Men who excel in the corporate world have always had their places in who is who in business and industry. Women too have not been left out in corporate leadership listings. Rare to find however, are couples who pair up to build twin towers of flourishing businesses that impact society positively.
Couples who are both big players in the business world have in their hands business and economic development power more than that separately held by successful businesses. This represents corporate performance power rooted in synergy and strategy ‘made at home’.
It is the key factor that has powered the rise of big businesses of spouses that have excelled in building businesses and positively impacting society. Companies normally build synergy at the business districts. Power couples build synergy at home well before the businesses are born.
The same is true of strategy. Corporate strategists at the work place first have to learn what the visionaries have in their minds and then try to chart the course for their attainment. Power couples agreed the strategy at home and only went to the offices to implement them.
In Nigeria, many couples have applied this model to build great businesses but the underlying factor for the success has been unsung. Towering businesses built by men have always taken the dominant stage but how the spouses of these business gurus have applied synergy and strategy to build equally great businesses has not received much attention.
Excelling side by side
The powerful combination is impacting on the Nigerian economy positively and couples, who excelled in giving back to society, made it to the top 10 ranking. A number of female spouses aremethodically excelling at business side by side with their men. In the light of the progress that top ranking couples have made in business, it is quite interesting to know what traits have actually helped female business founders achieve great successes.
Two major factors stand out in explaining the successful emergence of power couples in the business space. One is pre-knowledge of emerging opportunities from existing businesses and the other is special traits of women that usually extend the frontiers of business enterprise.
The establishment of a thriving business organization creates other business opportunities within and outside the industry. The spouse of the business owner that has entrepreneurial skills is better positioned to capitalize on the emerging opportunities than anyone else. Being privy to what is to come; she could begin to take advantage while the business opportunity is yet brewing.
In some cases, she might have prompted from the background the decisions that unveiled the new opportunity. Some of the power couples followed this approach to build great businesses within and across related industries.
The strength in the woman
The second critical success factor is the application of women’s natural traits in building relationships to build businesses. Women, by their nature, easily make valuable connections and build relationships that link up people. By marriage, they are able to link up a number of people together across societal boundaries. They reach goals more often than men because their radar of valued contacts and influence is wider.
Female entrepreneurs, under an umbrella of prospering business of their spouses, are therefore able to employ a network of relationships to build their own businesses in the areas of their strengths.
Janet Kraus of Harvard Business School conducted a research on successful entrepreneurs in 2016 and found that women business owners feed off positive morale and skillfully bring people together. She said women are skilled at using the relationship traits to create a compelling vision that move people into action.
The power couples consist of men at the commanding heights of business and industry in their respective spheres and their spouses who deployed solid, fundamental skills to build the biggest business enterprises around. They are men and their spouses whose exploits in the business space are increasingly valuable in Nigeria’s entrepreneurial milieu. They are couples who have a large sphere of positive impacts on the economic and social lives of Nigerians.
In the group are women who have built great businesses that are completely distinct from the businesses of their men. There are some who are onboard the businesses of their spouses at corporate governance level, joining their hands together to enlarge the operating capacity and stretch out group interests across many business frontiers.
Who made the list?
Top 10 Magazine went in search of power couples who have attained great successes in their respective business endeavours. These are couples, prompted by desire to take actions, set out to change Nigeria’s business landscape and who have run with great visions and produced exceptional results that impact society.
In 2012, the United Nations recognized entrepreneurship as a means of advancing growth and prosperity in the developing world. The editors of Top 10 Magazine searched the length and breadth of Nigeria’s business space for couples who deployed the spirit of entrepreneurship and activated productive activity to the highest levels in record.
It was a double pronged search for men and wives, who have aptly demonstrated the ability to spot opportunities, organise resources – of which specialised knowledge is key – to make problem-solving ideas a reality in the marketplace.
In the top 10 power couples are men and women with rare abilities to combine talents, optimise abilities, drive resources and create profitable products that meet people’s needs. Among them are people who introduced something new – products, technology, raw material or created processes that simplified tasks and improved living standards.
Some made the list by challenging conventional wisdom, breaking the status quo and persevering until they won. This is a group of people propelled by ideas to develop the ability to transform desire into things of value.
Members of the group are characterized by innovation, risk taking, resource management, ability to identify opportunities and devise means of exploitation to create value. These attributes have been found to be the central force that coordinates all other factors of production.
This study stands out as part of an effort to step up the development of entrepreneurial capacity in Nigeria. The nation needs to raise the number of this crop of people to be able to transform society from the potential state into real prosperity. The more a nation is able to add value to its natural endowments in a productive enterprise, the more it creates job opportunities and the wealthier it becomes.