Reflections From Alibaba CEO, Jack Ma’s Visit To Kenya

Jack Ma - Carricature
Jack Ma - Carricature

In true social media fashion, we’ll use today’s #TBT to revisit Jack Ma’s trip to Kenya in 2017. Jack Ma is the founder of the incredibly successful e-commerce platform, as well as UNCTAD special adviser on youth entrepreneurship. The uber-successful Chinese tycoon held a public lecture on entrepreneurship at the University of Nairobi at the bequest of UNCTAD secretary-general Mukhisa Kituyi. The purpose of his visit was to raise awareness about sustainable development goals (SDG’s).

Caricature of Jack Ma and Alibaba Offices
Caricature of Jack Ma and Alibaba Offices

Jack Ma shared his entrepreneurship story with eager entrepreneurs in attendance. Below are snippets of his speech that are applicable to all who’ve chosen the business/entrepreneurship route regardless of the experience they’ve got tucked under their belts.

Build a platform

The difference between building a business and building a platform is a platform exists to enable others. Empower others and you’ll empower yourself.

Watch the clip here

Focus on customers and employees

If your customers and employees are happy, your shareholders will be as well. Start with employees and customers, not shareholders or competition.

Dream and think about the future

Dream globally. Win locally. Survive today.

Watch the clip here

Daily Steps

Make sure your business is taking progressive steps daily, weekly, monthly.

Also spend most of your time with your employees and customers, not your shareholders.

Watch the clip here


Opportunity always lies in the place where people complain.

Watch the clip here

No tech background

Jack Ma had no tech background when he was starting up Alibaba and still has none. You don’t need to know everything about a field in order to start.

Watch the clip here


Bonus: Never give up

The problem you’re facing is being faced by your competitors as well.

Watch the clip here

Here’s hoping you enjoyed that short walk down memory lane for this week’s TBT.

For more advice on entrepreneurship and business from successful founders, here’s Warren Buffet’s advice to entrepreneurs.


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