Business Listicles

5 African Entrepreneurs Who Started Successful Businesses with Less Than $100

The world has few billionaires and many millionaires whose fortune control the world. Some of these men and women were born into wealth while majority had to attain the status by building everything from the scratch. In Africa, where we have countable billionaires, there are hundreds of entrepreneurs who have become successful by starting businesses with $100 or less than that amount.

Heshan de Silva:

Heshan de Silva dropped out of an American school in 2007, and ended up in his hometown Kenya, where he got his life back. He was 18 when he  came to live with his parents, and they gave him 10,000 Kenyan Shillings (US$116), to start up something for himself.  He started an insurance business with bus ticket purchase in the country. It was reported that he made 90m Kenyan Shillings (US$1.05m) at the end of that year, before starting De Silva Group, a venture capital firm.

Axel Fourie :

Axel Fourie tried his hands on many businesses that when he was 27, there were many broken dreams in his life.  However, when his iPod developed faults and it was said that there was nothing that could be done to repair it in South Africa, he started a YouTube video tutorial to learn how to fix iPod. He started repairing people’s iPad and iPods before starting  his company iFix from his university dorm in 2007.

He started with no money and today he has a chain of 8 stores and exports into 12 countries across Africa.

Abasiama Idaresit :

Abasiama Idaresit, came back to Nigeria in 2011 after his MBA at Manchester Business School . With a $250 he got from his mother, he started Wild Fusion, a digital marketing company. It took him about eight months to build this business and after three years, companies like Unilever, Samsung, Vodafone and Visa started making businesses with him.  Today, his company is Google’s certified partner in Africa and worth $6 million!


Anna Phosa :

In 2004, Anna Phosa started a pig farm in Soweto. The starting budget was about $100, and she used it to buy her four pigs after someone introduced her to piggery. In 2008, she got her first deal with Pick ‘n Pay, a South African supermarket and retail giant to supply its stores with 10 pigs per week.  The demand grew to 20 pigs per week and in 2010, it got to 100 pigs in a deal of close to 2.5 million US Dollars. She got funding from USAID and ABSA to buy a 350-hectare farm property.


Elton Jefthas and Jacky Goliath :

De Fynne Nursery was started by Jacky Goliath and Elton Jefthas in 2001. They started it in Jeftah’s home backyard. The demand for the nursery grew so fast that they have to move out of the backyard to a 1.5 hectare area in 2008. Today, the nursery supplies to many retailers such as Spar, Massmart and Woolworths in South Africa.   They barely started with anything but have become a successful business in the country.