1. · "If you have a crazy idea, go for it! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes." - Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is founder and Managing Director of soleRebels, the world's fastest-growing African footwear brand and the only Fair Trade-certified footwear company in the world.
2. · "Never listen to anybody who tells you, you can’t do it. You know you can so just get on with it.” - Margaret Hirsch is one half of a dynamic husband and wife duo that founded Hirsch's Homestores back in 1979, and has gone on to become a true champion of women empowerment
3. · “I have learnt that if you face the challenges with positive energy, you are most likely to get better results.” - Adenike 'Nike' Ogunlesi is the founder of Ruff 'n' Tumble the leading designer, manufacturer and retailer of designer children's clothing in Nigeria
4. · “If I can change the life of one person it makes a whole difference because behind that person there is a whole family. It’s a family, it’s a society, and it’s Tanzania.” - Victoria Kisyombe founded SELFINA in 2002 taking the lead role as pioneer of micro-credit in Tanzania through micro-leasing to widows and young women
5. · “Have a vision and passion. Be courageous, focused and disciplined. Lastly, persist… it’s definitely not easy.” - Monica Musonda is the founder of Java Foods, a food processing company based in Zambia with a mission to revolutionize the eating habits of the youth market by offering them affordable and nutritious food options made from local products
6. · "... failure is an opportunity to learn and to do better next time. It’s part of the path to greatness, which was never meant to be smooth." - Khanyi Dhlomo is founder of Ndalo Media and Destiny Connect; and co-founder of Luminance, a South African media mogul with a passion for luxury retailing
7. · "We need to create an environment that would drive creativity. Do not be afraid to test new things. We must be creative, ensuring we are a step ahead of competition." - Kofo Akinkugbe is recognised globally for her entrepreneurial success story and strong business track record as founder & CEO of SecureID Nigeria Ltd a market leader in smart card technology and digital security
8. · "I am guided each day by these three questions: ‘What are you fixing?’ ‘What are you making?’ and ‘Who are you helping?'" - Juliana Rotich is an inspirational Kenyan technologist & social entrepreneur and co-founder of Ushahidi a company with a mission to change the way information flows in the world and empower people to make an impact with open source technologies
9. · “Do not be afraid to try. Fail. Fail again. Fail better. He who takes all the risks, takes all the rewards.” - Maira Koutsoudakis is an internationally acclaimed interior architect and founder and CEO of the Life group of companies and Life Interiors, Architecture and Strategic Design
10. · "Start at the bottom. You need 100% passion, 100% guts and a total belief in your vision and your determination to succeed. Be prepared to put in crazy work hours and all kinds of sacrifices, but most important.. NEVER GIVE UP!" - Bev Missing is founder of RAIN who create handmade bath & body products and homeware from natural ingredients with African origins, using craftspeople who care for the environment.
11. · "I might fail in a business venture but I do not consider myself a failure until I have given up. Failure is giving up on my goals and dreams." - Damilola Solesi is founder of Smids Animation Studios based in Lagos, Nigeria, creators of 3D computer animation, 3D content production, motion graphics and visual effects
12. · "I sold sweets to friends at school, and we would sell sandwiches and ice cream at soccer matches on weekends. So from a very early age I understood what business was about and I knew how to work with money. All the basic business principles I learned from watching my parents." - Basetsana Kumalo is a pioneering South African entrepreneur, television personality, beauty pageant titleholder, businesswoman, and philanthropist
13. · "If success means living with joy, contentment, and doing great things with my talent, then failure is the opposite of success. It means not living with joy, contentment, or using my skills and gifts. Failure would also mean not pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and not daring to try new things and ideas." - Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi is founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre a Nigerian organisation working to empower girls and women socially and economically, using information and communication technologies
14. · "When you dream, shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - Emelda Mwamanga is a truly inspiring Tanzanian entrepreneur who a decade ago, without any experience in journalism, started her country's first lifestyle publication, Bang! magazine