The Final Word: Advice for Young Entrepreneurs

If you could offer one piece of advice for a young entrepreneur entering your industry, what would it be?  

 
Richard ‘Kiki’ Fernandes - CEO, Marginpar Group
“Great things are never achieved by one person, always by a team of people. You want to be very clear about your mission and vision, and what you want to achieve. Engage your whole team and reach collective focus on your goals. Make sure you have the right balance between financial investment and the right people in the organisation.
 
Understand the people you work with; use a people-centric approach. Of course, you want to employ the right person, with the proper (technical) skills, but then it is important to bring out the best in that person. We work with servant leadership, the skill of which is getting the right balance between leading and serving. Form self-managing, self-evolving and self-healing teams. Essentially, create a conducive environment for your people to grow and develop.”  
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“Create your own personal brand, be passionate in everything you do, and seize every networking opportunity.”
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Danie Van Der Merwe - Managing Director, Yara Zambia
“The opportunities in agriculture are endless. For all new start-ups there will be risk involved - do not let this demotivate you but make sure of taking calculated decisions. 
 
The following are crucial for the success and survival of any business:
•   Know your customers and know them well. Irrespective of where in the agricultural sector you want to position yourself. Never simply assume you understand the needs of your customers.
•   Be prepared for change. Change is what brings new opportunities, whether we like it or not. We are in an era of rapid change both globally and in agriculture. Think smart and act proactively. 
•   And lastly:  Make business FUN!”
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Bruno Silete Hounkpati - CEO, LafargeHolcim Guinea
“My words to that young entrepreneur would be - believe in yourself and commit, don’t be distracted by the capital-intensive nature of the cement industry, there are still opportunities in the value chain.”