Nigeria’s top eight young entrepreneurs, according to Forbes

By professo

Forbes has released its list of the top 30 “young entrepreneurs and next generation billionaires running their own business.

Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, featured eight business men and women below the age of 30 in the list.

1. Ladipo Lawani, 29

Lawani is the Founder of L&L Foods, the processing and packaging firm. The company focusing on producing quality snacks sourced from agriculture from local farmers. Lawani employs 12 people and manages the premium nut brand Mr Ekpa.

2. Emmanuel Ademola Ayilara, 29

The Founder of LandWey Investment Limited, Ademola Ayilara, has seen his real estate firm turn over $14mn per annum. The firm originally hred five members of staff, which has now evolved to 42 full-time members and 370 realtors.

“Once I had a taste of success, there was no turning back. Starting and running businesses became my turf and all I had to do was build more capacity,” Forbes reported Ademola Ayilara stating.

“I always believed opportunities would come to those who were most prepared so I put in the hard work even when no one noticed.”

3. Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed Falalu, 28

FaLGates is a rice mill that has the capacity to produce 5,000 metric tonnes of rice per year. The firm employs more than 180 people and made $450,000 in 2017. Falalu saw the business opportunity when he discovered that Nigeria produces 2.7mn metric tonnes of rice yet consumes 7mn tonnes per year.

4. Anita Adetola Adetoye, 26

Adetoye is an Irish-Nigerian make-up artist and beauty educator that established Anita Brows Beauty. The brand, based in Lagos, employs 13 people and is set to launch a cosmetic range. Adetoye has won the Future Awards Prize for Beauty and sold out several makeup classes across the world.

“My move to Nigeria was the defining moment for me in the beauty industry,” commented Adetoye.

“It was the moment my hobby became a livelihood and then became a business. I didn’t choose this path by faith, this path chose me. My goal is to change the face of makeup and beauty artistry.”

5. Akinwande Durojaye, 28

JustBrandIt is a printing, branding, and advertising agency that formed in 2014. As well as founding this company, Durojay also established the FixMyRide fleet management firm. The entrepreneur employs 13 people and 210 contracted drivers, making $1.2mn from both companies.

6. Bidemi Zakariyau, 28

Zakariyau launched the fashion PR agency, LSF|PR, during her law degree. The agency has clients such as Philips, Rémy Cointreau, Godrej, William Grant and Sons, Brown-Forman, ARM, AfriOne, Ventures Platform.

“Securing my first client was very difficult because I had no public relations experience; I would visit different blogs in Nigeria and look for contact numbers in the article credits and call the designers requesting to work with them for free,” says Zakariyau.

7. Kene Rapu, 28

Rapu developed the footwear brand named after herself, following a degree from the University of Bristol and a Masters from London College of Fashion in Fashion Entrepreneurship.

“The odds are against us, as more businesses are expected to fail than to succeed. From lack of adequate power supply, to sufficient skilled man power, to the costs and scarcity of materials, the list goes on,” remarked Rapu.

“I remember on my hunt for property for my factory last year, I met a gentleman who made it extremely clear he would not, under any circumstances, rent his property out to women.”

8. Gozie Coker, 29

Coker Creative is a boutique event company that was founded almost four years ago. The firm’s clients include Etisalat, Zippy, Redrick Public Relations, Access and Bella Naija. Coker graduated with a degree in Marketing from Baylor University.

“I used my graduation thesis to test my business plan for what we now know as Coker Creative.”


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