It took a trip to Nigeria for Jason Njoku to begin to see success, starting <a href="http://irokopartners.com/">IROKO Partners</a>, the premier source of Nigerian entertainment — from movies to music. In just two years, the company has become the world’s largest distributor of Nigerian music and movies.
Njoku knows a thing or two about overcoming, having switched gears from a career in science (He holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Manchester) to the world of Web by way of several early failures. (He ran a student magazine which folded; a financial blog franchise which faltered; and a t-shirt company that eventually didn't work out.) "My early failures could have— maybe should have knocked my spirit. But I was determined not to let failure get in the way of raw ambition. I love what I do," Njoku says.
Today, IROKO has reached more than 560,000 registered users in less than seven months and has viewers in 178 different countries. Take a cue from Njoku with these tips for business success in Africa. <em>— Octavia Goredema</em>
<strong>Offer a service or product that is simple, that works and that is mutually beneficial to both parties.</strong> Seek out potential partners, have a series of conversations with them, and see how you can work together, Njoku says.
<strong>Never underestimate the power of local knowledge.</strong> Africa is an awesome place to do business at the moment: We have the skills, talent, ideas and, importantly, numbers, Njoku adds. Don’t forget Africa is a continent, not a country, People who are thinking about doing business in Africa often forget this.
<br><br><em>Octavia Goredema is founder of relocation resource </em><strong><a href="http://crashcoursecity.com/" target="_blank">Crash Course City</a></strong><em> and the </em><strong><a href="http://twentytenclub.com/" target="_blank">Twenty Ten Club</a></strong><em>, an award-winning networking organization and online resource designed to connect, inspire and support black female entrepreneurs. Goredema is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an international network of accomplished individuals in the arts, manufactures and commerce patroned by the Queen Elizabeth II.</em>