by Amy Martins
All entrepreneurs, no matter what the field of business, need role models they can look up to and strive to emulate, working hard to become as successful as they are.
Growing and successful economies need enthusiastic people in all areas of business life, and that is exactly what thriving Nigeria has. Big business makes a major contribution to the country’s economic health, but there are a growing number of young entrepreneurs who are starting their own businesses, especially in the area of technology.
All entrepreneurs, no matter what the field of business, need role models they can look up to and strive to emulate, working hard to become as successful as they are. Here are some examples of the top individuals who are driving Nigeria’s economy.
Chief Michael Adenuga
If the will to succeed against all the odds makes an entrepreneur then Chief Michael Adenuga is a shining example to all who are working to fulfill their own dreams. At university in the United States he worked as a security guard and a taxi driver to be able to put himself through school. His business administration skills gained there led him to own Consolidated Oil and Equitorial Trust Bank, and he has business interests in a number of countries.
This successful businesswoman, often referred to as “Nike”, has carved out her career in the fashion and beauty industries following her success in winning the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria contest. Since then she has developed a beauty and health spa, released a workout fitness video and is involved in developing a range of beauty products.
The respected West African entrepreneur Tunde Folawiyo is a strong supporter of the education system in Africa, Tunde Folawiyo is known for his philanthropic support of the promotion of youth development around the world. As the CEO of the conglomerate Yinka Folawiyo Group of Companies, his business interest in areas such as real estate, oil, gas and agriculture make him a respected business leader.
Nnaji started her career in the entertainment industry aged eight when she was a child actress on the popular TV soap opera Ripples. She moved into the film industry and has made dozens of Nollywood films. She is also a singer and her clothing line, named “St Genevieve”, was launched in 2008. All its proceeds are donated to charity.
A successful commodities trader, Alhaji Aliko Dangote owns and runs the Dangote Group, building it from small beginnings in 1977 to become one of Nigeria’s biggest businesses. His company operates in a variety of business sectors that include sugar refining, cement production and freighting, and has enterprises in several other countries, including Togo, Ghana and Benin.
Identical twin brothers Peter and Paul Okoye have built themselves successful careers in the music business with their brand of Nigerian hip hop under the name P-Square. They have made five studio albums, the first dating back to 2003, and in 2013 a Greatest Hits album was released. The duo has won a number of music awards and continues to work on new material.
As Nigeria’s economy moves forward, these and many other entrepreneurs set a fine example for all those seeking to make their way in the business world.
Contributed by Amy Martins
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.