Valerie Labi can be described as a social innovator, with a proven track record for nurturing growth strategies and delivering shared value in emerging markets. Valerie is making a significant contribution to tackling the global sanitation crisis by pioneering new forms of household sanitation with potential for widescale replication in emerging markets. She is currently Country Director of iDE (International Development Enterprises) and founder of Sama Sama a sanitation social enterprise; which uses a direct sales approach to increase people’s demand for improved toilets and aggregates local businesses in order to match supply.
Not only is her work today establishing a robust sanitation market ecosystem in Northern Ghana which aims to reach more than 300,000 people. Valerie previously served as CEO of Clean Team Toilets, 2013 winners of the Dame Lesley Strathie Award for Operational Excellence at the UK Civil Service Awards.
She excels when driving business transformation, providing leadership and finding innovative solutions to social issues. She is determined to empower households and improve living conditions in Africa by driving the ‘democratisation of toilets’ and the ‘commercialisation of waste’ across the continent.
Her accomplishments to date at driving social change through business were recently acknowledged when she was recognised as one of the ‘10 under 35 Changemakers in Ghana’. Valerie was honoured by President Obama when she was awarded the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders 2014.
In addition to being a mother and a business leader, Valerie is pioneering in academia contributing to thought leadership, as a Graduate MSt in Sustainability Leadership from Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, UK.