Arese Ugwu: Teaching African Women How to Make Their Money Work for Them


Arese Ugwu is the founder of Smart Money Africa, a personal finance platform targeting millennial Africans, with a mission to educate all Africans about financial literacy. Arese‘s ground-breaking books, The Smart Money Woman and Smart Money Tribe, are helping young Africans make wiser financial decisions to empower their futures.


It’s important to Arese Ugwu that women become more self-aware about financial issues. Her passion is rooted in her personal experiences. She had a career in finance, but even with her knowledge about growing wealth and making investments, the reality of managing personal finances was driven home when she became a single mother. From her experiences facing financial challenges, she wants others to learn how to manage their money better.

Hear about how Arese came around to authoring her books and some interesting experiences setting up a tour. She talks about the power of social media and using the platforms she organically built to create her business.

During the conversation, Arese talks about peer pressure as a detriment to saving and investing. A key theme is spending should be a reflection of your values and not spending like society thinks you should.

Listen to this episode for Arese Ugwu’s advice about personal finances and what she has learned from starting her business.

Highlights of the episode:

  • The power of story as a medium for learning (2:38)
  • Why having a saving and investment mindset is so important and the dichotomy of mindsets (6:32)
  • What is financial independence for a woman? (9:51)
  • Building wealth is about balancing two levers (13:42)
  • We need to become more aware of our personal values and how they relate to our spending habits (17:18)
  • Africa will humble you quickly. Some advice for navigating your career or business. (22:15)
  • Arese Ugwu’s journey to authoring her books (23:23)
  • Creating creative with her book launch and how it’s launching opportunities (31:04)
  • Our problems with finances are more universal than we think (36:48)
  • A discussion about pirates stealing digital works and its impact on the creators (41:29)

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