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Back to News 26/09/2013

Discover one of the most audacious entrepreneurs who will be present at the World Entrepreneurship Forum in Singapore

Ashish Thakkar, Africa’s youngest millionaire and most audacious serial entrepreneur, will be speaking at the 6th edition of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, an international event promoting the development of entrepreneurship creating wealth and social justice and held in Singapore from October 30th to November 2nd 2013. EMLYON's mission to “Educate Entrepreneurs for the World” is fully in line with the World Entrepreneurship Forum and the institution’s programmes reflect this entrepreneurial philosophy and vision. Among other programmes, the Global Entrepreneurship Program fosters entrepreneurship and innovation in a global context and is a perfect match for someone looking for new entrepreneurial challenges.

Ashish grew up in the UK and in Uganda, survived the historic Rwandan Genocide and started his first company at the age of 15.  Within a year, he transitioned from a high school student to a full time entrepreneur.

He is the founder of Mara Group, a multi-sector business conglomerate with extensive international operating which comprises numerous holding companies that operate in 26 countries and currently employs over 7000 people worldwide.  Mara Group received global recognition for its achievements and contributions. Named “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, Ashish has been profiled by several publications and media outlets worldwide, including Forbes, The Economist, BBC news, Reuters, CNN, CNBC …

With African familial roots dating back over a century, Ashish considers himself a native son of Africa with strong Indian roots, of British nationality and a resident of the UAE. He devotes much of his energy to both commercial and philanthropic initiatives in Africa, with a strong commitment to fortifying the business economies on the continent.  

The culmination of his achievements has been instituting Mara Foundation, the nonprofit social enterprise of Mara Group which focuses on emerging African Entrepreneurs. It works to create sustainable economic and business development opportunities for young business owners via its Mara Launchpad Incubation Centers and Mara Launch Fund.

Ashish’s taste for challenges doesn’t stop here. In the near future, he will represent East Africa on Virgin Galactic’s mission into space, thereby making him Africa’s second astronaut!

But prior to that, he will be attending the 6th Edition of the World Entrepreneurship Forum in Singapore. “I am very much looking forward to be speaking at the Forum and to becoming a part of the Forum’s community of international entrepreneurs" states Ashish Thakkar.

Regarding the 2013 thematic of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, "Entrepreneurs: Navigating Change for Sustainable Growth", Ashish comments: “Across all continents, youth unemployment has become a major issue to be solved and I firmly believe that entrepreneurship is the answer. Governments must invest in entrepreneurship, by creating an enabling and empowering environment, to ensure that young people everywhere have access to comprehensive support services and thus an opportunity to start and grow profitable businesses. Established entrepreneurs, on the other hand, must also support this change by becoming mentors for the younger generations. By supporting entrepreneurs, we support the creation of SMEs which will ultimately drive local economies across the globe and ensure sustainable growth.

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