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Mara Foundation Launches The Entrepreneur Launchpad Programme


The Entrepreneur Launchpad mentorship programme was launched on the 27th January 2011 by Mara Foundation at the Mara group Head Quarters in Nakasero. The matching ceremony was a unique one of a kind speed dating style event where prominent business personalities in Uganda had 3 minute timed sessions with young entrepreneurs. The Programme has been an extremely valuable experience for young entrepreneurs and their mentors alike. 16 entrepreneurs were matched with formidable mentors for a mentorship period that will span over 6 months. The programme was designed to help small businesses survive the cut-throat world of business by creating alliances with strong players who have already succeeded in running successful businesses in Uganda. It attracted a host of entrepreneurs who have always wanted to give back to the young people by offering invaluable advice.  Among the participants were a diverse and well known group of entrepreneurs that included: Robert Ahimbisibwe (Select Garments), Julian Omalla (Delight (U) ltd), Tony Gadhoke (Mukwano Industries), Jacques Schrier (Fiduga), Remi Oyindasola Oni (Standard Chartered bank),
Phillipe Luxcey ( Orange Telecom), Erastus Kibugu (Technoserve), Eric Kamau  (True African), Antoinette Prophy (Afro Fusion), Dorothy Tuma (UWEAL), Nigel Tilling (FBW), Ashish Thakkar (Mara Group), Simon Kaheru (SMS Media), Denis Ruharo (D-mark), and Edward Kasule (Data Fundi).


Some Reviews from the young entrepreneurs

“It was without a doubt one the most productive evenings I've spent since arriving in Uganda. I think Village Energy, and Uganda, stands to benefit immensely from the Mara Foundation's efforts.” (Roey Rosenblith, Village Energy)

“We are happy to be a part of the project in any way possible and feel very positive towards it and certain of success due to its benefits.” (Solomon Nsereko, Research Moguls)

“Thank you for such an honourable opportunity, we assure you we will succeed further. As you may know Denis and Eric are really helpful and through them we will grow our market.” (Nelson Sserwada, KK Transporters)

“Thank you for the opportunity to participate in such an event. I think I gained a lot from it. I will be willing to do anything (that is legal, ethical and morally upright-no bribes) to get a mentor next time round.” (Francis Kizito, FOVEC construction)

“I really am looking forward to working with and learning a lot from Antoinette. Already, she has given me some insights and ideas which I am working on and excited about! This is just what I needed for my business and I believe it will go along way in helping re-define retail pharmacy.” (Gloria Dusabe, Oak Pharmaceuticals)

Reviews from the mentors
“Thanks for last night.  It was a very interesting evening and I’m looking forward to the mentoring process.  I think the whole idea has tremendous possibilities.”  (Nigel Tilling, FBW Group)

“Thanks a lot for the opportunity! It was a great evening, and I'm certainly going to do my best to make the most of it for Isaac.” (Simon Kaheru, SMS Media / Media Analyst)

“The event was very successful and I am glad that I got one Solomon to mentor. I want to see him succeed and hope that he will benefit from my experience as a management and private sector development consultant.” (Erastus Kibugu, Technoserve)

“It was indeed an enjoyable evening with a difference, thank you for inviting me.” (Eric Kamau, True African)

“I must say at the outset that [my mentee Marion] really put up an impressive performance at the match making event (in the just 3 minutes we interacted!).  I am delighted to be [her] mentor for the next 6 months.” (Edward Kasule, Data Fundi)

“Great event yesterday, congratulations!” (Phillipe Luxcey, Orange Telecom)