Entrepreneurship Essay Example

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3 Entrepreneurship



This retrospect seeks to establish the relationship between an entrepreneur and their immediate environment (Barreto, 2013). Basically, the paper focusses on Aliko Dangote who is an entrepreneur from Nigeria, Africa. The analysis revolves around his background, family, and his growth as an entrepreneur including what motivated him to venture into business (Barreto, 2013). In entrepreneurial world, growth and development is determined by a number of factors including risks involved, and the chances of success or failure in the business venture are imminent possibilities (Smith et al, 2014). Therefore, apart from dealing with the successes, the paper also offers an overview on the problems Dangote has faced on his way to success (Kumar, 2014).

History, development and growth of the entrepreneur

Aliko Dangote, a Muslim Hausa, was born on 10th of April 1957 in Kano, Kano State of Nigeria. He comes from a wealthy and prominent family (Fayemiwo et al, 2013). Dangote is a great grandnephew to Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, who was the richest person in Africa by 1955 when he died (Fayemiwo et al, 2013). It is his interest in business that drove him to this field of entrepreneurship (Ibeh, 2015).

Dangote studied in Kano for both primary and secondary education and then attended Alazahar University which is in Cairo, Egypt where he got his degree in business studies (Fayemiwo et al, 2013). He began by trading in building supplies and other commodities in Kano and later moved to Lagos by June 1977. Due to his self-motivation, persistence and the success in his business activities, he saw the need for incorporating other companies (Ibeh, 2015). He did this in 1981 by incorporating two companies and later on included others which currently form The Dangote Group.

Role of his Family and Socio-cultural Background in his entrepreneurial success

Dangote depended on Alhaji Sanusi Dantata, his grandfather, who provided him with capital for the start of the business (Fayemiwo et al, 2013). Besides support from his grandfather, he borrowed N500, 000 from Sani Dantata, who is the uncle, to set up his business. Although the loan was intended to be settled in three years, he managed to settle it within three months. This indicates his determination to make it as an entrepreneur (Barreto, 2013). This financial support from the family for him is advocated for by the resource based theories of entrepreneurship in which Dangote can be said to have had the chance to venture into business because he got the capital he needed for the job (Smith et al, 2014).

Moreover, his success in business can be attributed to his background in business education and working with his uncle Sani Dantata. Having graduated in business education, it is possible to say that his business skills were sharpened and he was eager to try the new skills in the real world (Barreto, 2013). When he had the chance to work with his uncle, it provided him with the experience he needed to succeed in business (Fayemiwo et al, 2013). Basing on the encounters he had in his social life through first-hand experience under his uncle, it is an indication that sociological theory of entrepreneurship greatly influenced his success in business (Smith et al, 2014).

Businesses Developed by the Entrepreneur

Dangote Group currently controls 13 major companies and other subsidiaries which are acquired by strategic mergers and it is headquartered in Nigeria (Ibeh, 2015). It includes:

  1. Benue Cement Company

  2. Dangote sugar refinery

  3. Dangote transport

  4. Dangote flour mills

  5. Dangote sacks

  6. Obajana Cement

  7. Bachita Sugar Company

  8. ALCO International Limited

  9. Dangote Textiles Limited (Asibey, 2016).

Competitive advantage of the business

The group, with a staff of 12000, embraces multiethnic culture in both management and staff (Ibeh, 2015). For instance, the head of corporate affairs is a Christian whereas, the owner, Aliko Dangote is Hausa with a personal assistant from Yoruba (Oyero et al, 2013). This allows the company to have a wider business area as the public does not view the group in terms of a certain tribe which might lead to shunning away of their commodities, which might impact Dangote’s business greatly since his investment is focusing on a hundred percent Nigerian (Asibey, 2016).

Asibey, 2016). Apart from the brand name, the company has to develop a network for distribution that runs across the country that will enable the company to deliver goods faster to the consumer before their competitors (Vivien, 2013). (In the course of the business, Dangote designed a strategic plan which involves building a strong brand name which signifies quality: ‘Dangote Group’

SWOT Analysis


Owing to the various product lines the group is associated with, it is bound to gain more profits in that it serves as a one-stop-shop for its customers (Ibeh, 2015). This is when the customer learns to associate their tastes with the brand name and thus the company can sell in bulk which leads to more profits (Adoyi, 2015). For example, the customer who buys cement from Dangote Cement, due to the reputation associated with the business, is likely to buy flour from Dangote Flour Mills and also use Dangote Transport (Sumaila, 2013). This creates mutual understanding between the company and their customers which is essential in business.


The political conflicts in Nigeria is one of major weakness of the group (Oyero et al, 2013). Boko Haram, founded in 2002, is the main sect responsible for the conflicts in Nigeria (David et al, 2015). It is likely to cause losses in the group due to the fear of investment by the shareholders being afraid of what is to be expected (Ucho, 2014).


Dangote Agro sacks Limited has the mandate to manufacture sacks for packaging of products from the Dangote Group (Adeoye et al, 2014). It is reported that the company is able to produce 500 million bags for 50kg packaging in a year. Although the company needs a lot of packaging material, with this kind of production by the sacks company, they are able to package their products with ease. Therefore, since the company does not incur extra charges in purchasing packaging material, it is possible to channel the available funds into other investments like telecommunication projects that they started back in 2009 (Adoyi, 2015).

The group is faced with sustenance inability. As we all know, the larger an organization is, the more complex it is to manage (Vivien, 2013). Dangote flour Mills, for instance, which is a part of the Dangote group, gives out their goods to the middlemen on credit, in a move to sustain competition with other flour companies that are well established in the business (Ofonyelu, 2014). This can have adverse effects on the company if the middlemen fail to pay for the purchases, besides the likelihood of them shifting to other suppliers in the same business (Vivien, 2013).


Clean energy technology is proving to be one of the lucrative businesses around the world and therefore Dangote should consider investing in it (Mohammed et al, 2013). This will not only be important for the African continent but also it will help the company to reach out to international cooperation with countries like Japan that are pioneers in such fields. Apart from the benefits the company is likely to enjoy, it is also likely that the environment will be preserved rather than the way cement companies destroy it (Agbese, 2016).

Investing in motor building and assembly industry is one of the ways of reducing Dangote’s expenditure in vehicle purchases (Kumar, 2014). Moreover, other entrepreneurs around the world have made it through such business. Moreover, in Africa there are not many people who have invested in the business. Looking at companies like Toyota, it is an indication that the business is lucrative since almost everyone is buying vehicles, and therefore, since Dangote Group has links around the world and especially Africa, they stand a chance of making it big in the venture (Kumar, 2014).

Dangote would greatly benefit by setting up of computer systems design as one of his businesses. Although this will be one of the subsidiary companies under the umbrella, it is also a good form of investment that will integrate with other businesses the group already has. Microsoft under Bill Gates is one of such companies and has proven that the business really pays as bill gates is one of the richest people in the world (Gates, 2013).


The growth and development of Aliko Dangote as an entrepreneur has been shaped not just by self-motivation but also by the family and the environment around him (Smith et al, 2014). Just as the psychological theories of entrepreneurship suggests, it is evident that Aliko Dangote had great creativity in his way up the entrepreneurial ladder as he has developed various strategic plans that have worked for him all along (Barreto, 2013). The plan he formulated included formation of a network for his business that would ensure timely delivery of goods to the customers ahead of the competitors.

Reference List

Adeoye, A.O. and Steve, O.K., 2014. Return on Invested Capital as a Determinant for Future Investment. A Case Study of Three Subsidiaries of Dangote Group.]. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Science, 5(8).

Adoyi, J., 2015. Impact of Integrated Marketing Communications on the Companies’ Sales Performance (Doctoral dissertation).

Agbese, P.O., 2016. Nigeria: Key Ingredients to Economic Success. The Searchlight, 1(3).

Asibey, A.O., 2016. The Rise of Indigenous African Foundations/Philanthropies and their Development Impact. Doing Public Good?: Private Actors, Evaluation, and Public Value, 1.

Barreto, H., 2013. The Entrepreneur in Microeconomic Theory: Disappearance and Explanaition. Routledge.

David, O., Asuelime, L.E. and Onapajo, H., 2015. Boko Haram: The Socio-Economic Drivers. Springer.

Fayemiwo, M.A. and Neal, M.M., 2013. Aliko Mohammad Dangote: the biography of the richest black person in the world.

Gates, B., 2013. Bill Gates: My plan to fix the world’s biggest problems. The Wall Street Journal.

Ibeh, K., 2015. Rising Africa and Its Nascent Multinational Corporations. In The Changing Dynamics of International Business in Africa (pp. 123-147). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Kumar, R., 2014. Brand Preferences and Brand Loyalty of Consumers Towards Automobiles: A Consumer Behaviour Survey. International Journal of Management and Social Sciences (IJMSS), 3(2), pp.117-126.

Mohammed, Y.S., Mustafa, M.W., Bashir, N. and Mokhtar, A.S., 2013. Renewable energy resources for distributed power generation in Nigeria: a review of the potential. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 22, pp.257-268.

Ofonyelu, C.C., 2014. Strategic capacity utilization and competition: An analysis of competitions in Nigerian flour industry. Issues in Business Management and Economics, 2(10), pp.186-192.

Oyero, O., Joshua, S. and Aduradola, R.R., 2013. Radio and Community Partnership for Mediation and Peacebuilding in Africa.

Smith, W. and Chimucheka, T., 2014. Entrepreneurship, economic growth and entrepreneurship theories. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(14), p.160.

Sumaila, A.G.F., 2013. Analysis of Cement Market in Northern Nigeria. International Journal of Marketing Studies, 5(1), p.34.

Ucho, A., 2014. Job Related Tension, Interactional Justice and Job Involvement among Workers of Dangote Cement Company Gboko. International Journal of Applied Psychology, 4(3), pp.81-85.

Vivien, O.A., 2013. The Impact of Management Incentive Policies on Worker’s Productivity (A Case Study of Dangote Cement Factory, Obajana, Kogi State.).