At 14, Joel Mwale suffered dysentery (infection of the intestines) from drinking dirty water in his village outside the western Kenyan town of Kitale. So, he capitalised on rainwater and started his first company, SkyDrop Enterprises, producing and bottling low-cost purified drinking water.
- Joel became a millionaire at just 19.
- Following the success of SkyDrop, he was named finalist at the Anzisha Prize walking away with $30,000 and an admission to the African Leadership Academy in South Africa.
- He received a Google award (Zeitgeist Young Minds 2012) for being one of the top 10 brightest young minds in the world, an award that reportedly saw him spend a lot of time in the US’s Silicon Valley.
- In 2013, he sold his 60% shareholding in SkyDrop for over $500,000. By that time SkyDrop was generating annual revenues of $515,000, with 74 employees.
- Joel’s new venture, Gigavia, is a platform that seeks to change the way students learn by combining education, mentorship and social media. The online platform allows them to interact with each other as well as their teachers. Gigavia enables universities to offer online exams, while teachers can share learning materials with students and track their performance. Students are able to access video tutorials and books customised to their courses, as well as share notes and class calendars.
- He was nominated, in 2014, for The Future Awards Prize for African Young Person of the Year.
- At 21, Joel was featured during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit held in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2014, where he was hailed as one of the next generations of African entrepreneurs.
Joel Mwale is the future!