By Alfred Dogbey
President John Dramani Mahama has launched an online mentoring platform for young entrepreneurs to enable, inspire and empower them as part of government’s continued effort to cultivate entrepreneurship in Ghana.
The platform, Mara Mentor, has been developed by Mara Online is owned by a 33years-old African millionaire based Dubai in partnership with the Mara Foundation, which is a social enterprise that encourages and supports entrepreneurship in Africa and beyond.
The launch was made in a short ceremony held at the Flag Staff House, last Friday September 5, by President John Mahama and Ashish J Thakkar, Founder of Mara Group and Mara Foundation in the presence of the Chief of Staff, Mr. Prosper Douglas Bani, Youth and Sports Minister, Mahama Ayariga as well as the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur among other presidential staff.
The idea of Mara Mentor is design to enable entrepreneurship to build their networks and access the guidance that they need at the early stages of their business development.
Budding young entrepreneurs across Ghana will now be able to access the tool for free via and smart phone app and website. mentor.mara.com.
According to President John Mahama, “Facilitating the growth of entrepreneurship has long been a core focus for this government. We are pleased to build on the launch of the recent Youth Entrepreneurship Support with the introduction of this fantastic mentoring platform”.
He said, “an idea is only as good as its execution, which is why it is important for our youth to tap into the experience and expertise that Mara Mentor seasoned business as to offer and use that to their advantage. Only then will they see their ideas become reality”.
On the part of Founder of Mara Foundation, he said “technology is the key to unlocking the potential entrepreneur in Ghana. We want to seize
the opportunity presented by the proliferation of mobile phone on the continent, to provide more young people with the expert advice that they need to launch and grow their businesses.”
Mr. Ashish J Thakkar said “I know that for entrepreneurs at the start of their journey, fear of failure can be a very real obstacle to their progress, for me the best way to overcome that fear is to access guidance from real business expert. That is why we have developed Mara Mentor the tool that every entrepreneur needs in their pocket”.
He indicated that, “We are thrilled to Launch Mara Mentor with President Mahama and collaborate with the Government of Ghana to help create a new wave of young entrepreneurs”.
With 25 per cent of all Ghanaians aged between 15 and 25 and the proportion of young people having tripled in the pass 40years, job creation will be critical to economic development in Ghana. Many Ghanaian youths are seeking the tool and opportunities to start their own venture or join a small business.
Mara Mentor has been designed to enable, empower and inspire young entrepreneurs- a key objective of the Mara Foundation.
Over the next few months, Mara Mentor will be running a number of complimentary on- the- ground activities in Ghana, including campus storms, competitions and Mara One- on-One networking events, as well as videos to raise awareness of the platform on social media.
About Mara Mentor
Mara Mentor is an online community that connects ambitious entrepreneurs with successful and experience business leaders. The initiative encourages idea and knowledge sharing among Africa’s most promising young entrepreneurs, inspiring a collaborative approach to business start-up and growth. Mara Mentor has been created to empower Africa’s youth in their business endeavours , in recognition that they are driving force behind the continents’ growth and future prosperity.
Mara Mentor is an initiative of Mara Foundation, a social entrepreneur established in 2009, which focuses on fostering entrepreneurism in Africa through a myriad of programmes designed to address the complete life-cycle of an entrepreneur’s business idea.
The Foundation works to create sustainable economic and business development opportunities for young entrepreneurs via Mara Mentor, Mara women and Mara Ad-Venture Capital Fund. The Foundation is active in a number of countries including Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana.
Mara Foundation is a social enterprise that focuses on supporting and encouraging entrepreneurship in Africa. The Foundation works to create sustainable economic and business development opportunities for young and women entrepreneurs via Mara Mentor, Mara women and Mara Ad-Venture Fund.
Mara Foundation was established in 2009 by Ashish J. Thakkar, Founder of Mara Group. Since its inception, the foundation has scaled its programmatic focus and is now active in a number of countries across Africa.
Mara women is an initiative designed to support the growing number of women entrepreneurs and young business leaders in Africa. It aims to enable, empower and inspire young African women by giving them access to mentoring, funding, networking and capacity building that is designed to meet their individual needs. Mara women place a particular focus on tailoring our services to women entrepreneurs to empower them to develop.
Mara Mentor is an online community that connects ambitious entrepreneurs with successful and experienced business leaders. The initiative encourages idea and knowledge sharing among Africa’s most promising youth entrepreneurs, inspire and collaborative approach to build start-up and growth, future prosperity and answer to job creation.
Mara Mentor is designed to enable, empower and inspire students, aspiring entrepreneurs, business owners, women entrepreneur and young people who are passionate about entrepreneur, raise questions, kick-start discussions and reach out for personalized advice on their business idea.
We offer training tool and materials that tailored to women and the youth, running regular forum topics on issues relating to business.
Mara is board reach across Africa through the Mara Group’s businesses (11,000 employees in 22 African countries) and the Mara Foundation’s network of corporate partners, youth organization and supporters.
There is the opportunity to use the Mara Mentor platform reach young people and women in Ghana, to raise question, ask their views and start discussions. The platform can be used as a gather insight from Ghanaians, promote campaigns and give youth a voice.
More than 5 million youth can benefit from the existing and growing audience as Mara Mentor is rolled out. Mara Mentor can benefit by achieving
more users as marketing campaigns bring people to the platform. In this joint partnership common goals are met in terms of impacting the economy and lives of young people in the Ghana.