Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba and Chinese billionaire is visiting Kenya in what he has described as a trip to inspire young entrepreneurs.
Ma is on a 3-day visit to Africa, his first time on the continent, from July 19 to 21 where he is expected to attend the Youth Connekt Africa Summit in Rwanda.
In his entourage are 38 other billionaires, including Internet tycoon Bob Xu, Alibaba’s founding partner Lucy Peng, founder and chairman of Mengniu Dairy Niu Gensheng, and real estate tycoon Huang Youlong, Business Day Africa reports.
Jack Ma is a special adviser for youth entrepreneurship and small businesses for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
In a public lecture at the University of Nairobi, Jack Ma said Africa’s poor infrastructure, social, economic and political situation should be a source of innovation for entrepreneurs.
“I came here (Africa) to share the entrepreneurial dream not to sell Chinese products,” Ma said.
Ma said lack of e-commerce in his home country, China inspired him to start one of the biggest online marketplaces.
The billionaire has dropped several nuggets of wisdom on starting a business, including:
“Individual commitment to a group effort, that is what makes a team work, a company, a society, a civilization… work.”
“Find people who can be your boss, not those who are willing to be your servants. That is how you’ll grow.”
“When you’re profitable, after paying your employees, you can then pay yourself as an entrepreneur.”
“Opportunities are always found where people complain.”