Once upon a time, in a far, far, remote island, three men met in a dark room of an old industrial building of what used to be a sugar cane estate. Independently, they had had the same idea: support aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals in Africa by creating a sharing community to build collective knowledge. They all went through the hardship and the joys of launching start-ups, of working in the corporate world, and above all, of living fulfilling lives.
Entrepreneurs Talk Africa was born in the middle (literally) of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst the world was going through some unseen before crisis, Jason, Marc and Gerald thought it was the perfect time to launch a sharing platform with a focus on Africa that would act as a go-to resource for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn the trade and for leaders and founders to share their invaluable insights about their entrepreneurship journey.
Driven by innovation! Jason has always had a passion for creative problem solving, feeling challenged to look at things from a different perspective to find simple solutions to complex problems. Born and raised in Kenya Jason was drawn to entrepreneurship from an early age, constantly telling his parents about his many product ideas. From motorised roller blades at the age of eight, to the SeatCase (a suitcase you could comfortably sit on when queuing) Realising that his dream was to one day bring his ideas to life Jason enrolled in university in Scotland to study Entrepreneurship. Amongst the many learnings his biggest take away was that everyone has great ideas but what really makes the difference is execution, putting the right business model behind the right idea.
During his time in Scotland, he supported himself by working in the hospitality industry, specifically events. Starting by cleaning toilets and washing dishes and over four years worked his way up to be the front of house events manager for several prestigious events including the winter Olympics (Sochi) commonwealth games (Glasgow), Ryder Cup, British open amongst others he also had the privilege of serving the Queen at her Balmoral estate in Scotland.
He then made the life-changing decision to move to Mauritius in 2015; starting as a consultant specialising in F&B, leveraging his hospitality experience. He spent the next two years setting up the Business Development department at SKC Surat Ltd. After four years in Mauritius, he founded his start-up ConnectMe (of which TutorMe is a subsidiary) an online marketplace, while taking up the position as Innovation Coordinator for the ENL Group, a position that he still holds today. His personal entrepreneurial journey highlighted how he believed he could add the most value to Mauritius and Africa. He has now dedicated his personal and professional career to supporting and building the ecosystems needed for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive in Africa. This led to the founding of Entrepreneurs Talk Africa.
French born, Marc founded his first company a year after graduating from his robotics engineering studies. In 2000, he and his wife made the decision to pause their Parisian life in spending a couple of years on the tropical island of Mauritius. The couple of years transformed in 20, 17 of which were spent professionally with Microsoft West East and Central Africa (WECA), where Marc led the cloud transformation of the region, being the Chief Technology Officer for some years.
But the thrill of entrepreneurship grabbed him and he left Microsoft to jump into launching his own consulting practice, then coaching start-ups, and faced the difficulties to get support for all those young and aspiring entrepreneurs. The idea of Entrepreneurs Talk Africa was born, but this was without thinking that Jason and Gerald had the same idea. After a brief meeting and quick thinking, he decided that some young blood was needed and on the bandwagon he jumped.
Gerald comes from a travel & hospitality background. He worked for eight years in the digital marketing field for hotels and travel companies. Gerald cofounded two Mauritius-based start-ups, one being a digital marketing agency and the other a sustainable travel company before teaming up with Marc & Jason on the Entrepreneurs Talk Africa podcast project. Being a passionate of the travel & hospitality industry with a new-found love for International Relations, quite an exotic mix for a podcast host about Entrepreneurship in Africa!