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Young Leaders Reflect on Skoll World Forum

Through a partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, 13 Young Leaders from around the world had the opportunity to experience the Skoll World Forum On Social Entrepreneurship first hand. The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organization based in Toronto, Canada, with more than $9 billion in assets. Through collaboration with partner organizations in 46 countries, it is creating opportunities for all people to learn and prosper. The Foundation's programs promote financial inclusion and advance youth learning, mostly in Africa. Established in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide when it became a public company, the Foundation is a separate and independent entity. The policies, operations, and funding decisions of the Foundation are determined by its own Board of Directors and President and CEO. In this series, 10 of the Young Leaders reflect on their participation in the 2014 Skoll World Forum.


Entrepreneurship is Quite the Lonely Journey

Entrepreneurship is Quite the Lonely Journey

Titus Mawano

Young Leader Initiative- Mastercard, Ffene Ltd

June 10, 2014 | 1526 views

Entrepreneurship is quite the lonely journey. It is a constant battle between the drive of ambition and the attendant doubts of self-preservation. One gets used to feeling like a sole blade of grass, pushing back against the prevailing winds.

This is a feeling I am glad I had the opportunity to forget.

Over the course of a week in mid-April, I attended the Skoll World Forum which takes place at the Saïd business School at the University of Oxford. The Forum is an event designed to bring together various social entrepreneurs fighting for good across the globe. As I walked through the doors of the building, I could feel the atmosphere of a place abuzz with ideas. It was a feeling that only grew as the Forum started and I got the chance to interact with other delegates. Even though we were all unique and had varied backgrounds, I was struck by how similar we all were. While the vast majority of us had not met prior to the Forum, it was as if we had known each other for ages. Such is the connection that is a shared; it is a hunger for a better world. How can one feel alone whilst standing in the presence of hundreds of similarly-minded people?

Indeed it was hard not to be bitten by the bug that seemed to be going around, the bug of ambition. As the central theme to the Forum, ambition was fully on display in various manifestations. From Malala Yousafzai’s rousing plenary session detailing her ambition to get more girls an education to Planet Lab’s goal to use satellites for good, one could not help but feel re-energized. It was a testament to the true power of community.

The experience has since served as the fodder for a renewed resolve to play my part in the global march to a better future. As the proverb goes: To go fast, one goes alone, however to go far, we go together. As a participant in the Young Leaders Initiative, I was able to experience this idea firsthand. We each had a chance to pitch our projects to our peers and invited guests in an effort to learn how to better tell our stories. Some of the best advice originated from the young leaders themselves, a demonstration of how simply sharing ideas with one’s peers can be an extremely powerful tool.

I am quite honored to have been a part of such an amazing event and to have had the opportunity to meet such remarkable people. It is an experience I will not be forgetting soon.


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