U.S. markets closed
  • S&P 500

    4,141.59
    +13.60 (+0.33%)
     
  • Dow 30

    33,677.27
    -68.13 (-0.20%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    13,996.10
    +146.10 (+1.05%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    2,228.92
    -4.86 (-0.22%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    60.53
    +0.35 (+0.58%)
     
  • Gold

    1,745.60
    -2.00 (-0.11%)
     
  • Silver

    25.40
    -0.03 (-0.12%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.1957
    +0.0040 (+0.33%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.6230
    -0.0520 (-3.10%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3749
    +0.0007 (+0.05%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    109.0320
    -0.3440 (-0.31%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    63,312.07
    +3,242.08 (+5.40%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,353.54
    +59.55 (+4.60%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    6,890.49
    +1.37 (+0.02%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    29,751.61
    +212.88 (+0.72%)
     
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Young Kenyan entrepreneur explains why he admires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett

Max Zahn with Andy Serwer
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates last month graced the top 10 of an annual Gallup poll that asks Americans to name the person they most admire. The year before, both Gates and his longtime friend Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B) CEO Warren Buffett cracked the top 10, joining the likes of the Dalai Lama and Pope Francis.

But the legion of Gates and Buffett admirers extends far beyond the U.S. and includes young Kenyan entrepreneur Mubarak Muyika, who tells Yahoo Finance that he models his professional life off of the two iconic business figures. In fact, a key turning point in Muyika’s career reflects advice either modeled or stated publicly by them.

“I look to Bill Gates quite a bit from an aspect of competitiveness and from an aspect of focus,” says Muyika, 26. “Because he has this ability to look at things and look at them to a level until he gets what he wants.”

“But I think who I borrow mostly from is Warren Buffett,” Muyika adds. “Because I think Warren Buffett represents a mature American business person that is so neatly organized, thorough, and to the point.”

At age 16, Muyika launched an enterprise software startup called Hype Century that provided affordable web design and digital capacity for small businesses in East Africa. As he grew the business, Muyika undertook the application process to Harvard University and ultimately earned a scholarship.

Notably, Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard after two years to pursue Microsoft (MSFT). And though Buffett’s rise included a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in business, he told Yahoo Finance two years ago that the expense and time that higher education demands may not be worth it “for everybody.”

Muyika heeded that advice and rejected the scholarship — and he doesn’t regret it.

In 2013, Muyika launched a second company called Zagace, which offers a suite of app-based products for business owners who want to take their operations online. Today, the venture counts customers in more than 60 countries and boasts $2 million in annual revenue, Muyika said.

Muyika, who grew up in the suburbs of Nairobi, spoke to Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.

Mubarak Muyika, founder of the enterprise software company Zagace, speaks with Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Sewer on an episode of "Influencers with Andy Serwer."
Mubarak Muyika, founder of the enterprise software company Zagace, speaks with Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Sewer on an episode of "Influencers with Andy Serwer."

Speaking with Yahoo Finance, Muyika told Serwer he already knows that he would ask Buffett about “investment” if the two were to meet.

In response, Serwer queries: “You’d ask him about investment?”

“Not actually about investment,” Muyika says. “I’d ask him to invest with me.”

Read more: