Story of the Month – Dunola Oladapo

Dunola Oladapo won the Women of the Future Community Spirit Awards in 2018 and credits the award with an increased confidence that led to her being selected for the Schwarzman Scholars fellowship which  is a one-year Global Affairs Master’s Degree programme at Tsinghua University in Beijing,

“My mum and I had the best time at the 2018 Women Of the Future Awards. I will never forget the feeling of electrifying shock when my name was announced as a winner. My mum basically froze when she heard my name, she forgot to even take pictures or record my acceptance speech. I was so humbled to win the award in the Community Spirit category for the work I do with my organisation Luton Lights. After serving as the 2017 UK G(irls)20 Ambassador in Germany, I founded Luton Lights to empower and inspire girls and women in my local community (, Instagram- @LutonLights).

From the point of being shortlisted, I have been exposed to an invaluable network of diverse and exciting women. The initial celebratory reception at CNBC London studios was my first glimpse into this influential platform, I got to make connections with female leaders in academia, tech, health, finance and government. Further networking opportunities with alumni have risen at exclusive events at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and The Speakers House at the House of Commons. These have presented me with the opportunity to speak about Luton Lights and gain advice from a supportive community of women.

This month Luton Lights ran a successful Entrepreneurship and Branding workshop where three local female CEOs spoke and inspired us on what it takes to start a business [please see picture attached]. The future of Luton Lights is definitely looking bright. I am currently collaborating with some WOF alumni whom I met at the awards ceremony on some exciting projects for Luton Lights, so watch this space!

On a personal note, I have recently been selected for the Schwarzman Scholars fellowship – a really competitive a one-year Global Affairs Master’s Degree programme at Tsinghua University in Beijing. My nomination for the WOF award last year was doubtlessly a key factor that made me stand out for this scholarship and this is a real testament to the transformative prestige of the Awards. I am so excited for the future and I am committed to maximising this opportunity and positively contributing to the WOF community.”