76 successful entrepreneurs, their common traits, and what you can do now to develop some of them

January 23, 2024
3 min read

Immigrants, dropouts, apprentices, friends, brothers, Stanford University alumni, family, and military experience. Would you believe these are the most common traits found among 76 successful entrepreneurs from Nigeria and the rest of the world?

25 companies on this list are Nigerian, 8 are founded by women, 22 are software technology companies, 16 are into food and beverages, and 7 are entertainment businesses.

These traits are often too consistent to be coincidental. What exactly makes individuals with these traits become successful entrepreneurs?

The answer is in their stories:

5 Brothers started their companies together: Those who believe business should never be mixed with family would find some painful examples to buttress their argument here. Adolf and Rudolf Dassler (Adidas and Puma) remained rivals until their death, as did John and Will Kellogg (Kellogg’s). In the case of the four Wonsal Brothers (Warner Brothers), the youngest outsmarted his brothers from their entertainment business. It would seem family businesses succeed but they come at a very heavy emotional price.

6 are immigrants: Jan Koum moved to the United States from Ukraine to create WhatsApp, and Tope Awotana created Calendly after relocating with his mum and siblings due to his dad’s assassination in Nigeria. It is possible that moving to a new environment can help you identify problems and opportunities that locals may often overlook.

7 are descendants of successful businessmen: Kiichiro Toyoda was an heir to a fabrics business empire but he loved cars more. He chose his passion, and today, his company is one of the biggest automakers in the world. God is Good Motors was a thriving transportation business in Nigeria until Edwin Ajaere was killed. His son Chidi took over and completely rebranded the business into a technologically driven logistics organisation. Forrest Mars took over from his father, Franklin Mars, and established Mars as one of the biggest chocolate manufacturing companies in the world. The narrative that the offspring of wealthy parents are spoilt and irresponsible is not true in very many cases.

8 founders started as apprentices: It is no surprise that some of the success stories in this category are largely from South East Nigeria where the Igbo Apprenticeship System has been proven to be a very efficient way of replicating business success. The founders of SLOT, Innoson, and Coscharis all had apprentice experience starting their businesses, but so did the founders of Eleganza, Ford, Colgate, Rolex, and Nestle.

Build It! is a book that tells the inspiring stories of 76 successful entrepreneurs in a short but captivating way. Every story also comes with a QR code that links you to an inspiring YouTube video documentary or interaction with the founders. An inspiring read.

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Check out the Build It! Book here: https://sites.google.com/view/builditebook/home

This article is a Brand Press post. Brand Press is a paid service for brands that want to reach Techpoint Africa’s audience directly. Techpoint Africa’s editorial team doesn’t write Brand Press content. To promote your brand via Brand Press, please email [email protected]

This Brand Press article was not written by Techpoint Africa’s editorial team. To promote your brand via Brand Press, please email [email protected].

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