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Forbes Africa’s Richest Woman; Mrs Folorunsho Alakija Shares Basic Principles and Rules For Entrepreneurs in Africa at AYEEN 2015

folorunsho alakija

Article Written by Omange Mary

Here are few rules of entrepreneurship I would like to share with you all from the just concluded African Young Entrepreneurs Empowerment Nigeria (AYEEN) 2015 conference.

The rules outlined are from the speech given by Forbes Richest African Woman with a networth of $2.1 Billion and Matron of AYE (African Young Entrepreneurs); Mrs Folorunsho Alakija to Start-Ups and Operating entrepreneurs at the event which was held on Saturday 6th of June, 2015. These rules are based on basic principles and philosophies that has helped her succeed as one of Africa Richest 50 Richest (2014). Here are few rules for entrepreneurs willing to give their business all they have got to succeed:

1. “BE SMART” about setting goals;

  S stands for Specific i.e. be specific in setting goals, hit the nail on the head.

  M stands for Measurable i.e. let your specific goals be measurable.

  A stands for Attainable i.e. make sure your goals are attainable.

  R stands for Realistic/relevant i.e. make sure your goals are realistic and   relevant. Don’t start dreaming without being realistic.be sure you are not dreaming in the air.

  T stands for Timely i.e. Make sure you achieve your goals in a timely manner.

2. Be focused on achieving set objectives: As you plan, ensure that you prioritize so that you don’t put the cart before the horse.

3. Declutter your mind: Make sure you have a clear understanding of what you are doing, don’t have a clustered thinking, rather have a clear vision of what you are doing.

4. Focus on the positives:  Learn from your mistakes and quickly forget the mistakes because with mistakes you can start again, as there are opportunities to improve and make better of what you did before..

5. Time Management: This is a highly important and most valuable asset because when you lose time you may not get it again. Time is also precious to God hence make sure it is precious to you too as you can never buy time back.

6. Don’t take NO for an answer: This is one of her philosophies in life; If she took no for an answer she wouldn’t be where she is today. Keep going back till you get a YES. If the door is shut in your face, go back again.

7. Be open to constructive criticism: Positive criticism helps you challenge yourself. If you take it unkindly then you are not ready to learn but if you learn from other peoples constructive criticism, you will find that it will help take you where you need to be.  Surround yourself with those that will encourage you.

8. Add value: Dare to be different and Think or give out of the box. Don’t think like everyone, else you will just be part of the crowd and will not stand out. Come out of that box and be different such that people will be attracted to what you are able to give.

9. Keep an eye on competition and always ensure that you do more: Go the extra mile because a lot of people will stop short but if you carry on you will achieve

10. Acquire new skills, upgrade and change: Continue to. learn till you leave this sinful world. There are no time limit and age limit for learning. Learn new skills, ideas, concepts, things you never learned to do, ask the young and old and grab on to new ideas.Learn to use new technologies/ social media/ topics that will develop your business through webinars, apps etc. This would also help to boost your confidence by learning topics that would better your business.

11. Renew your minds in every aspect: Get out of your shell, renew your thinking.

12. Associate with successful people: Join networking groups, sessions, events that are relevant in your line of business. Find mentors and coaches that can help you excel and advance.

13. Never forget your families even on your quest to succeed in your businesses: She has found that by the time you get all the money in the world and there is no one to share it with then there is no joy or use. Hence she encourages entrepreneurs to work hand in hand with their families “Spend quality time with your family, spouse, children etc. even amidst tight work schedule”.

14. Believe in your ideas and nurture relationships: Give your venture everything you have got. Your strength, power, ideas, wisdom, relationship and time; don’t throw them away rather make use of it. Nurture your relationships and be trustworthy; don’t burn your business.


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Credit: Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, AYEEN 2015, Forbes Magazine

Photo Credit: Google


  1. Really solid points, great woman, wonderful article. U guys should feed us more, we re hungry

  2. The seminar material is beneficial.

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