Many love the idea of becoming an entrepreneur because it gives off the prospects of “being your own boss” and “running the show”. Entrepreneurship is indeed glamorous but at a heavy cost. It’s a challenging venture to go into and it is not for everyone. Nevertheless, many young individuals have become successful entrepreneurs through grit and perseverance. Here are 5 inspiring young entrepreneurs under the age of 40 years who any aspiring or budding entrepreneur can learn from.
Listed by Forbes in 2014 as one of the 10 young African millionaires to watch out for, Jason Njoku has made his name as the founder of iRokoTv, the largest online streaming service for African movies. Prior to launching iRoko Tv, Jason delved into a series of business ventures, one of which was NollywoodLove, a precursor to iRokoTV. NollywoodLove grew to be the biggest Youtube channel offering full-length Nollywood movies and would later evolve into iRoko TV. Jason’s defining moment came after he received nearly $10 million in funding from Tiger Global Management – a Newyork private equity firm which shared his interest to digitise African content. This lead to the launching of iRokoTV and within three months of its launch, it attracted over half a million views.
Mark Anthony Essien
The Ikot-Ekpene born entrepreneur founded hotels.ng after garnering firsthand experience in the world of technology. Prior to his launch of hotels.ng, Mark studied Computer Engineering at Beuth University in Berlin, Germany and obtained an MSc in Computer Science at Freie University. He went on to hone his skill acquiring knowledge in Computer programming while working shifts as a caregiver. Within three months, he had learned enough to create filesharing software which he later sold to a larger company. After studying the online travel market, Mark launched hotels.ng during a brief break in Nigeria. Hotels.ng is currently Nigeria’s largest hotels booking website. Since its launch, the website has listed over 7000 hotels and grabbed the attention of ebay, Pan-African fund, Dangote Investment Group ….
After experiencing clinical depression for a long period of his life, Chude Jideonwo created a platform that would help people lead lives of fulfillment and happiness. Today that platform is no other than Joy Inc. Through Joy Inc, Chude has organised various events called Joy Masterclasses which touch on the subject of mental health and guide individuals in their quest to live happier lives. He is also known for his outstanding work in Red Africa, a Nigerian media company which he co-founded with Adebola Williams. Red Africa’s subsidiaries include Ynaija, Red Media Africa, The Future Awards Africa, and Statecraft Inc.
Evans Akanno is the founder of Cregital, a creative and digital initiative that promotes the efficiency of brands by providing them with stellar services such as branding, user experience design, and web development. The self-taught graphics designer garnered all the skills and experience necessary for him to thrive in his entrepreneurship ventures. After honing his craft as a graphics designer, he went on to work for Jumia as a Social Media specialist and later for Konga as a Creative Strategist. Since he founded Cregital, the service as catered to a number of prestigious clients including, Multichoice, Social Media Week, Zenith Bank, Google, and others.
After pursuing a career as a journalist, Rotimi Williams founded Kereksuk Rice Farm, the second largest commercial rice farm in Nigeria. Williams studied Economics at the University of Aberdeen and further obtained a Master’s Degree in Economics from the same institution. Due to a quest for more knowledge, he went on to obtain another Master’s Degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies. His interest in Agriculture spiked when he got employed by Euromoney to cover the African Space. This gave him the opportunity to travel to countries like Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, and Ghana where he noticed Agriculture was a mainstay. On his return to Nigeria, Williams decided to delve into the agricultural space and soon acquired over 17,269 hectares of land which later accumulated to 55,000 hectares. After parting with his partner, he , maintained 45000 hectares for himself and today he is the owner of Nigeria’s largest paddy producing farm which serves major milling companies in the country.
Featured image source: zegist.com