#Biz-Idol Challenge (1.0): The Winning Entry

By Elizabeth Aluko Oluwadamilola

Until recently, nothing has motivated me to be impactful—either as a student, or a small business owner. This man, like many out here, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N, has indeed found his way ahead and remains a model for many within and outside the business world.

Being a small business owner or an intending business owner in Nigeria can be initially frustrating: the thoughts of funding,  the processes involved in making the business a reality, as well as sustaining the (business) idea. However, reading stories of, and following Mr Tony Elumelu from screens and pages have made me see the possibilities of effectively running a business.

Through him, I have learnt that, I should not go into a business to make money quickly, or to gather profits for myself alone. Any business that will be sustained, will be one that creates value, gives value and makes people more valuable. Mr. Elumelu’s impact over the years, in Africa and beyond, is notable and only reminds me that, regardless of my present space size, I can always add value to those around me. With him, raising other men up, training and influencing them—even as a business man— has appeared seamless and worthwhile.

Also, he is a man who appreciates and actively employs collaborative work. More than the average business leader in Nigeria, Mr. Elumelu has given several men, and women especially, the opportunity to work with him, and live out their potentials. He is a business man whose work and impact has brought so many to the limelight.

Like him, I want to build a business; that will not be all about profits, but much more, will be one that brings people together, allows them explore their strengths,  share ideas, and work out these ideas till they become a reality. Eventually, these will improve the society and add value to the average man. As I get better and go through this process, I will apply the  things I have learnt, and will learn from him, not just in business, but in other related facets.

Summarily, Retired General Electric CEO, Jack Welch said, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” Today, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu is my biz idol because as a business man, he has been able to invest, not just his money, but also his position and time in other people and has like himself, enabled them perform optimally.

ALUKO Elizabeth Oluwadamilola