The list of entrepreneurs who didn’t graduate from college is not far the minds of most people in business. It’s probably headed by Bill Gates, but it has a new member, Mubarak Muyika, founder and CEO of Zagace, an enterprise management platform. Muyika founded his first company at age sixteen–and sold it for a tidy sum two years later.
If all of that isn’t amazing enough, let’s take a minute to look at the odds that were stacked against Muyika. He was born in Kenya, a rapidly changing country in Eastern Central Africa, now as known for its business and technology as for its famous savannahs. It’s a diverse nation of forty-two tribes. It can boast of a great education system. But however life may have been for young Muyika until the age of eleven, it was then that he underwent a major tragedy, the death of both of his parents.
This cataclysm came just as Muyika was entering the major life change of any. It would’ve been tough for anyone, but Muyika didn’t allow it to break him. He seems to not have lost a step in terms of vibrancy. This is evidenced by the fact that his first business venture of a sort was building a website for his aunt and uncle’s business.
In short, he was encouraged to turn his web hosting skills into a bona fide business. It was called Hype Century Technologies and brought in a few friends. The crew got free office space from an impressed early client, and set to work with three PCs.
Though he was just sixteen, then seventeen, Muyika ran a tight ship, building for Hype a reputation for efficiency. The company got better office space and more employees.
It was then that a mentor went through some channels and pulled off an amazing feat of getting Muyika a scholarship offer from Harvard. That would give the teen entrée into the U.S. as well as one of the greatest and most renowned business schools in the world.
Not Going to Harvard
Muyika turned it down. As strange a decision as it was, the reason was simple. He wanted to run his business. And he wanted to run it uninterrupted. And he was aware that Bill Gates hadn’t graduated from college.
The business continued apace, and then Muyika was awarded the Anzisha Prize. While on location to receive the prize, he met a big investor, whose infusion helped Muyika to expand to hosting packages at HypeCentury.com. That allowed the company to grow to the tune of 900 domains, becoming a dominant web presence in Africa, and causing Muyika to become one of the top entrepreneurs on the continent.
Recently, Muyika sold his shares in the company to start Zagace. This is an ambitious project offering customers a large suite of software for a dizzying variety of business needs. It is a serious of various Zag Apps, such as Mail Zag, Storage Zag, Accounting Zag, Personnel Zag, etc. Thus, Muyika’s brand is ever expanding.
It’s not hard to see how to draw inspiration from Zagace’s amazing story. An orphan who began building web sites, he became a very young entrepreneur. His story is an excellent study in bucking expectations and overcoming limitations.