Africa Business News: Entrepreneurs. Investments. Banking & Finance. Emerging Markets. Start-Ups
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
Africa’s Youngest Billionaire Says Entrepreneurship Is Not All About Money
VENTURES AFRICA – An advice to African youths not to focus only on money coming from Ashish Thakkar may seem ironic giving the fact that he is Africa’s youngest Billionaire. That advice is however worth the money as is the Mara Mentor App launched by Thakkar over the weekend.
Ugandan business tycoon and Founder of Mara Group Mr Ashish Thakkar, was in Ghana during the weekend to launch Mara Mentor, his multi-lingual online portal and mobile App for youth mentorship and entrepreneurship.
At the launch, which was performed by Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama, Thakkar, 33, urged Ghanaian youths to see the innovativeness, attitude and values in entrepreneurship, not just the money it.
Youths should dream big, think big and start from somewhere, he enthused. Just like he did when at the age of 15 he borrowed to start his first IT company whereby he bought and sold computers. That venture has now grown into a conglomerate of IT, real estate and manufacturing companies with operations in 19 African countries and 21 countries worldwide, employing over 8,000 people through its investments and operations.
Ghana’s government says its support of Thakkar’s Mara Mentor is part of it’s effort to cultivate an entrepreneurship culture among the west African country’s youth. Worth $260 million, Ashish instituted Mara Foundation, the nonprofit social enterprise of Mara Group which focuses on emerging African entrepreneurs. The Foundation works to create sustainable economic and business development opportunities for young business owners via its Mara Launchpad incubation centres and Mara Launch Fund.
A part of Thakkar’s Mara Foundation, the Mara Mentor is an online community that enables ambitious entrepreneurs to connect with experienced and inspiring business leaders and online resources. The platform encourages idea and knowledge sharing among promising young entrepreneurs, inspiring a collaborative approach to business start-up and growth.
Ashish said the mentor programme was created to empower youths and women in their business endeavours, in recognition of the fact that they are the driving force behind economic growth and future prosperity. The participants would undergo training in their areas of interest to enable them acquire more knowledge for building their businesses, he added.