With an estimated net-worth of $2.2billion, Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, is probably the wealthiest African woman entrepreneur. Mrs Folorunsho Alakija made her money in the oil business. She is an African from Nigeria.
I first heard of Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, when she was fighting an epic legal battle in Nigeria, over an oil block that the government had taken away from her. The battle lasted 12 years, and went all the way up to the Nation’s highest court, the Federal Supreme Court.
Getting an oil block, or mining rights or whatever license you need, is not enough to make you a successful entrepreneur. There are many people who have been given access to amazing opportunities, including mining rights, such as diamond fields, oil blocks, gold, platinum and other types of rights, and licenses; and yet have not made anything out of them:
Many have ended up in debt, or have been a “flash in the pan” for a few years, then disappeared.
It does not matter what opportunity you are given, if you are not a skilled entrepreneur, it will end up in tears, and bankruptcy.
Studying Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, and her family’s approach to the development of the opportunity they got, shows why they have been successful, in turning their business FAMFA Oil, into a great company. Her approach to mobilizing the capital, skills, and technical expertise, is text book stuff.
Following her story, I was reminded of the following passage of scripture:
Romans 5:3-5 (Living Bible, The – TLB)
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us–they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Well done Mrs Mrs Folorunsho Alakija. You are an #AfricanLioness who is blazing a path for many young women entrepreneurs across Africa.
We salute you Ma’am.
Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.View all posts by Strive Masiyiwa