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Recruitment is tricky. More of an art than a science, we all know it is a difficult balancing act. Where should our priorities lie? And how do we make sure we always recruit the best people for our teams?

As a successful entrepreneur I’ve had to build a lot of teams. I’ve recruited many different people for all sorts of roles over the years. And while I haven’t always got it right, I think that more often than not, I have.

I’ve always tried to recruit locally and focused on developing people internally wherever I can. Someone like Jackson Manuel…


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To build profitable, creative businesses requires risk taking. And that can be stressful, especially when the stakes are high. When my brewery business Sodiba created Luandina, a new beer for Angola — it was a risky, high pressure move. And yet the results show that we can often turn pressure into positivity and productivity. I believe that our teams are more effective and great things happen when they are under pressure.

Here are my thoughts on how you can make sure that happens in your own teams. There are four key lessons:

· A strong vision is key.

· Make…


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What is your most valuable asset as a businessperson? Arguably, it is the relationships you have forged as your career has progressed. These might be with business partners, suppliers, investors — and of course with customers.

I’ve seen it in my own businesses. So many of my own most successful ventures have been based on strong partnerships. When I formed Unitel, that opportunity grew out of a strong and productive relationship with Portugal Telecom.

Today, Unitel is a powerful player in the industry. This is thanks again to our effective long-term business relationships with partners such as equipment manufacturers.

But…


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Many people use the words ‘innovation’ and ‘invention’ interchangeably. But there are very distinct differences between them. And it is crucial that we understand them, particularly when we apply these terms to entrepreneurs. So, are entrepreneurs ‘innovators’ or ‘inventors’?

What is the difference between innovators and inventors?

In order to explore that, it’s worth just defining the terms ‘innovator’ and ‘inventor’ first. There’s a great explanation of the difference between innovators and inventors here. Tom Grasty, a contributor to the Huffington Post and founder of tech start up Stroome, says:

“In its purest sense, invention can be defined as the…


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There are few places on the planet embracing the mobile phone in quite the way that Africa is. From the way this technology is transforming business, to its use in healthcare, it’s having a huge impact.

Mobile use in Africa is booming

One of the most important reasons why mobile technology is proving so popular in Africa is that it’s offering easy Internet access. In a piece for the GSMA, telecoms expert Calum Handforth explains: “Infrastructure deployment and improvement across Sub-Saharan Africa (has) extended mobile Internet coverage to more than 80 million people.”

Today, mobile is by far the most…


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What does the future hold for supermarkets in Africa? With the rise of online shopping and e-commerce, how do supermarkets respond? I believe that Africa holds plenty of opportunities for those in the supermarket sector. The key is in leveraging technology smartly, and understanding the local needs of customers.

Technology means the future looks bright for Africa’s supermarkets

Technology is not going anywhere. It has had a deep and transformative impact on the way people shop. And this opens up a window of opportunity for supermarkets to respond in a way that meets the needs of modern consumers.

Technology will…


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I really believe in the value of literacy campaigns. Helping a new generation of African children to read and write is fundamentally important to the future of our continent. But we also need to set our sights higher. And to do this, we need to understand the role we can all play in youth empowerment.

We need people, young people, with the right set of skills. We need people who can get a job once they leave school and that job has to be relevant. …


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Isabel dos Santos discusses why defining our own unique personal identity first can make us all better leaders in the long run.

We live in an era where as an entrepreneur, your own personal sense of identity and that of your brand are inextricably linked. In fact, customers expect it — they are attracted to brands that feel authentic.

They want the companies they interact with to be true to their founders’ values, and also to be aligned with their own. …


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As a successful entrepreneur, I’m fortunate in being able to travel to promote African businesses around the world. Being able to speak about the quality and innovation of the products and services we create here makes me hugely proud.

But it is also clear to me that there is a big opportunity to accelerate Africa’s economic output. The chance is there for Africa to truly step up and become a major global economic force. But how?

For me, it comes down to a few key areas of focus. …


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We have all wrestled with this challenge from time to time: how do we go about making a meaningful, practical and positive difference to the lives of others? As successful business people and entrepreneurs, we have the tools at our disposal to do this — but often we lack a clear direction and a sense of where to start.

It is an area that I certainly have plenty of experience in, and over the years I’ve seen how practical help can take many forms. It could be the way we have improved the employment prospects of the young people we…

Isabel dos Santos

Entrepreneur, businesswoman, leader, strategist, writer, speaker. Angola, Africa.

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