Folorunsho Alakija is a Nigerian businesswoman and one of the richest African women and also one of the richest black women in the world. In 2014 she unseated Oprah Winfrey’s the richest woman of African descent in the world. Alakija is ranked by Forbes as the richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion.
Folorunsho achieved all of this without a university degree. She insists that a formal education is not a requisite for success in life.
Folorunsho started her career in 1974 as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises, Lagos, Nigeria. She moved on to the former First National Bank of Chicago, where she worked for some years before establishing a tailoring company called Supreme Stitches. She spent her weekends and nights making inventory and building her brand.
It rose to prominence and fame within a few years, and as Rose of Sharon House of Fashion, became a household name. As national president and lifelong trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), she left an indelible mark, promoting Nigerian culture through fashion and style.
“I once dared to dream and if I could succeed, then so can you!”
“Rome was not built in a day. As you continue to struggle to make ends meet, somewhere, somehow, you will make it.”
“People should not just look at people who are on top. They should go and study how they got there and the challenges they had to face as they while climbing the ladder.”
“I did not start from here. I started on a small scale. When I was working for someone else, I spent my weekend buying and selling. I sold jewellery. I sold scarfs. My husband was also doing some buying and selling. Yet, he is a lawyer.”
“I never went to a university, and I am proud to say so because I don’t think I have done too badly.”
“Just start small with what you have and you can grow the business.”
“It’s essential to draw up a “things to do” list on a daily basis and set priorities in executing them, making sure that any unfinished task get posted to the next day’s list.”