There are plenty of sources of inspiration when starting your own business. Learning from the successes and mistakes of others already in the same field can help you avoid some significant pitfalls and learn how to succeed where they did not. Studying businesses that entrepreneurs started, who are just like you but were able to achieve success despite the challenges they faced, can inspire you to do the same with your new venture, whatever that may be. Here are five businesses and business people to look up to as you get started on your entrepreneurial journey.
1. The African Art Hub
The African art hub is an online art gallery specializing in works by contemporary African artists, making it an excellent resource for collectors. Located in London, it connects buyers to up-and-coming designers from across Africa. Many of these pieces are only available through The Art Hub, helping drive traffic back to its website (not an easy feat in an increasingly crowded space). The site also features educational resources on purchasing original artwork and caring for them once you buy it.
Abraham Abia Uwa, a prominent African Lawyer and Businessman and founder of The African Art Hub, said: We wanted to be able to do more than just sell artwork. We wanted our customers to access information about their purchases – we want people not just to buy art but to buy into a lifestyle. In addition, many worldwide galleries will accept work purchased through The Art Hub for display in their galleries if they like what they see!
2. Dangote Cement Plc
The Dangote Cement Plc is an indigenously owned cement manufacturing company based in Nigeria. The CEO of Dangote Cement Plc, Aliko Dangote, was born to a Nigerian father. Dangote Group is Africa’s largest cement manufacturer and its second-largest producer in terms of clinker. In 2013, he became Africa’s richest man, according to Forbes magazine. He also stakes in publicly traded companies such as Coca-Cola Bottling Company (Nigeria) Ltd., Golden Energy Drilling Company Limited, and BUA Group (formerly United Bank for Africa).
In 2014, Forbes ranked him as the 67th richest person in the world, with a net worth of $16 billion. The success story of Dangote Cement started from scratch. It all began when he borrowed money from his uncle to build his first factory in Lagos, Nigeria. Today, it has become one of Africa’s most prominent businesses. That shows that even if you don’t have enough capital at your disposal, there are always ways you can raise funds to start a business or expand it further anxnr.
3. EG Group
EG group is a popular and respected British business retailer. Today, it has more than 330 stores across the country. The company offers services ranging from filling stations to convenience stores, cafes, restaurants, and high-street fashion shops. They are now among the UK’s largest motorist-owned retail companies. They aim to provide our customers with high-quality products at the lowest possible prices.
The business started as a combination of Euro Garages and EFR, who shared interests in different aspects of the automotive industry, such as car maintenance, petrol filling stations, car sales, and distribution. It soon became apparent that they only needed to focus on one area, so they merged their operations and created what we know today as EG Group. That can inspire the new generation of entrepreneurs who want to start their own business or businesses that need to readjust through acquisitions, partnering, or mergers.
Innovation has been at the heart of the M-Farm story. The company, based in Kenya, was founded by two entrepreneurs eager to improve agricultural practices in rural areas. They had a vision that they could help farmers in remote locations become more profitable by connecting them with markets. A decade after it started, M-Farm has grown into an enterprise that reaches across many African countries and delivers fresh produce to supermarkets worldwide.
Along the way, M-Farm has developed new business models and technologies. For instance, its delivery-in-season approach means it can deliver mangoes to the UK more efficiently than any other country on the continent. That makes M-Farm services valuable because it gives consumers access to high-quality, seasonal produce all year round. It’s just one example of how innovation and enterprise provide opportunities for people in developing economies.
5. Ovo Energy
In 2007, Ovo Energy became the first company in the United Kingdom to offer 100% renewable electricity. The company always dedicates to helping customers reduce their carbon footprint, starting with its fuel mix of 60% natural gas and 40% renewable sources like wind, hydro, solar, or biomass. Four British entrepreneurs partnered to start this company. They believed that by delivering affordable energy from renewable sources, they could make the world a cleaner place.
Now, Ovo is one of the fastest-growing independent energy suppliers in Britain. The need to provide a sustainable solution for the future led them to launch an electric vehicle (EV) charging network across London, with plans to roll it out nationwide. They’ve also partnered with social enterprises, including Unilever, which uses EV fleet vehicles as part of its corporate sustainability strategy. That can inspire startups and serve as an example of how businesses and business people can change the world while making a profit. As a startup, don’t be afraid to take calculated risks or try something new, even if it’s not your core business.
Many inspiring African and British entrepreneurs have found success in the business world. Startups and new-generation businesses should follow these examples of brave people to take a chance on themselves and their ideas. A key takeaway is that every entrepreneur has some challenges, but if they work hard enough, they can achieve their dreams. Mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies happen in the corporate world. However, there is still hope for entrepreneurs if they learn from the success and failures of these prominent business people and their companies. Remember, if you venture nothing, you gain nothing!