Adetola Olatunji

Senior Associate, Learn to Earn Fund

As a Senior Associate on the Learn to Earn fund, Adetola’s main focus is the design, launch and execution of the Learning Lab, a cross-sector community of social entrepreneurs, funders, college/K-12 leaders, and researchers in the College Access & Success field. Adetola works to leverage New Profit’s internal expertise in the space, as well as insights from key stakeholders in the field, to create the framework of the community. The fund aims to use the Learning Lab community to elucidate key barriers to progress in the field, identify high-potential solutions warranting further investment, and accelerate the learning and adoption of best practices within the ecosystem.

Adetola is passionate about sharing resources in underserved communities, maximizing social impact and encouraging entrepreneurship; these passions are largely drawn from her family’s experiences. She is the daughter of two social entrepreneurs and faith leaders who moved from Nigeria to this continent to ensure a better life for their kids. Her family’s financial sacrifices for her education influenced her decision to choose a career that would enable her to pay it forward to the communities that raised her. As she seeks to mirror the example set for her by her parents, working at New Profit rejuvenates her commitment to positively impacting underserved communities at-large.

After studying public-private partnerships and international relations at Princeton, Adetola began her career at Dhar Law, a law firm that baked the concept of “doing well by doing good” into the firm’s fundamental purpose. Adetola focused on identifying high-potential new ventures, and introduced early-stage companies such as Nouri Bar and Verbal Care into the firm’s client base on the advising side. Since being connected to Dhar Law, both companies have seen significant growth, and have been featured in news outlets such as the Huffington Post and the Boston Business Journal.

Adetola’s new-found passion for assessing entrepreneurial ventures combined with her academic interest in economic development eventually led her to the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a nonprofit strategy and research organization founded by Harvard Business School Michael Porter that seeks to private sector investment in inner cities to create jobs, wealth and income for local residents. At ICIC, Adetola focused on their partnership with the Goldman Sachs Foundation on an initiative called Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, a $500 million investment to help small businesses create jobs and economic opportunity by providing them with greater access to business education, financial capital, and business support services. Over the course of almost four years, through roles of increasing responsibility, ICIC gave Adetola the platform to alter the way the organization approached recruiting small business owners, particularly those located in underserved communities. While at ICIC, Adetola interviewed and evaluated almost a thousand small business owners from across the country, co-led a working group of the program’s national partners to transform the application process, and revamped the team’s internal training program.

Adetola is a Canadian-born, proud Nigerian who loves to dance and spend time with her two younger siblings. Outside of work, she is the Director of the Music Ministry at Destiny Molders Church in Randolph, and is an active member of the Young Professionals Network of the Urban League.