Speakers and other contributors

EY - Ashish J. Thakkar

Ashish J. Thakkar

Mara Group and Mara Foundation

Ashish J. Thakkar is the Founder of Mara Group and Mara Foundation. He is also the Co-founder of Atlas Mara. Ashish has driven the growth of the Mara Group from a small IT business in Uganda to the globally recognized multi-sector investment group that exists today. Through its investments, Mara Group now employs over 11,000 people across 25 African countries in sectors spanning technology, banking, real estate and infrastructure.

Ashish is passionate about enabling, empowering and inspiring young and women entrepreneurs. In 2009, he founded Mara Foundation to foster and support emerging entrepreneurs through mentorship and venture philanthropy. One of its initiatives, Mara Mentor, is an online platform that connects ambitious entrepreneurs with experienced and inspiring business leaders. Mara Mentor is being launched with several heads of state throughout Africa and is increasingly being recognized as a tool that can enable, empower and inspire Africa’s youth and help solve the growing unemployment challenge.

Ashish serves as Chairman of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council and is the author of The Lion Awakes: Adventures in Africa’s Economic Miracle.