London-based entrepreneur Patience Nwodu has won the Special Award for Intellectual Property in this year’s Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network awards.  IPAN sponsored the IP category with a cash prize towards the GWIIN 2020 Awards. IPAN’s Certificate of Appreciation from GWIIN can be accessed here.

For the first time, this year’s GWIIN awards took place online.

The invention that won the award for Patience Nwodu is a high quality, reusable and versatile carrier, now bearing the registered trade mark Chibu®.  The carrier is made from sustainable, renewable and biodegradable cotton canvas.

Patience’s inspiration for her invention came when she was trying to carry a large birthday cake on the London Underground:

“Struggling through the ticket barriers on the Underground, swiping my Oyster card, avoiding the rush hour commuters and uttering apologies – whilst trying not to drop the cake – I successfully made it onto the train. Surely it should NOT be this hard or stressful, I thought to myself. With that thought, Chíbu was born!”

IPAN Director Ruth Soetendorp, who was a member of the GWIIN judging panel, said that the judging process was an “exhausting but energising experience”, with nine judges from three continents judging almost 30 candidates – all via Zoom. “It was agreed unanimously to award Patience Nwodu the IPAN Prize – since she had, as a sole inventor and entrepreneur, sought to engage with the IP system, not only by registering the Chíbu trade mark, but also by applying to patent her invention.”

Congratulating the GWIIN award winners, IPAN’s Chairman John Ogier said “You have already taken some of the most vital steps to realise your dreams and ambitions, in creating your business for your invention or innovation.

“There are many challenges to launching a successful business. In the 21st century economy, it is not enough just to have a good idea or even a great new product or service. You need to be able to realise the value of your innovation in a globally competitive market. This means being able to protect the ownership of your innovation and create a recognised brand identity in the marketplace. Intellectual Property provides you with the tools to be able to do this.”

For more information, including details of the other GWIIN prizewinners, contact:

Bola Olabisi, GWIIN:

Peter Prowse, IPAN:

Ruth Soetendorp, IPAN:

Patience Nwodu, winner of the Special Award for Intellectual Property in this year’s Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network awards, for her Chibu®  carrier:

Patience  Nwodu


Bola Olabisi set up GlobalWIIN in 1998 in recognition of the challenges that women face in bringing commercially viable products and breakthrough developments to market. She has developed it into a key vehicle for assisting the examination, exploitation and sustainability of ingenious concepts and ideas while showcasing the originality, intellectual property, product development, technology, investment opportunities, business acumen and route to market.

IPAN supports the aims of GWIIN. It seeks to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in its membership and activities, encouraging all to contribute fully on an equal basis.