When it comes to business, going it alone can be a daunting process; take some inspiration, then, from these real-life successful African figures.
It’s good to know that every now and again, even the most enduring spirits need a little motivational boost. If you’re having ‘one of those days our Inspire feature is for you.
“We increased the equity and when that happened at the time the control of the bank moved into the hands of those who had contributed more money. Control moved out of the hands of the NAFCOC members who were small equity holders to those who had put more money into the bank,”
“I looked at people as people, not as numbers. When I meet with you, when you come into my business place, I would ask your for your name, if you come again, I will welcome you as Mr So and So,”
"One has to set high standards... I can never be happy with mediocre performance."
"All our businesses comprise of the BEST people money can buy. My policy is hire the best and pay them well"
Ask most people who live in a home and have a mortgage on it whether they own their own home and the answer is almost guaranteed to be a resounding 'yes'. Yet it's the wrong answer. Technically speaking, until they have paid the mortgage off, they don't own it.
I built a conglomerate and emerged the richest black man in the world in 2008 but it didn’t happen overnight. It took me 30 years to get to where I am today. Youths of today aspire to be like me but they want to achieve it overnight. It’s not going to work. To build a successful business, you must start small and dream big.
Entrepreneurship is the cornerstone to African development and the key to local value creation in Africa. I am determined to ensure that Africa's next generation of entrepreneurs have the platform they need to turn their entrepreneurial aspirations into sustainable businesses that will drive economic growth and job creation across Africa.
"The opportunity is in the problem. The moment I see a problem, I immediately begin to think about the opportunities that can be created by trying to solve it."
Women in Africa are really the pillar of the society, are the most productive segment of society, actually. Women do kids. Women do cooking. Women doing everything. And yet, their position in society is totally unacceptable. And the way African men treat African women is total unacceptable.
When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars, people said, ‘Nah, what’s wrong with a horse?’ That was a huge bet he made, and it worked.
What I always say is that money doesn't have colour. It doesn't matter whether you are from Africa or anywhere in the world. The colour of money is the same.
I left Sudan when I was 25 or 26 years old. If I had stayed, I would never have ended up being an entrepreneur. You can have the qualities, but if you don't have the environment, you just wither away. It's like a fish: take it out of water, it will not survive.
I wish we questioned the aid model as much as we are questioning the capitalism model. Sometimes the most generous thing you can do is just say no.
I’ve learned how people behave, and unless we change from activism to professionalism, we’re going to have serious problems in governing.
"Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough."
“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”
I love doing a lot of things I'm told I can't do. I think that's what drives me and keeps me awake every day.
"We live in the Age of Disruption. Traditional industries from Advertising to Zookeeping are faced with a Darwinian tech-driven battle between evolution or extinction. Look no further than Amazon vs. the High Street, Airbnb vs. lodging or Tesla vs. motor transport for proof that the old order is doomed.
I have worked hard most of my life and I believe I have been very fortunate; although I must say I am a great believer in the man who said 'The harder you work, the luckier you get'.
Africa needs a more unified legislative framework to facilitate and regulate trade within North and Sub-saharan Africa.
“Think big, start small, and move fast.”
Bureaucracy and corruption are married. You end bureaucracy, you kill corruption.
“Any government has to be friendly with investors and the business community. They provide jobs, new investments; they keep the country running.”
In South Africa, being Chinese meant I wasn't white and I wasn't black. I trained in Baragwanath Hospital, the largest black hospital in South Africa. That was around 1976, the time of the Soweto Uprising, when police fired on children and students who were protesting. I was part of the group of interns who volunteered to treat them.
It is not just disposable income but whether people feel good about their immediate future that drives sales. It is this feel-good factor that drives the purchases more and more than mere economic wealth.
When I started business, the idea was not to be just a local champion but to build a global company and I knew that, to achieve that, I had to be out there competing with the best.
I have never viewed poverty as a problem but as a challenge. Poverty never pulled me back; on the contrary, it propelled me forward.
We have never ever been first to market, we have always been more of a disrupter, the behavioural model that we have has a great value in the banking space.
Entrepreneurship is a little bit like farming when you start you do everything, you make a team, you do the Photostats machine and as the business grows, it diversifies but certainly, the improvisation of a farm is extremely useful in business.
You can have as much natural talent in the world, but someone with less talent but more determination, discipline and focus will always outdo you in the end.
Leaders make time to dream, think big and then set goals to get there. They have a sense of urgency and innate understanding that time is limited and therefore act accordingly.
In life, you don't get anywhere or do anything you hope to without some sort of sacrifice.