Ashish J. Thakkar
1996, founded first business, Mara, at age of 15 with a $5,000 loan; since then, has driven the growth of the company from a small IT business in Uganda to a globally recognized multi-sector investment group. 2009, founded Mara Foundation to foster and support emerging entrepreneurs through mentorship and venture philanthropy; its Mara Mentor mobile app connects entrepreneurs with experienced business leaders, and encourages idea and knowledge sharing. Advises several heads of state in sub-Saharan Africa. Member, Global Agenda Council on Africa, and Young Global Leader (2012), World Economic Forum. Passionate about enabling, empowering and inspiring young and women entrepreneurs. Member: Global Advisory Board, Dell; Board, The Africa Center. 2015, will become Africa's second astronaut when joining Virgin Galactic's maiden voyage to space. Recipient, awards and honours.