Mara.com: First Online African Mentorship Site
Among some of the best and most effective promoters of business growth is the concept of mentorship among business people and companies. So I was particularly impressed when I ran across accounts of Mara.com, the first multi-lingual portal in Africa dedicated to youth entrepreneurship and mentorship. The site was launched by Mr. Ashish J. Takkar, who’s been featured as one of Forbes’ “10 Young African Millionaires to Watch”and Uganda‘s Mara group’s CEO.
Mara.com was started as a project of the Mara foundation, a non-profit social enterprise among the largest in Africa. The Foundation’s mission is to support emerging African entrepreneurs at the start of their entrepreneurial journey.
Mara Online’s purpose is to connect young African entrepreneurs with established businessmen and enterprises all across Africa. Mara Mentors will be the connecting bridge between successful entrepreneurs in Africa with invaluable insight, experience and expertise across various industries, and up and coming mentees in those industries; as well as providing access to networks, and possibly funding and infrastructure at the discretion of these mentors.
In addition to the mentorship platform offered through Mara, there also is a Jobs platform, as well as a Dating platform. The Jobs platform is aimed at nurturing a productive dialogue between employers all across the continent and prospective employees, while the Dating platform helps well… ignite a whole other kind of sparkle! In other words, Match.com made in Africa!
Its founder, Thakkar, made his fortune at the ripe age of 14 by trading computers in Uganda, where he migrated with his entire family after the Rwandan genocide of 1994. He then proceeded to turn his lucrative computer operation into an impressive Pan-African conglomerate with interests in a multitude of industries from finance, telecommunications to real estate and tourism, even including renewable energy.
As reported by Forbes.com last month, the site, which is operated from locations as remote as Silicon Valley and Bangalore, India, will be free at first to all users. Its main revenue-generating source will stem from third-party advertising and other revenue platforms.
The most impressive component of the Mara Group, in my opinion, is the Mara Foundation, which serves to give back to the African community to educate, groom and launch budding entrepreneurs. This initial investment in people is especially vital on a continent where many start-ups unfortunately do not get off the ground, mainly due to a startling lack of financial resources…
As reported by Forbes.com, and in Thakkar’s words,”With Mara.com, I want to ensure that other successful African business leaders have a platform to groom and support young African leaders”.
An honorable purpose for an honorable, and much needed, initiative!
On this African business note, have yourself a Happy Monday!