Ma is on a three day visit to Africa, his frist 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).
“I am not here for business but to inspire young African entrepreneurs,” he also said, According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s Twitter account.
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”
Ma has been noted for urging developing countries to look to e-commerce to bolster their economies, instead of creating regulations and taxes that could kill the emerging sector in its infancy. “We should not discipline the baby before even it is born,” he said at a recent gathering in Geneva during UNCTAD’s annual E-Commerce Week convention.
Last year, Ma was named special advisor for youth entrepreneurship by UNCTAD for youth entrepreneurship and small business. Ma is also said to be the richest man in Asia with a fortune valued at nearly US$30 billion (nearly half of Kenya’s economic output).
According to Kituyi, Ma will focus on opening markets for small businesses and encouraging the culture of enterprise in Africa. “I have discussed with Jack Ma and others that I would like us not only to grow African enterprises but also to start raising voices that a special market access waiver for produce from Africa, particularly from small business, is needed,” he said.
“Effort should be made to encourage young Kenyan entrepreneurs to access the Chinese market just like the Chinese are accessing local markets. Our challenge is not finding agents to import Chinese goods, I am looking for people who are willing to sell African goods to China,” he added.