Top 10 Business Ideas From Africa’s Richest Man-Aliko Dangote

Go to the ants you sluggard, consider her ways and be wise(rich)”-Holy Bible

Now that is a popular text from the holy bible.

If there is anyone to learn business secrets from it should be Alhajo Aliko Dangote, the owner of Dangote group . It wont be out of place if we consider this man’s way of making money and hopefully we might become as rich as he is.

Now imagine yourself sitting next or in front of this great man. Just imagine that this was a lifetime opportunity to meet him face to face. Now, imagine that every word he spoke to you were equal to $10 and listening to him will make you super-rich in the next six days.

Open your mind, your heart and your eyes as if you were listening to a doctor prescribing some drugs. Now read this article as if your ultimate goal and success in life depended on it….Now! Read on…

First of all let’s know this man officially.

[ecp code="maverickexcel3"]

Who is Alhaji Aliko Dangote?

Aliko Dangote is africa’s richest business man whose business success is not a surprise to many because of his early found passion for business while he was staying with his uncle, Sani Dantata. He lent him(Dangote) the sum of #200,000 when he was JUST 21-years-old to start his own business.

Read more: When Should I Start My Online Business?

As of Jan, 2015. Aliko Dangote’s networth is estimated to be $14.7 billion and by March, 2015 he was worth $18.66 billion. According to Forbes As of April 2015 his networth was $17.7 billion

Dangote is ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 67th richest person on earth and the richest in Africa.

So, if learning from the rich can gives us tips, insights, strategies and wisdom into their business success secrets and if starting a business from the scratch  as a young entrepreneur is your ultimate goal in life, then sit back and learn some hard core business ideas from this humble billionaire.

Below are the ultimate  business success secrets of our dear Aliko Dangote, of Dangote Group


Dangote started his business locally and at the same time thinking globally. That is to say he started selling to the people around him before selling to others afar off. Today, it is a multi-billion dollar( read that again: multi-billion dollar) conglomerate with many of its operation in several African countries like Ghana, Benin and Nigeria,

NOTE: A conglomerate is a combination of two or more corporations engaged in entirely different businesses that fall under one corporate group, usually involving a parent company and many subsidiaries. Often, a conglomerate is a multi-industry company. Conglomerates are often large and multinational-Wikipedia

Today, his Group (Dangote Group) is made up of:

  • Dangote Cement
  • BlueStar Shipping
  • Dangote Transport
  • Dangote Snacks
  • Dansa Foods
  • Blue Star Investment
  • Dangote Flour mills
  • Dangote Sugar Refinery
  • The Bachita Sugar Company
  • Benue Cement Company Plc and so on

You may not have the materials, support or funding to start global but you can always start from where you are. Start with what you have. Do not wait until your uncle gives you that money, you may have to wait forever. Don’t wait fr that bank to grant you the loan, perhaps, they have forgotten you. Take heart. You just have to start from where you are but NEVER lose sight of where you are going. Even, if the whole world doubt your abilities, just know that YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO DOUBT YOURSELF.

For me, the winning strategy in any start-up business is, ‘Think big but start small.’

Carmen Busquets
imagesThink big

 2. Don’t Only Sell, Produce also:

He out-rightly said,
“manufacture, don’t just trade, there’s money in manufacturing even though it is capital intensive. To achieve a big breakthrough, i had to start manufacturing the same  product I was trading on, which is commodities”- Aliko Dangote
So, in essence he was saying you can as well produce those things yo buy. Yes, you can. You can produce that shoe or pair of trousers instead of buying. The question now is, what can you produce? I am a great fan of agriculture because it is a business that is not fully utilized in  Africa yet. My long term investment  will be in home.messagexchange.comAgriculture. Producing makes you a huge asset  to the society because you can create job opportunities and effect economic development.


3. Network! Network! Network!

As an entrepreneur you can’t  afford to associate with negative and shallow-minded folks. The tale bearers, the no-good and the  NFA(no future ambition). That’s a terrible mistake you’ll be making. It is impossible to see an eagle dine and wine with chickens. You must connect with like-minded persons in and outside your industry.
Someone advised me to comment on all entertainment blog i find so that i can  get more backlink to my blog. Though that may sound good but i think that is just a waste of time. It’s like selling oil palm in boutique. so bad. I only connect with entrepreneur at heart and the business-minded people. If you are not talking business, you are talking nonsense. period!
Dangote, has a strong network with people in politics that was why  he was able  to secure a piece of an abandoned  land at Apapa Port where he built facilities for his flour company there, hence, his business success.
To connect with like-minded people, attend seminars/workshops, read blogs that interest you( it must not always be an entertainment blog) and try to leave a  helpful comment. Not something like, “LOL”, “that’s true”, “tell them oh”………so annoying. Let your comment be contagious. And also remember to maintain good relationship with your colleagues and course-mates both old and new. A tree does not make a forest.

4. Expect A Big Break:

A big break is an event that  changes a person’s life in a positive way, hence, creating more opportunities in the future and bring him or her to the lime light. Actually, big breaks don’t just happen. People make them happen through hard work, courage, passion, network, pains, disappointments and sleepless night. As for lasting success, it has  a lot less  to do with singular, transcendent moments  that it does with incremental  progress. If you think the journey of success will be easy and smooth path, then i fear, you’ll never get there.
In fact, i can’t remember any successful entrepreneur who wasn’t  raised to stardom by a big breakthrough:
  • Aliko Dangote had his big break when he secured a license  to import cement
  • Bill Gateshad his big break  when he negotiated and signed a deal with IBM.
  • Mario Grigorov had his shortly  after his arrival in Los Angeles, in 1992 where he met music executive, Bob James and 3 weeks later he landed a contract  with Warner Music.
  • Susan Boyle(a Scottish singer) had her big break after performing the heart touching song, “I dreamed the dream”(from Les Miserables) on Britain Got Talent. Her first album, released November that same year became one of the best-selling debut albums by a female in 20 years.
  • Michael C. Hall had his first break after meeting Director Sam Mendes at a musical workshop.
  • Oprah Winfrey had hers when she started Harpo Studios Productions and acquired the full rights to her shows.
  • Li Ka Shing had his during a riot period and he began buying properties at low prices.
  • Daniel Forster had his when his tape survived a nation wide  casting search  and now  he has his own show, Build It Bigger.

Space fails  me to write about Larry Ellison of CIA, Steven Spielberg( the legendary film-director) and the list goes on and on.

Don’t wait for things to happen. Stop blaming your parents and uncles and aunts. Go out there and make a difference. Expect your big break soon.

5. Believe in your country:

Dangote is a strong believer in his country. He believes that there are opportunities everywhere but it takes a “smarterpreneur” to see them. To build a successful business and ultimately become rich you must have a strong belief in your country . Look for the opportunities in your own country instead of seeking for greener pastures in other countries.

6. Put your money in more than one Place [Diversify]:

As soon as your business starts growing, branch out into other sector(that interests you—that is very important. Never put all your egg in one basket.

Dangote has his money in other aspects of business like food-processing, cement manufacturing, transportation, etc.

Don’t ever limit yourself and never underestimate what you can achieve. You cant afford to doubt yourself. Express your passion for business by going into other fields

Read also: 6 Questions Entrepreneurs Ask When Finding A Business Partner

7. Work, Work, Work:

You never become successful in life by doing nothing. In fact I will say, “all work and no play makes Jack a rich man”. It’s so annoying seeing people asking you for money when they did nothing. I usually laugh when I see people begging for traffic to their blog. Why expect traffic when you have not put in all your best to work. If you put in the extra time to work you will see results faster than you imagine. Theres no magic formula.

Now hear from the King of business in Africa, Dangote,

“I enjoy myself a lot but I derive more joy in working. I believe in hard work. It’s hard to see a youth that will go to bed by 2am and wake up by 5am. I don’t rest until I achieve something.”

I know what you’re thinking now now, “what about those really hard working people who are not successful or wealthy?” I will answer, “Do not only work hard, you must also work smart”


8.  Be Customer-minded:

At the end of the day , your customer will either make you rich or poor. No matter your type of business, let your ultimate goal  be to satisfy and give immense value to customers. In fact you should have a sleepless night over an unsatisfied customer.

Whether your a banker, musician, entrepreneur, trader barber or whatever, if your business is not giving value to the public, you are not in business. Read that again.

9. You must be  business-minded:

In Nigeria here, anybody who is business-minded is seen as a greedy person. We should all know  by now that that is not true.To succeed in business as an entrepreneur, everything around you must be business business business.. Let it be what you talk of, think of, dream of and live for.

Aliko Dangote believes that you must have an interest in a particular business if you really want to be successful.  Of course, look at all successful entrepreneurs in Africa and abroad, they seem to possess one thing in common-the entrepreneurial spirit or what i call the “entrepreneurial fever”. Since i caught  that fever  about 2 years ago, i have never looked back.

It is that same spirit that has kept  Warren Buffet in the game of business even at old age. It is that same spirit that is turning the wheels of General Electric even long after its founder, Thomas Edison died. It is the spirit of hard work, tenacity, shrewdness, doggedness and resilience.

It is the African Spirit. Think business and Act business

10. Respect  And Obey the Laws of the Land with all diligence:

Dangote encourages entrepreneurs to be law abiding citizens.

Why risk going to jail by engaging in illegal business when it is easier to make money legally?- Rich Dad

As he advised, you must operate your business as outlined  by the authorities. This obedience involves keeping your tax record and credit free from corruption. It Is really a sad thing to see your brand go down the drain because of disobedience.

No matter what always pay your tax.  Get a lawyer who will Register your business name and  do all the legal works for you.

I will end with this powerful nuggets from wise men across the world:


“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” James Cameron

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” Henry David Thoreau

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” John Wooden

“Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.” Lisa M. Amos

“If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” Jim Rohn

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life–think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” Swami Vivekananda

“Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.” Tony Hsieh

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

“If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do.” Anonymous

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill

“Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.” Vaibhav Shah

“Success? I don’t know what that word means. I’m happy. But success, that goes back to what in somebody’s eyes success means. For me, success is inner peace. That’s a good day for me.” Denzel Washington

“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” Chris Grosser

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” Albert Einstein

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“The best revenge is massive success.” Frank Sinatra

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” David Brinkley

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.” Henry Ford

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” Oscar Wilde

“The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.” Bruce Feirstein

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” John D. Rockefeller

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Albert Einstein

“There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” Ray Goforth

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe

“People ask, ‘What’s the best role you’ve ever played?’ The next one.” Kevin Kline

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” Thomas Jefferson

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” Napoleon Hill

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.” Robert Collier

“If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.” Thomas J. Watson

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” Michael John Bobak

“You may only succeed if you desire succeeding; you may only fail if you do not mind failing.” Philippos

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear–not absence of fear.” Mark Twain

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” Pablo Picasso

“We become what we think about most of the time, and that’s the strangest secret.” Earl Nightingale

“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Vidal Sassoon

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” Bill Cosby

“Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.” Carl Bard

“I find that when you have a real interest in life and a curious life, that sleep is not the most important thing.” Martha Stewart

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” Mark Caine


Source of Quotes: Quotes about Success by Jeff Haden

2 thoughts on “Top 10 Business Ideas From Africa’s Richest Man-Aliko Dangote”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge