Letter to the next generation

Young African, You are brave, you are resilient. You are savvy, you are entrepreneurial, and unlike the generations that have come before you, you are much hungrier for success. You call your ambition, “your hustle”, and you have several of them because you are tireless and eager to achieve financial independence – no matter how […]

5 Years of Spreading Luck – Everyone Needs a Little Help

In business, the role luck plays in success and personal achievement is rarely discussed. If luck is mentioned, it is done with slight condescension, and usually dismissed as a product of hard work, not deserving significant attention. While hard work is paramount – and I have written extensively about the importance of working hard – […]

I received this Letter from a Mentor of the Tony Elumelu Foundation

Earlier this week, I received the letter below from a mentor of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme – Mrs. Fatima Aliko Mohammed. In this appreciative letter, she extols our entrepreneurship programme, and highlights the role the Foundation is playing in creating value not only Nigeria, but across Africa. Fatima’s mentee, Abimbola, is one of […]

Open Letter to African Entrepreneurs

To all of Africa’s aspiring entrepreneurs, I commend your courage and determination to build a business in the face of constraints that inhibit the viability of your startup and significantly threaten its survival. Last year, over 20,000 of you participated in a series of surveys we conducted to ascertain the key challenges you faced as […]

My UBA Story

Days after leaving the United Bank for Africa as the Group Managing Director, Mr. Tony Elumelu has advanced his entrepreneurial vocation and passion by setting up Heirs Holdings and the Tony Elumelu Foundation. At the send-off held for him at the weekend in Lagos, prominent Nigerians, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, ministers, governors, businessmen, bankers, […]

Five Personal Tips to Build a Successful Business

I gave a talk at the Lagos Business School ‘Dinner with…’ event earlier this week, where I addressed the room and shared my journey thus far. For budding entrepreneurs or those climbing the corporate ladder, read my tips below, which I hope will aid your own journey. #1 Save Money Religiously– I am a firm […]

An urgent call for a new African Order

The beginning of the year 2020 which also marked the start of a defining decade ushered in a series of dreadful disruptions. Unlike the 2008 global financial crisis where Africa was largely decoupled from the thick of the crisis and managed to muddle through fairly unscathed, this time around Africa holds the weakest end of the stick. […]

A ‘Marshall Plan’ for Africa’s employment challenge

Unemployment, independent of any other factor, threatens to derail the economic promise that Africa deserves. It’s a time bomb with no geographical boundaries: Economists expect Africa to create 54 million new jobs by 2020, but 122 million Africans will enter the labor force during that time frame. Adding to this shortfall are tens of millions currently unemployed […]

What Tomorrow’s Leaders Are Learning in Africa Right Now

This is the first of several commentaries on “The Paradox of Samsung’s Rise,” an article by Tarun Khanna, Jaeyong Song, and Kyungmook Lee in the July−August 2011 HBR. While it may not be intuitive to global readers, I see many similarities between Samsung’s transformation from local leader in Korea to major player on the world stage […]

In Africa, the best ‘charity’ is aid for business

he traditional approach to solving Africa’s problems has been to rely on charity and aid – free money, more or less. And while charity has done much good for millions across the continent in terms of food security, health care, emergency response, and education, its chief weakness is that its results have not proven sustainable. Africa […]