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ELLE BOSS ALUMNI: LINDA MABHENA-OLAGUNJU

ELLE Boss 2016 Alum Linda Mabhena-Olagunju, World Economic Forum member and Managing Director of DLO Energy Resources, took home the grand prize last year.

On why she entered:

I was nominated, and I thought it was a great platform to encourage entrepreneurship. I know that not everyone reads business publications, yet ELLE has found a unique way of making entrepreneurship cool and relatable to women.

On her leadership style:

I lead by example; I am a hard worker, and I like to inspire my team and let them take the lead on matters.

On the women she admires:

Oprah Winfrey. I always say she was therapy for young black girls who couldn’t afford it. Folorunsho Alakija because of how she manages being a leading businesswoman and a family woman as well, I love the grace in which she balances both.

On the quote she lives by:

‘What is Success? To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

On where she’ll be in five years:

Having built more power stations across the continent. I sincerely believe that we need to create an enabling environment for companies to conduct business on the continent. With only 50% of businesses having access to electricity on the continent, it makes it harder for Africa to industrialise and therefore create jobs. I also want to do more on the continent with respect to education, especially around funding, mentorship and skills development.

Inspired? Enter ELLE Boss 2017 today.

These answers first appeared in a print edition of ELLE.