creative people to bring their ideas, projects, and brands to life. Adaora has a passion for innovation and a belief in the power of creativity to achieve extraordinary business results. Her experience spans across various industries, where she has gathered priceless experiences. Prior to forming Trellis Group, has worked as content director on the following projects – United Nations World Tourism Conference, Nigeria Centenary Awards, International Conference On Peace & Security.

At 23 years old, Adaora was the Corporate Communications manager for OSMI, and managed the company’s marketing communications for the 2010 World Cup. She then became the Assistant Project Manager for Nigerian Idol, and Project Manager for the Television show, Nigeria’s Got Talent where she was responsible for managing all aspects of the show – business and production. Since then Adaora has worked on projects across various industries. Some of these projects include: Copa Lagos, X Factor Nigeria, The United Nations World Tourism Organization conference, Nigeria Centenary Awards 2014, Presidential Democracy Day event with former President Goodluck Jonathan, and International Conference on Peace and Security (with 28 World Leaders in attendance).

Aside from her academic and professional accomplishments, Adaora has a passion for learning and teaching, as well as nurturing and building dreams. She is the founder of Socially Africa (www.sociallyafrica.com), a foundation that gives back to the community through several projects, one of which is Art For A Cause. Art for a cause is a platform to inspire and educate Children using Art as the medium of Communication. Every two months, together with a team of artists and volunteers, the Socially Africa team visits a school and paints educational artwork on their walls.

In addition, the team spends time with the kids, conducts a spelling bee, Teaches the importance of Nutrition and Exercise, as well as gives out merchandise, books, bags, crayons and Drawing books to the kids. Art For A Cause has been implemented in 11 schools across Nigeria, and 1 in Sri Lanka. Also, she was part of the team that co-ordinated the Athletes in Diaspora Community Interventions project, a foundation led by NFL players of Nigerian descent giving back to the community. She has also worked with the Non-Profit Organization, Volunteers of America as a supported living specialist for people with Developmental Disabilities.

Adaora is also the Co-founder of ‘The Amalgamation Project’– a platform for promoting social causes. She currently conducts brand and productivity trainings through the Decisive Advantage Enterprise Program at Trellis and her podcast “The Ripple Effect”. She is co- founder of www.theoctagon.com.ng, a platform that seeks to raise the level of thinking by bringing professionals together to discuss solutions to the various challenges across Nigeria’s Industries.

One of Adaora’s philosophies is the importance of living a purpose driven life and using as many of her gifts as possible. As a result, she finds several mediums to express to her creativity.

Adaora has held leadership positions as far back as college where she was President of the African Students Association, and Vice President of the International Students union at her campus. In 2011 she was named ‘Promising Young Entrepreneur’ in the MTV/MTN Meets Project, she was also named in the ‘Top 30 Under 30’ list by FAB Magazine. Adaora was nominated in the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ category at the 2012 Future Awards, Nigeria.

She was nominated again in the “Media Enterprise” Category at the same award show in 2016. First Black Recipient of “The Spirit Of Entrepreneurship” Scholarship by The Castellini Foundation. She has also been profiled on Under40CEO’s. most recently in 2017, Adaora was mentioned in Entrepreneur Magazine’s “11 Africans that are changing the business landscape in Africa.”