Entrepreneur list of leaders who are unique in that they believed in themselves and worked towards the goal of success.
- Jason Njoku, Nigeria, Entrepreneur and Founder of iROKO Partners
- Gina Din-Kariuki, Kenya, Founder and Executive Chair of the Gina Din Group
- Adaora Mbelu-Dania, Nigeria, Founder of A2 Creative
- Alan Knott-Craig Jr., South Africa
- Nkechi Harry Ngonadi, Nigeria, CEO of NHN Couture
- Jean Bosco Nzeyimana, Rwanda, Founder and CEO of Habona
- Madey Adeboye, Nigeria
- Maavi Norman, Liberia, Entrepreneur, Founder of IRIS International Consulting
- Andrew Carnegie, Entrepreneur, Business Leader, Philanthropist (1835–1919)
Jason Njoku, Nigeria, Entrepreneur and Founder of iROKO Partners
As the founder of iROKO Partners, and iROKOTv, the leading online streaming platform in Africa, Jason Njoku’s principle is simple. “I am trying to make people happy,” he says. Njoku admits that starting on YouTube in 2010 and building a successful global media empire has brought its challenges. “I make more mistakes than I make good choices. My only saving grace is that the choices that I make are better and more significant.” Now a venture capitalist, his current obsession is funding local entrepreneurs. “I want to help young entrepreneurs build the next iROKOTV”, he says.
Gina Din-Kariuki, Kenya, Founder and Executive Chair of the Gina Din Group
In 19 years, Gina Din-Kariuki has morphed from being a public relations guru, to an award-winning social entrepreneur. He is an honorary UNFPA ambassador and Red Cross goodwill ambassador. As the founder and executive chair of the Gina Din Group, she has served as a strategic advisor to Safaricom. Currently she is assisting Kenya’s central bank with its re-branding. At her pinnacle of achievement, what’s next? “Where I am, it is much more about impact and significance,” she says. “I spend a lot of time, building young women entrepreneurs across the continent. I want to be the woman that I didn’t have when I was starting my business,” says Din-Kariuki.
Adaora Mbelu-Dania, Nigeria, Founder of A2 Creative
Adaora Mbelu-Dania’s track record includes being behind Guinness’ A2 Creative recent new product launch. “I am inspired by people,” she says. But inspiration is different from personal foundation, which she describes succinctly: “My recipe for success is God, love, discipline, patience, and forgiveness, in this particular order.” “My greatest mistake was thinking that I had to streamline and choose one thing,” she says.
Alan Knott-Craig Jr., South Africa
Knott-Craig has changed the telecommunications industry in South Africa since 2003. His latest innovation is setting up the largest free public WiFi network in South Africa, Project Isizwe, which he has built one community at a time. What drives him? “Fear of failure,” Knott-Craig responds. He attributes his million-dollar success to “focus, keeping my promises and marrying young. When there is no plan B, you have no other options,” he says.
Nkechi Harry Ngonadi, Nigeria, CEO of NHN Couture
How does a person turn a passion into a lucrative business? By becoming purposeful about it. For Nkechi Ngonadi, CEO of NHN Couture, it comes down to her inspiration: “Proverbs 22:29, The Almighty God and His Word,” she says. In three years, NHN designs are on prominent runways, and worn by celebrities across the Africa. “Don’t focus on the immediate need only. Set your eyes on the big picture,” she says. What is her best advice? “Integrity, people follow if they trust.” This trust has led to Ngonadi having almost 100,000 active followers (and counting) on Instagram alone.
Jean Bosco Nzeyimana, Rwanda, Founder and CEO of Habona
How do you describe being seated on a Global Entrepreneurship panel between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and President Obama? “Exciting and frightening!” says Jean Nzeyimana. As founder and CEO of Habona, a clean and renewable energy company, this young entrepreneur has already achieved a milestone that many can only dream about. For him, it is bigger than a business. By transforming waste in his community to briquettes, a greener alternative to wood charcoal, Nzeyimana provides jobs and a cleaner environment.
Madey Adeboye, Nigeria
How do you create a booming business? Find a problem and solve it. For Madey Adeboye, a Nigerian lawyer, this was her path to starting Green Grill House, a leading healthy food café in Lagos, Nigeria, that features delivery options. “Changing my eating habits and seeing the amazing results inspired me to want to do that for others.” In just two years, Adeboye has gone from unraveling healthy cuisine in her own kitchen, to opening up her café and becoming a household name in Nigeria. Today, she has partnership requests coming from all over Africa.
Maavi Norman, Liberia, Entrepreneur, Founder of IRIS International Consulting
The founder of IRIS International Consulting, social entrepreneur Dr. Maavi Norman bridges the gap by encouraging foreign investment in Africa, while supporting “deep local impact.” Through his affiliation as a mentor with the White House Young African Leaders Initiative, Norman has helped guide a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs in Africa. For him, it all comes down to this: “Stay laser-focused on solutions but evaluate a myriad of ideas for achieving them. Be open to readjusting, re-calibrating and re-launching.”
Andrew Carnegie, Entrepreneur, Business Leader, Philanthropist (1835–1919)
Andrew Carnegie was a self-made steel tycoon and one of the wealthiest businessmen of 19th century. He later dedicated his life to philanthropic endeavors.