The success stories of African entrepreneurs is quite interesting to follow because they inspire us all to be better version of ourselves. We are proud of Africans who are innovative in their choice of business to provide solutions to various issues in Africa.
Specifically, Nigeria is a country that is naturally endowed with so many things, it is embedded with all kinds of natural, mineral and most importantly, human resources.
Founders Africa has compiled a list of hardworking entrepreneurs who have carved a niche for themselves in the Nigerian business world.
Here are 8 Nigerian founders we absolutely love!
1) Folorunsho Alakija
At the moment, Folorunsho Alakija is the most successful Nigerian businesswoman, who is also one of the wealthiest women in Africa, as well as one of the wealthiest black women in the world.
At one point, she even came above Oprah Winfrey in the rating of the richest black women in the world.
Her career started in the mid-70s when she worked as a secretary. She is mostly known as the group managing director of the company “Rose of Sharon Group”.
She is an executive vice-chairman of “Famfa Oil Limited”, from which she makes huge profits.
Folorunsho Alakija does a lot of charity works, one of which includes donating to the widows through “Rose of Sharon” foundation.
She is the most prominent example of success for Nigerian young women, and she shows how powerful they can be if they work hard enough and believe in themselves.
2) Aliko Dangote
His birthplace is Kano State, Nigeria. In 1977, when he was only 20 years old, he started the business group called “Dangote Group”. He got a generous loan of N500,000 from his grandfather, Alhaji Sanusi Dantata.
Aliko Dangote’s firm started as a very small firm which specialized in trading. Now, it is a huge multi-billion corporation, with branches situated not only in Nigeria, but in the other African countries like Ghana, Benin Republic, and Togo.
The Dangote Group is famous for being the biggest industrial group in the Western Africa region. It has more than 11,000 employees.
In 2013, Aliko Dangote was ranked by the influential magazine Forbes as Africa’s richest man, as well as the world’s richest black man.
3) Jimoh Ibrahim
The politician, businessman, lawyer, and philanthropist Jimoh Ibrahim always knew that success will come his way one day, and that all he had to do was work diligently for it.
He studied Law at Obafemi Awolowo University in Osun State where he obtained both Bachelor and Masters degrees. Afterwards, he went to the United States to study at Harvard University.
After completing his education, he began investing in a lot of profitable sectors. Some of his investment sectors are hotels, airlines, resorts, real estate, banking, publishing, insurance, and oil and gas distribution.
He holds an honorable position as the chairman of Global Fleet Group, which is a large diverse Nigeria-based conglomerate company. It has a huge number of subsidiaries in different cities of Nigeria, mainly Lagos, as well as in other African countries – Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe, just to name a few.
Jimoh Ibrahim is a published writer, he has been credited as an author of three books and is also the publisher of Nigerian National Mirror Newspaper.
4) Uche Pedro
Uche is the founder of Bellanaija, an entertainment, fashion and lifestyle website. She is now one of the most popular bloggers in Nigeria. She created her site in 2006, and it has grown to become one of the biggest destinations for celebrity news and fashion trends on the internet, attracting more than 10 million page views per month.
She has been named by Forbes as one of the most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa.
5) Mike Adenuga
Mike Adenuga is the second richest Nigerian person and a multi-billionaire entrepreneur. He received his higher education from New York’s universities, Northwestern Oklahoma State University and then Pace University.
The company founded by Mike Adenuga, called “Globacom”, is the second-largest telecommunication operator in Nigeria. In Nigeria alone, it has more than 24 million subscribers. It also has offices in Benin, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire.
The businessman is also the owner of “Conoil Producing” company, which is one of the biggest oil companies in the country. The production capacity of it is approximately 100,000 barrels a day.
Currently, according to Forbes magazine, he is the second-wealthiest entrepreneur in Nigeria, giving the first place to Aliko Dangote.
6) Femi Otedola
Otedola is a well-known philanthropist and oil magnate, he was born in Ibadan, Oyo State. He has successfully established companies in Nigeria and abroad. including prominent businesses, Forte Oil PLC, the fuel production importer which he is a chairman of, and Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, which specializes in distribution and marketing.
He has made huge investments in other business spheres, such as finance, real estate, and shipping.
The billionaire did not just make a name for himself but has inspired and opened up platforms for his family to be just as successful as him.
7) Oba Otudeko
Born into a royal line in Ibadan, Oyo State, this business entrepreneur is the chairman of Honeywell Group and FBN Holdings Plc, which specialize in oil and gas, real estate, marine transportation, and flour milling.
He is an Accountancy graduate of Leeds College of Commerce, United Kingdom and with his education, he has worked as a banker, accountant, and corporate secretary.
Oba Otudeko is a respectable man who is involved in dozens of various businesses and has received a lot of awards for his contributions. Of course, he is the most famous for his Honeywell Group, but he also helped a lot of other businesses grow. He also founded the Oba Otudeko Foundation, which specializes in charity and philanthropy.
8) Jim Ovia
Jim Ovia is the founder of Zenith Bank. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Southern University in Louisiana, as well as Masters degree from the University of Louisiana in the same discipline. He is also a graduate of Harvard Business School.
In 1980, Jim Ovia founded Zenith Bank, which is now one of the most influential banking institutions in Nigeria.
Jim Ovia is not just a businessman – he is also involved in philanthropic work. He founded the Youth Empowerment ICT Foundation, an organization which is focused on improving Nigerian youth welfare and helping them embrace new communication and information technologies.