The entrepreneurship bug has bitten many young people in Nigeria with foundations like the Tony Elumelu Foundation giving startups from all over Africa funds to start these dreams and mentors to guide them through these often tough terrains. However, many entrepreneurs still fall by the wayside, and startups fail. We have been able to compile a few Ted talks from seasoned entrepreneurs to encourage and give a sense of what it’s like to run a startup.
Ola Orekunrin is the founder and managing director of Flying Doctors, Nigeria, the first air ambulance service in West Africa. At 21, Ola graduated from the University of York as the youngest-ever doctor in England. Spurred by a family tragedy and armed with a passion for improving the quality of healthcare in Africa, she established Flying Doctors, Nigeria in 2007. The company presently owns 20 aircraft and employs 44 doctors who can deliver care en-route to hospitals.
In her 2012 Ted Talk Ola discusses the challenges of being female and an entrepreneur in Nigeria and how to overcome these challenges. Watch here.
Jason Njoku is a founder of Iroko TV and the CEO of iROKO Partners, a web-based television station. With the largest web-based library of African content (movies and music), Iroko’s target audience is Africans based in the diaspora and it is presently Africa’s fastest growing internet company. The idea for Iroko TV was born when Jason couldn’t find Nollywood movies for his mother online. By December 2010 Jason had not only moved back to Nigeria, he had also launched iROKO partners and within four months he’d bought the online rights of over 500 movies. According to Jason, “I was a spectacular failure. A certified failure. From 2005 to 2010 I was a complete failure.” Watch the video here.
The founder and CEO of Nike Art Gallery, arguably the largest in Africa, Nike Okundaiye’s Ted Talk follows her journey from childhood to establishing not only an art gallery but also art centers around Nigeria, where people learn Yoruba traditional weaving and batik dyeing techniques. Her first art center was established in Oshogbo and from the first 20 homeless girls she took in and trained that year, the centers have graduated over 3,000 students in the past 34 years. Watch the video here.
Kola Karim is the chief executive of Shoreline Energy International, a leading energy holding company operating in Africa with a diversified portfolio in construction, oil and gas, power, telecommunications, engineering, and manufacturing. The company’s valuation currently stands at $120,000,000. In his Tedx Talk Kola Karim looks at the different opportunities within the challenges existing in Africa and Nigeria. Watch here.
The founder of Ebony Life TV, “Africa’s first global black multi-broadcast network,” and serial entrepreneur, Mo Abudu’s career has spanned two decades. Described as Forbes Magazine as Africa’s most successful woman, Mo Abudu is a TV producer and human resources management consultant. In her Ted talk, Mo Abudu talks about the challenges of entrepreneurship in Africa and the way these can be converted into opportunities. She also shared ten secrets to success. Watch here.
Sharing a six-minute excerpt from his documentary This is Nollywood, Gambian-born Italian filmmaker Franco Saachi shares an insight into Nigeria’s booming movie industry—the third largest in the world—Nollywood. He shares the challenges of the industry and how various producers, actors, and scriptwriters have been able to overcome the hurdles. Watch the video here.
Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu is a social entrepreneur who founded the Smallholders Foundation, an NGO that uses educational radio programs and field demonstrations to promote market access to smallholding farmers. In his talk, he discusses the various ways through which he’s been able to help support farmers through his foundation. Watch the video here.