Making a positive difference is something that many people strive for! Millenials refer to it in the commercial sense as 'Disruption', the difference could be something local in your community but impactful, positively influencing lives.
The Estate recognises and appreciates innovators and we deem it important to share stories from young entrepreneurs that despite obstacles and adversity, have broken through to achieve great success and will go on to become the millionaires and billionaires of the future. Welcome to the Under 30 African Powerlist 2018.
You may not be familiar with many of their names now and they may not be richest people in Africa, but they could be the billionaires of tomorrow gracing our future covers. This compilation is inspiring to say the least and offers a sneak peek into Africa’s future.
Yannick Nzonde, 29, DRC (Democratic Republic of Cong)
Co-Founder: ATI Groupe
Five years ago, Nzonde founded ATI Groupe, a construction company, with the R6,000 ($478) he earned from renting out his friend’s BMW that he had borrowed for a weekend. He is also the founder of Mulundu Investment Holdings, which houses ATI Groupe and Chi Groupe, a management consulting firm. Mulundu Investment Holdings turns over a million dollars in revenue each year for the 29-year-old.
This is a long way from where it all began when he was only 14. “I had bought a watch from a local market place in DRC for $5. One of my younger brother’s friends loved it so much he offered to buy it from me for $20. The next day, someone else offered me more for the same watch,” he says.
It marked the start of a rewarding entrepreneurial journey. He sold everything he could get his hands on. At 15, he relocated to South Africa where he started buying computers, solar lights, fat burners and pool tables and selling them back home.
“I have always been the person to find solutions to problems and people have always come to me. I have always been the person to jump on opportunities once I see a gap in the market. I have also always wanted to leave a legacy.”
One of the many ways he is making the world better is through providing power solutions in rural DRC.
“We are the second company to have brought solar energy solutions to the DRC in the Katanga region. This changed many lives as people are used to generators while some had never seen electricity before,” says Nzonde.
Not bad for a man who comes from a family of 24 and walked 15km to school.
Leroy Mwasaru, 20, Kenya
This 20-year-old is making money from waste while solving a serious problem. He is the founder of Greenpact, a company which produces and distributes affordable and high-quality innovative biogas digester systems to get bio-gas from both agricultural and human refuse. His mission is guided by the overarching vision to become the leading provider of clean household energy solutions across East Africa. He has won many accolades including the Innovate Kenya challenge in 2013.
Ladipo Lawani, 29, Nigeria
Founder: L&L Foods
L&L foods is a food processing and packaging company focused on the Nigerian market. They source agricultural produce from local farmers and transform them into quality snacks. Their primary line of products is a premium brand of nuts called Mr Ekpa.
Emmanuel Ademola Ayilara, 29, Nigeria
Founder: LandWey Investment Limited
LandWey is a real estate development and management company turning over $14 million per year. It started with just five employees. Today, they employ 42 full-time staff, 370 realtors and 16,000 consultants.
Ayilara’s journey to entrepreneurship started when he was in school. His first stint was at a coaching center in Abeokuta, Ogun State in Nigeria. The business failed. He tried his hand again, this time, running a vocational training program with over 3,600 students.
“Once I had a taste of success, there was no turning back. Starting and running businesses became my turf and all I had to do was build more capacity. I always believed opportunities would come to those who were most prepared so I put in the hard work even when no one noticed,” he says.
Mwiya Musokotwane, 28, Zambia
Founder: Thebe Investment Management
Musokotwane knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur at age 16 after reading US billionaire Warren Buffet’s biography. It inspired him to secure a degree in finance. His first venture in business was when he co-founded a tech startup while pursuing his Master’s. The business failed. At 23, he had a dream to build a mega city. Armed with lessons from the first business, he worked tactfully. At 24, he left his job to pursue it. With the help of his family, he founded Thebe Investment Management. The company is the owner and developer of Nkwashi, a 3,100 acre mega-project in Lusaka, Zambia. By age 25, he had generated $1 million in cash flow. He employs 80 people.
The Estate recognises the diversity within Africa and its Diaspora and the African Under 30’s Powerlist will reflect this, we have innovators and disrupters in Europe, USA and the U.K. and their stories of success and innovation will be a major feature in our series. Please share or comment but most importantly Why don’t you subscribe below for part 2 of the African Under 30 Powerlist