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10 Books Every Aspiring African Entrepreneur Should Read in 2018

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10 Books Every Aspiring African Entrepreneur Should Read in 2018

In today’s world, the ability to create time and learn constantly is one attribute successful entrepreneurs have in common. This is because reading allows us to be relevant to changes happening around the world. Your mind is updated on the new trends in doing business and for new opportunities that could be posing as problems. An entrepreneur is a leader in his own right. And leaders have to be ahead. Moreover, they have to create their own intellectual curiosity not in just in their own fields but far much more than that.

As an entrepreneur, reading should be one of the self-improvement strategies anyone who has a knack for success in 2018 should have. Warren Buffet was once asked what the key to success is; he pointed to a stack and books and said that he reads 500 pages of books every day and allocates 80% of his daily time in reading books.

That is why every year, we recommend books that we think any aspiring entrepreneur Africa should read and here is the list of the ten books we highly recommend in 2018


Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals -By Michael Hyatt 

Are you overwhelmed and exhausted of not making progress in your personal ambitions? Are your dreams and reality far much apart? In this book, Michael Hyatt shares a powerful, proven, research-driven system for setting and achieving goals. Readers learn how to design their best year ever in just five hours.

You’ll learn how to design Your Best Year Ever by discovering:

 – What’s holding you back right now

–  How to overcome your past setbacksHow to quit-proof your goals

– The role of habits in personal achievement

– The seven attributes of effective goals


The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers – By Ben Horowitz

While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. In this book, Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz – private American venture capital firm analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies.

“More than any other business book released this year, “Hard Things” gives an insider’s perspective on what it’s like to lead and scale a startup.” — —Business Insider’s Best Business Books of 2014

In this 2014 book, he shares his personal experience on measure performance, train employees, minimizing politics and dedicates a whole chapter on how to lay off employees.

Read: 6 Steps Every Entrepreneur Can Use to Rise Above Failure

Darko Opoku, an Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Oberlin College, USA and Eve Sandberg, Professor in the Politics Department at Oberlin College, USA highlight the critical challenges faced by aspiring African entrepreneurs. The book takes a case study of how South African women entrepreneurs are coping through some of the challenges they are facing to rich case studies on African leaders and how international donors need to review their own behaviours if they hope for African entrepreneurs to succeed.

“Delving deeply into the wellsprings of African entrepreneurship, Opoku and Sandberg’s volume shows the dynamics and variations of capitalism on the continent. It offers historical case studies of myriad ways to negotiate extraordinary challenges. Meticulously researched and deftly crafted, this landmark book will prompt wide reflection on development strategies.” (James H. Mittelman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence and University Professor Emeritus, American University, USA).


The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses – by Eric Ries

This 2011 book delves into the new approach being embraced across the globe on the way companies are built and new products are launched. The Lean Startup book provides a scientific approach to building startups by validated learning through testing and adoption practices that shorten the process by which one creates a product. Through this time-saving process, startups can measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. This book allows you to test your vision continuously and validating without having to spend a lot.

“It’s about what we can learn from those businesses to improve virtually everything we do. I imagine Lean Startup principles applied to government programs, to healthcare, and solving the world’s great problems. It’s ultimately an answer to the question ‘How can we learn more quickly what works, and discard what doesn’t?” Time O’Reilly


Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life  – By Daymond John, Daniel Paisner

In this book, Shark Tank star explores how grit, persistence, and good old-fashioned hard work are the backbone of every successful business. Rise and Grind revoke the belief that you can short-cut your way to the top and highlights that hard work is the key. He and inspires the readers to out-think, out-hustle, out-perform everyone around them.

Daymond also takes a closer look at the hard-charging routines and winning secrets the likes of Gary Vaynerchuk, Joel Osteen, and Russell Simmons among others who have ground their way through the challenges in their act.


Soar! Build Your Vision from the Ground Up – By T. D. Jakes 

New York Best Selling Author Bishop T.D Jakes seeks to inspire readers that there is neither no dream that too big to fulfil nor no burden too heavy to bear for God’s children. Blending the practical business acumen of a successful, global CEO with the dynamic inspiration of a life coach, Soar challenges readers to maximize their God-given abilities by activating their dreams into reality. The book offers practical and easy-to-follow steps for launching the entrepreneurial drive while offering transformative services and fulfilling God’s destiny.

“Too often we remain in jobs that stifle our souls and leave us on the runway of opportunity with the engine of our deepest passion stalled, watching others make their personal vision a reality and build a legacy for their children-the opposite of what God intends for us. But it’s never too late to get your dreams off the ground!” T.D Jakes


Developing Africa’s Financial Service: The Importance of High Impact Entrepreneurship – By Dana T. Redford

Africa is at the crossroads of its development. Economic growth has slowed down to the lowest level in two decades. With population growth estimated at 2.7 per cent, Africa will experience a decline in GDP per capita. The situation poses a big challenge for the continent. Without the right policies and investments, the continent will experience, poverty and instability; But the high youthful population represents an opportunity in terms of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and market expansion for the continent.

This book examines the case studies and highlights success stories of entrepreneurial financial sector ventures that are making a lasting contribution to the economic development of various sub-Saharan African countries. High-impact entrepreneurship in the financial sector is the key to unlock the potential for economic growth through financial inclusion and investment in the continent.


Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future – Peter Thiel with Blake Masters

Peter Thiel’s shines like a laser beam of how entrepreneurs, can build their startups. Thiel, a founder of PayPal and data analytics firm Palantir believes that competition is for losers. You have to create and capture lasting value, look forward to building a monopoly.

This book presents a forward-thinking way of innovation and should not be limited to Silicon Valley or computers. Peter Thiel believes in doing something new. He categorically states that the next Bill Gates will not build an operating system or the next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. He also presents a coherent and thoughtful articulation of capitalism per se in companies.

Zero to One is not your average business book. It explicates all the entrepreneur’s answers you might have in regards to building a forward thinking company that will stand the test of market forces.

This is a must get book for everyone.


The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything – Guy Kawasaki

This is one of the best books to be crafted for anyone thinking of venturing into business. The book is full of practical pieces of advice and guidelines that anyone can easily put into application.

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a small-business owner, intrapreneur, or not-for-profit leader, The Art of the Start 2.0 has broken down the entire process of starting a business. Whether it is a service based or a physical product, It distils advice on topics such as innovating, recruiting, fundraising, hiring, and even branding. It features his latest insights and hands-on advice about social media, crowdfunding and even cloud computing and shows how to apply them in your business. Guy Kawasaki has even made reading and application of book easy by arranging the topics based on the concept of an idea to launch and even an FAQ section with key questions.


Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance  – Angela Duckworth

In this book, Angela Duckworth explains that anyone who strives to succeed in their endeavours, should not bank on talent or gifts but a special blend of passion and persistence which she calls grit. Sharing new insights from her research, she explains much as to why some people succeed and others don’t.

Grit which is a combination of passion and perseverance is the hallmark of high achievers in every domain of life. This is thoroughly explained in her research which also shows that this grit can also grow if nurtured.

Angela Duckworth, a psychologist, celebrated researcher, and professor, gives a first-hand experience working with teachers in some of the toughest schools, cadets struggling through their first days at Westpoint and young finalist in the National Spelling Bee to interviewing dozens of high achievers like JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

All these books are available at


This article has been updated to combine another list from our previous article on the same topic. 

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