Forbes Magazine just named a young executive in our company, Teresa Mbagaya, as one of the “30 most promising entrepreneurs in Africa.”:
Teresa Mbagaya, who is from Kenya, was working at Google in the United States, when we first heard of her. Just like a football coach, I have my “talent scouts”, scanning and looking for young people, who will be the next “Ronaldo”, in the corporate world.
We asked her to join us, and gave her a new business unit to run, even though she is still in her twenties. She has a degree from Yale University.
Dr Precious Lunga, is a young woman with a PHD, in Neuroscience , from Cambridge University. She was living in England, where she had settled. One of my “talent scouts”, sent me a paper she had written on “Mobile Health”. I called her and asked her to set up a new business we call EcoHealth. She now has 500,000 customers, and is making money. She is a great entrepreneur.
Gavin Manning was running his own business, when he first came to our attention. He is what is called a “serial entrepreneur”,. We hired him. and he has now been with us for many years. He is one of the people who has a license to call me, anytime. Sometimes he comes to my house, in the middle of the night.
Tendai Mashingaidze worked for McKinsey before going off to start his own business. He soon realized that he wanted to help young people, as a “social entrepreneur”. When I heard about him, I flew him to London to present his ideas. I asked him to join us as a “social entrepreneur”:
He now runs an initiative to train young people in Computer Coding, called Muzinda Hub.
Les Cullen, is one of my favourite entrepreneurs, he has worked for us, for over 15 years. Every month he bombards me with “crazy new ideas”. He is like a kid in a toy shop. He is now over 70 years old.
We have lots of people like this: finding them and creating an environment in which they can thrive is one of my key jobs. They come from all races, and gender. They can be any age!
End of series.
Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries. His business interests also include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College, Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. Masiyiwa took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. He is also Chair of the Micronutrient Initiative, a global organization focused on ending child hunger and improving nutrition. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. In 2015, he was the recipient of the International Rescue Committee’s Freedom Award and was presented with a UN Foundation Global Leadership Award for the work of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, which he chairs and helped establish to fund the deployment of African healthcare workers to combat the outbreak in West Africa.View all posts by Strive Masiyiwa