Companies like PiggyVest have revolutionised business across the African continent and, along the way, transformed lives in ways we never thought possible. Many of these companies are led by tireless entrepreneurs who make incredible work of simple ideas.
But let’s be honest — being an entrepreneur is hard, and building a business in a country like Nigeria has unique challenges. Still, there’s good news. After all, other entrepreneurs have overcome the odds, and their companies are changing how we live, learn, work and spend in Africa.
Need some motivation from these entrepreneurial juggernauts? In this article, we’ll share some inspirational quotes from entrepreneurs you (probably) know.
1. “Aim very high. Work very hard. Care very deeply.” — Odunayo Eweniyi, Co-founder of PiggyTech Global Limited (PiggyVest) (Nigeria)
Set ambitious goals, dedicate yourself to relentless effort and show genuine care in your endeavours. This combination of aspiration, hard work and heartfelt commitment is a recipe for meaningful achievement.
Keep working hard, keep building. Eventually, the world will recognise your worth.
2. “To build a successful business, you must start small and dream big. In the journey of entrepreneurship, tenacity of purpose is supreme.” — Aliko Dangote, CEO of Dangote Group (Nigeria)
In entrepreneurship, an unwavering determination is a great asset. This determination is the driving force that will keep you going when things get tough — because things will get tough at some point.
There will be times when you want to give up. There will be times when you think you can’t do it. It’s during these times that you need to reach in and find a way to keep going.
3. “Getting things done is better than having things perfect. Done is better than perfect. Whatever you have in your hands, get going with it. Just do it.” — Charles Igwe, Founder and CEO of Nollywood Global Media Group (Nigeria)
As an entrepreneur, it is important to prioritise action over perfection. It’s very easy to get caught up in the details of your business and never get anything done. Instead, it’s important to start with what you have and take steps forward.
Just get things done, even if they are not perfect. You can work on perfection later.
4. “Failure is an opportunity to learn and to do better next time. It’s part of the path to greatness, which was never meant to be smooth.” — Khanyi Dhlomo, Founder of Ndalo Media and Destiny Connect (South Africa)
Failure is a part of life, and it is especially common in the world of entrepreneurship. However, it is important to view failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Every failure can teach you something new about yourself, your business or the market.
It can also help you identify areas where you need to improve. Instead of dwelling on your failures, embrace them as stepping stones to success. Use them to learn and grow, and use them to make your business stronger.
5. “True success is about a passion to create a better world, live a life that you can look back on and be truly proud of.” — Dr Ola (Orekunrin) Brown MFR, Founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria and HealthCap Africa (Nigeria)
You’ll find true success when you are passionate about improving the world and using your skills and talents to make a positive impact. And, to be honest, it’s impossible to hide the fruits of passion.
The more passionate you are about the world (and your business), the more likely you are to succeed.
If you can find a way to combine your passion for making a difference with your desire to live a life that you can be proud of, you will be well on your way to finding true success.
6. “The future we all want for ourselves is one of our own making.” — Tony O. Elumelu CFR, Chairman of UBA Group (Nigeria)
Your desired future is a product of your actions and decisions. Nothing is out of your reach if you put in the work. To shape your desired future, just take ownership and actively work towards success — whatever that is for you.
Don’t sit back and wait for things to happen. Make things happen!
7. “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” — Chief Michael Adenuga CSG GCON, Founder of Globacom and Chairman of Conoil Plc (Nigeria)
The truth is that entrepreneurial success often stems from diligent and consistent effort — not accidents or dumb luck. The more you work hard, the more opportunities and “luck” you create for yourself.
The reason? It’s simple. Hard work leads to experience, which leads to knowledge, which leads to confidence, which leads to success.
Of course, there is always some element of luck involved in any success story, but hard work is a prerequisite.
8. “I am guided each day by these three questions: ‘What are you fixing?’ ‘What are you making?’ and ‘Who are you helping?'” — Juliana Rotich, Co-founder of Ushahidi (Kenya)
Ask yourself important questions about your business. Know the problem you’re trying to fix and its place in the African context. Also, understand what you’re doing and be intentional about your solution.
And remember, your customers are an essential part of the equation. After all, they’re crucial to your success as an entrepreneur and the very reason you build.
9. “Our problem in Africa is not skills but opportunities. If you create opportunities, Africans will get the skills.” — Adewale Yusuf, Co-founder and CEO of AltSchool Africa and TalentQL (Nigeria)
The key challenge in Africa isn’t a lack of skills and a shortage of opportunities. By creating opportunities as an entrepreneur, you can help Africans develop the necessary skills to thrive and contribute positively to various fields and industries globally.
10. “I have come to learn to be patient and not give up too quickly. It takes patience and persistence to bring new and innovative products and ways of doing things to a community.” — Bernice Dapaah, Founder and CEO of the Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative (Ghana)
Patience and persistence are essential when introducing innovation and new solutions to a community. No matter what happens, don’t give up too quickly in your business. Stay committed to your vision; you can bring positive change to Africa over time.
11. “I own quite a lot and I have worked very hard for it.” — Sudhir Ruparelia, Chairman of Ruparelia Group (Uganda)
Building wealth as an entrepreneur often requires significant effort and hard work — there are no shortcuts. However, success always comes to those willing to put in the necessary dedication and effort to achieve their goals.
12. “I have learnt that if you face the challenges with positive energy, you are most likely to get better results.” — Adenike Ogunlesi, Founder and Creative Director of Ruff ‘n’ Tumble (Nigeria)
Confront business challenges with a positive mindset. This approach is more likely to yield improved outcomes. Additionally, maintaining a constructive attitude as an entrepreneur can lead to better solutions and progress in overcoming obstacles.
13. “Teams are crucial because they combine the differing talents of different individuals, and they make the whole better than the part.” — Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Chairman of Chocolate City Music / Warner Music and FSDH Holding Company (Nigeria)
Teams are vital because they bring together diverse talents, thereby enhancing overall productivity and success in every business. As an entrepreneur, remember to delegate according to the strengths of your team.
14. “I am a great believer that if you know how to operate in Africa, there are unbelievable opportunities” — Nicky Oppenheimer, former Chairman of the De Beers Group (South Africa)
Profound opportunities await entrepreneurs who understand how to navigate and operate in the African business landscape. After all, the continent holds vast potential for those willing to engage with its unique dynamics and challenges.
15. “It’s not an easy road. You will get people who will disappoint you, but you need to stay focused on your dream. We all learn and become better through our mistakes and challenges.” — Lilly Alfonso, Fashion designer and Founder of Lilly Alfonso (Malawi)
The path to entrepreneurial success is challenging — marked by disappointments and setbacks — but focusing on your dream is crucial. Embrace mistakes and challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement; they are stepping stones toward your ultimate goals.
16. “Nineteen people may love your work, but the twentieth one will hate it and will tell you so; you cannot allow that to affect you. That may sound trite, but there is huge risk in letting criticism get you down.” — Carrol Boyes, Founder of Carrol Boyes (Pty) Ltd (South Africa)
Criticism is inevitable. Not everyone will appreciate your work. But don’t let one detractor’s negativity deter you. Stay resilient.
Criticism is part of the process, but don’t let it hinder your progress.
17. “The future of Africa depends on its young people. It is critically important for young people to study hard and get a good education in order for them to undertake whatever they want to do and to succeed on their own initiative. Courage and persistence are key characteristics needed for entrepreneurs in Africa today.” — Gervais Djondo, Co-founder and former Chairman of Ecobank; Founder and current President of ASKY Airlines (Togo)
Your youth is an advantage if you’re an entrepreneur in Africa. Yes, you might be wildly inexperienced, but you are capable of doing so much. Take your education seriously, find great mentors and do good work.
Success is only a few steps away from where you are now.
18. “The potential of the African market is huge.” — Anas Sefrioui, General President of Addoha Douja Promotion (Morocco)
The African market offers substantial opportunities for those who understand its dynamics and are prepared to engage and innovate within this dynamic and growing landscape. As an entrepreneur, you can take advantage of this emerging market and make profit while making your homeland better.
19. “If I can change the life of one person it makes a whole difference because behind that person there is a whole family. It’s a family, it’s a society, it’s Tanzania.” — Victoria Kisyombe, Founder of Sero Lease and Finance Limited (Tanzania)
Recognise the ripple effect of positive change and how it can transform not only individual lives and businesses but entire communities and nations. When one person makes a positive change, it can inspire others to do the same.
This chain reaction of positive change can impact the world in profound ways. So, we charge you to build your business with Africa’s growth and prosperity in mind.
You can do it!
20. “Have a vision and passion. Be courageous, focused and disciplined. Lastly, persist… It’s definitely not easy.” — Monica Musonda, Founder of Java Foods Limited (Zambia)
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy — we know. To succeed, you must have a clear vision and unwavering passion for what you want to achieve. You must also be courageous enough to take risks, stay focused on your goals, and practice discipline in your work.
Always power through challenges. The journey may be difficult, but the rewards are worth it!
We hope these quotes inspire you to keep pushing forward. There’s so much you can do — no matter where you come from. Keep thriving!
The articles on the PiggyVest Blog are developed by seasoned writers who use original sources like authoritative websites, news articles and academic journals to perform in-depth research. An experienced editor fact-checks every piece before it is published to ensure you are always reading accurate, up-to-date and balanced content.
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