How we made it in Africa: Learn from the stories of 25 entrepreneurs who’ve built thriving businesses book by Jaco Maritz (Author)

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How we made it in Africa: Learn from the stories of 25 entrepreneurs who’ve built thriving businesses book by Jaco Maritz (Author)

From the founder of the award-winning website ( comes the stories of 25 entrepreneurs who’ve built thriving businesses.

* Be inspired by the experiences of Africa?s most dynamic entrepreneurs
* Gain insight into the continent?s business opportunities
* Find the courage to make your own dreams and ambitions become a reality

Discover why Ken Njoroge is building a billion-dollar pan-African digital payments company (it is not because he wants to drive a Ferrari); Find out how Jean de Dieu Kagabo grew a Rwanda-based industrial group from a simple product: toilet paper; And be inspired by the extraordinary tale of Hassan Bashir who created a booming insurance company from nothing but grit and persistence.

Each entrepreneur?s story is told in an honest manner, not shying away from the mistakes made and the considerable hurdles they had to overcome. And there were many tough times: from being betrayed by long-time senior managers to losing vast sums of money because of poor market research. Pursuing their business ambitions also had a toll on their personal lives: one entrepreneur was too broke to afford diapers for his baby, while another had to sell her house to keep the company alive.


1. Ken Njoroge (Kenya): The long, hard journey to build a billion-dollar company
2. Tseday Asrat (Ethiopia): A modern twist on Ethiopia’s coffee culture
3. Tumi Phake (South Africa): Flexing his entrepreneurial muscles to exploit a gap in the fitness industry
4. Monica Musonda (Zambia): Instant noodle pioneer
5. Hassan Bashir (Kenya): An insurance firm created from nothing but grit and persistence
6. Ebele Enunwa (Nigeria): A $50-million food and retail empire
7. Tayo Oviosu (Nigeria): The entrepreneur who traded in his Silicon Valley life to bring mobile money to Nigerians
8. Navalayo Osembo (Kenya): How to make a Kenyan running shoe
9. Jean de Dieu Kagabo (Rwanda): Rwandan industrialist always hunting for the next big business idea
10. Addis Alemayehou (Ethiopia): Serial entrepreneur bringing the world to Ethiopia
11. Kasope Ladipo-Ajai (Nigeria): Nigerian cooking made convenient
12. Chijioke Dozie (Nigeria): Leveraging past experiences to disrupt the banking industry
13. Sylvester Chauke (South Africa): Marketer with a passion to take African brands global
14. Yoadan Tilahun (Ethiopia): Showing Ethiopia how to throw an event
15. Mossadeck Bally (Mali): West African hotel group built on an appetite for risk
16. Jennifer Bash (Tanzania): Adding value to everyday staples
17. Jesse Moore (Kenya): Thinking out of the box to power over 600 000 homes with solar energy
18. Twapewa Kadhikwa (Namibia): How one hair salon became a group of companies
19. Jacques de Vos (South Africa): Growing a high-impact tech business one problem statement at a time
20. Nana Akua Birmeh (Ghana): Architect breaking glass ceilings
21. Nelly Tuikong (Kenya): Kenyan beauty brand taking on global giants
22. Dr Hend El Sherbini (Egypt): From a small Egyptian family business to a London-listed healthcare giant
23. NJ Ayuk (Cameroon): A lawyer on the road less travelled
24. Polo Leteka (South Africa): The investor who spots opportunity where others see risk
25. Ashley Uys (South Africa): Diagnostic hustler


Jaco Maritz is CEO of Maritz Africa, publisher of the award-winning pan-African online business publication How we made it in Africa.

Jaco holds a BA in Information Science from USB. He started his career at South African media company Media24, working on the websites of some of the country’s most well-known newspapers. He went on to become editor of TradeInvestNigeria, after which he founded Maritz Africa.

When not building Maritz Africa, Jaco enjoys investing in other businesses. He is a regular speaker on business in Africa.