Successful Nigerian Entrepreneurs

November 12, 2021

The top 11 Most successful Nigerian entrepreneurs

Nigerians have the highest number of millionaires in Africa, a country located in West Africa, and this can be attributed to one of their main reasons for a thriving economy. However, there are also a number of Nigerian entrepreneurs that have failed.

This can be attributed to the various issues that they faced while trying to establish their businesses in Nigeria. These include social and economic challenges. The below mentioned are some of the most successful Nigerian entrepreneurs of the 21st century.

The most successful Nigerian entrepreneurs of the 21st century include those who have pioneered industries in various sectors of everyday life, founded successful franchises, or established successful companies these include the personalities below.

Aliko Dangote

He man was born on the year 1957, and his birthplace was Kano State. In 1977, at just 20 years old, as a young man he founded a business venture known as “Dangote Group.” He received a credit of N500,000 from his grandpa, Alhaji Sanusi Dantata, to help him start his journey. Aliko Dangote’s company was founded as a small business that was focused on trading.

Today, it’s an enormous multi-billion dollar corporation with branches not just within Nigeria, however, in other African countries such as Ghana, Benin Republic, and Togo. It is the Dangote Group that is famous for being the largest industrial group located in the Western Africa region. There are around 30,000 employees.

Mike Adenuga


He was born on March 23, 1953. Mike Adenuga is the second-richest Nigerian and is a multi-billionaire businessman. He attended college at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and Pace University. The company he founded is called “Globacom,” it is the second-largest telecom company in Nigeria.

The company also operates offices situated in Benin, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire. In addition, Mike is also the founder of “Con oil” Producing Limited, which is among the largest Oil companies within the nation of “Nigeria”. In the words of Forbes Magazine, Mike is worth 5.8 billion US dollars and ranks third in the rankings of the top African billionaires in 2020.

Abdul Samad Rabiu


Abdul Samad Rabiu is one of the most successful Nigerian entrepreneurs. The 1960-born entrepreneur was raised in Kano to Khalifah Isyaku Rabiu, who was also a businessman. He attended Capital University in Ohio, United States. At the age of 24 years old, he returned to Nigeria to manage his family’s business.

Around 1988, Abdul Samad Rabiu founded BUA International Limited for commodity trading, which included the importation of rice flour, oil, and iron. In the end, the business has grown and expanded to include steel, the production of billets, and rolling mills. At present, there are five BUA Group subsidiaries. BUA Group, including BUA Ports and Terminals, BUA Estates, BUA Oil Mills Ltd, BUA Sugar Refinery Ltd, as well as BUA Cement. Forbes reports Abdul Samad’s wealth amount to 3.2 Billion US dollars.

Tony Elumelu


Tony Elumelu was born in 1963 in Plateau State, Nigeria. He went to university in Nigeria and held two studies in Economics. He also holds an MA at The University of Lagos. Tony Elumelu established Heirs Holdings, a company that invests in power, healthcare, real estate, hospitality, as well as oil and gas, in the year 2010.

Tony was also the creator of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. This foundation helps and empowers African entrepreneurs. Tony Elumelu’s net wealth is around 1.4 billion US dollars.

Folorunso Alakija


(born July 15 in 1951) is a Nigerian billionaire businesswoman. She is recognized as one of the most wealthy black woman around the globe. she temporarily displaced Oprah Winfrey as the richest woman of African descent in the world. According to Forbes, her net worth at the time of March 11, 2018, was estimated at $1.7 billion.

Folorunsho Alakija is vice chair of Famfa Oil, which is a Nigerian oil exploration firm with an investment in Agbami Oilfield, a prolific offshore oilfield. Famfa Oil’s shareholders are Chevron, along with Petrobras.
The first company Alakija founded was a fashion label whose customers included the wife of the former Nigerian vice president Ibrahim Babangida.

Theophilus Danjuma


(born December 9, 1938) is an ex- Nigerian defense minister as well as the founder of the oil exploration firm South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO), which owns upstream assets in Nigeria, the Republic of Benin as well as in the Central African Republic and Madagascar.

According to Forbes, the value of his net worth for 2015 was forecast at $0.75 billion.
Additionally, he owns real estate and interest of Notore Chemical Industries, a producer of urea fertilizer, and also holds an investment in NALComet, which is one of the largest shipping companies in Nigeria. His net worth has decreased from the year before due to the persistent decline in the price of oil.

Orji Uzor Kalu


Orji is a graduate from three institutions: the University of Maiduguri, Abia State University, and the highly regarded Harvard University. He is currently the chairperson of SLOK Holding and the owner of the Daily Sun Newspaper, the famous and rich Orji Uzor Kalu always knew that he would like to be at the top.

As of childhood, he tried to establish his own business. At one point, he launched a successful business with just $35 dollars that he had, which he borrowed from his mother. The young Orji Uzor Kalu started his business venture by trading palm oil. Initially, his business was based on buying products that came from eastern areas of Nigeria and later transferred it to northern regions.

Later, Orji Uzor Kalu switched from selling palm oil to furniture trading, which turned out to be a massive success. At the end of the day, the business acumen that was developed by Orji Uzor Kalu grew so quickly that he started his own business called SLOK Holding. The business conglomerate was a success, and today it has branches not just in Nigeria but additionally across South Africa, Guinea, Ghana, Liberia, Benin Republic, Botswana, and even Korea.

Ibrahim Jimoh


The businessman, politician, philanthropist, and lawyer Jimoh Ibrahim always knew that success would be his at some point, and he would have to put in the effort. The year 1967 was the date he was born in Ondo State. Jimoh Ibrahim was a Law student at the highly regarded Obafemi Awolowo University in Osun State in Nigeria, where he earned both Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees.

Following that, he traveled to the United States to study at Harvard University. After finishing his studies and, he entered several lucrative industries. The investment areas he has invested in include airlines, hotels, resorts and banking, real estate, publishing, insurance as well as distribution in oil and gas.

Today, Jimoh Ibrahim is the director of the Global Fleet Group, which is a diverse Nigeria-based conglomerate business. It is home to a vast number of subsidiaries spread across different cities in Nigeria, including Lagos, as well as in various other African nations – Ghana and, among others.

Jim Ovia


(born November 4, 1951) is a Nigerian businessman who founded Zenith Bank, one of the biggest commercial banking institutions in Nigeria. He is also the chairman as the biggest shareholder in the company.

According to Forbes, the net worth of his in 2015 is estimated at $550 million. Additionally, he owns prime real estate throughout Nigeria, and also a share holder in the mobile operator Visafone Communications Limited, which has since been purchased by MTN.

Femi Otedola

Femi Otedola is a well popular businessman in Nigeria. His father, Sir Michael Otedola, was a former governor of Lagos state, as well as a key actor in the oil sector employed by Mobil. But that wasn’t enough to convince Femi to take a break. When he was just six, he was already establishing an enterprise.

While Femi Otedola is an extremely successful entrepreneur, it is possible that the situation could’ve taken a completely different direction. The dream he had as a kid was to be a reverend father.

This concludes our top picks for Now. Below are some Intriguing questions.

Who is the richest entrepreneur in Nigeria?

The most successful entrepreneur in Nigeria is Aliko Dangote. He is currently the richest person in Africa as well as the wealthiest Black man anywhere in the world.

According to Forbes, The Tycoon has a net worth of $8.3 billion US dollars. He is the founder and president of the Dangote Group, whose headquarters are located in Lagos, Nigeria.

Successful female entrepreneurs in Nigeria

Women from all over the globe continue to make an impact in education, politics as well as science and technology, and entrepreneurship. One of the most effective female business people is in Nigeria has been Folorunsho Alakija.

Other female entrepreneurs who have been successful within Nigeria are Nnenna Kalu Makanjuola, the founder of Radiant Health Magazine Dr. Ola Orekunrin, founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria, Tara Fela-Durotoye, the creator of House of Tara Kofo Akinkugbe and Chief Executive Director of SecureID Nigeria Ltd Adenike Ogunlesi, the founder of Ruff ‘n’ tumble. Most successful business owners in Nigeria have put in a lot of effort to get where they are today, and their efforts are paying off.

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