First runner-up in this category, Mike Bondo is an entrepreneur specialising in helping small farmers source funding and in helping them market their products.
He is the founder of Go Global a social impact investment platform dedicated to supporting agripreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa, mostly the youth and women to connect them to received capital investments. He says he stumbled onto the idea of Go Global while he was on a trip pitching for another project in 2017, and he has never looked back. Today Go Global operates in the DRC and Togo. Their mission is to uplift previously disadvantaged communities and to promote entrepreneurship in order to combat poverty through investment and sustainable job creation.
The challenges facing entrepreneurs in Africa are great. Resources are scarce, getting financing is difficult and there is little available mentorship. Despite these challenges, Mike was able to establish Go Global with his own resources two years ago. His motivation was that he saw that there was opportunity for him to impact change in the agriculture space through Go Global.
He is passionate about entrepreneurship and believes the world is shaped by dreamers and the action takers. He is of the view that entrepreneurs can influence the continent in a positive way and the greatest potential to change the world.
He started this journey at quite a young age and had to learn to break away from the unprofessional approach that many expect from the young in leadership positions. He shares that the most challenging part about his journey has been balancing student life with entrepreneurship. In order to remain effective, he believes, you have to stop constantly looking for approval.
He shares that he has learnt that building something from nothing is one of the most rewarding things to any destination, from raising funds, learning and understanding how to pitch and what needs to be done to reach out to the right people. He is of the view that people who help, rarely look like those you expect to be helpful and it’s a lesson for young people, one that makes you humble, says Mike. He advises that young people should never look down on anyone in their journey, because help could come from the most unlikely person or people.
His vision is that Go Global will grow the number and quality of both its projects and the quality of its investors; and that in the next five to 10 years it becomes the leading specialists in agri-investment in Africa, using technology to improve the lives of small and medium farmers.
He sees himself as a healer because he is impacting on communities and the livelihood of people, bringing healing to communities that may have lost hope, but find healing and the solution in the work and solutions provided by Go Global.
Mike says, young people need to be optimistic about the future, and must dream big and get inspired by others, while realising that we have our own realities and context to consider.
He says ideas should be driven by action, as ideas are worthless, intentions have no power and plans are nothing unless they are followed by action.
Mike defines success as utilising your potential to accomplish a vision beyond yourself in order to impact your generation without compromising the values of honesty and integrity.