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Young African Entrepreneurs Share Their Secrets to Success

Chika and Chidi Nwaogu , Founders at (formerly LagBook, Nigeria’s answer to Facebook)

Chika and Chidi Nwaogu , founders of (formerly LagBook, Nigeria’s answer to Facebook)

American businessman Thomas Watson once said that “the business leaders of tomorrow will be young men of today – men like you who are preparing now for the great future which lies ahead. You may view the future with confidence, knowing that from the youth of today will emerge the leaders of tomorrow.”

Today, the reality of Watson’s statement can be seen across Africa as young people take up leadership and entrepreneurial roles while creating opportunities and empowering their communities. Yet there are other potential young leaders out there who, one way or the other, have been restricted either socially or financially or as a result of the environments in which they find themselves.

Hope is not lost. Such challenges are not new; many have experienced and overcome challenges to become role models.

So, are you a young person who feels your environment limits you, or are you about to give up on an idea that you believe could change you and your society positively? Then these inspiring quotes from young African leaders can help lift your spirit and give you a push that your dreams are valid. They are not a mirage. These business leaders are all under 40 – many of them in their 20s – and their advice resonates as they have the necessary experience, having built businesses from similar environments or circumstances that you might find yourself in. Bottom line is: If they could do it, you can do it!

Ludwick Marishane, CEO of Headboy, South Africa

“Do it for the love of power … the power to control your life, the power to change society, and, most of all, the power to live your dream. If you don’t feel like pursuing that power, then you’re not working hard enough.”

Ashish J. Thakkar, CEO of Mara Group, Uganda

“People always ask for my secret, but I really don’t have one. For me, it was all about hard work and never giving up. I never believed the sky is the limit.”

Chika and Chidi Nwaogu, founders of (formerly LagBook, Nigeria’s answer to Facebook), Nigeria

“Dream like a beast, and chase your dream like a possessed demon. When you come across obstacles, crush them down, and if they prove difficult, bend around them. Make sure you’re always on the move.”

Achumile Majija, executive business manager at Prudential PLC (Prudential Polska), South Africa

“People are your greatest asset, there is always going to be someone who knows it better than you do. Nothing is impossible as long as one works hard to achieve it. Continue to strive for great things, challenge the status quo, and never leave stones unturned!!!”

Yetunde Odugbesan, CEO/founder of Yetunde Global Consulting, Nigeria

“…believe in yourself. No matter what circumstances you face, your destiny is bigger than your situation. Always surround yourself with positive people, people you admire and those who can uplift you.”

Titus Mawano, founder of Ffene, Uganda

“For those who are willing to start small or venture into business like me, I would say they need to start now. Even if just doing research. Any time they do not use is wasted.”

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