“I think I mightily overestimated my abilities, and my first entrepreneurial venture in finance was a complete failure, the bulk of which was entirely my own fault. It was a wonderful lesson. And I was able to pick myself up. The second venture of mine, which was a securities trading company, went very well. Subsequent to that, I staged the takeover of a large government-owned bank that I realized after buying was effectively bankrupt.”

In this episode of Grit & Growth, Nigerian businessman Hakeem Belo-Osagie shares the unique challenges facing the African entrepreneurial ecosystem and how he was able to overcome it.

While the circumstances are challenging, Belo-Osagie says that success in Africa must be measured by “how well we’re doing, not by how many people are on the Forbes cover, or by how many billionaires Africa has, but basically what has happened to the bottom 40 percent. Business success has to enable people to make good sums of money, but it also has to be a system that lifts people out of poverty, large proportions of the overall population.”

Grit & Growth is a podcast from Stanford Seed in which entrepreneurs from emerging markets share their stories, and faculty and business experts offer insights on how to transform challenges into opportunities.