Luris Mulla was in Juba, South Sudan when she came across an advertisement on television announcing the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme. Speaking to This Is Africa from Nairobi, Kenya, she said, “the fact they were offering mentorship really caught my attention.”
Prior to starting out as an entrepreneur, Mulla was appointed as the youngest judge in South Sudan in 2006 by presidential decree during the time of the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended the country’s civil war. She resigned from the position in 2009.
Mulla was excited to enter the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme. She felt validated and officially an entrepreneur. With plans to start an oil and gas service company, Mulla felt she would need the guidance of someone who could help her structure her company. Despite having done online courses in business and with her experience in public management Mulla said, “there is never enough knowledge you can have, you can always learn more. And having a mentor, someone that can help me, guide me through my own personal business, I think it is priceless. Oil and gas is new to me and having someone that can coach me on that would be perfect.”
I am so excited to be a Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur 2019. When I applied I did not think I would be selected. All I want to do is make a contribution to the oil & gad sector in South Sudan. This gives me the opportunity to be part of the Africapitalism vision, an economic ideology. pic.twitter.com/J9OaaWtgmt
— Luris Mulla (@mulla_luris) May 13, 2019
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is the largest African philanthropic initiative committed to empowering African entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship on the continent. Tony Elumelu, the chairman of Heirs Holdings and the United Bank for Africa is also the founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. The foundation gives a non-returnable seed capital of $5000 to all its entrepreneurs.
On the 26th and 27th of July, 2000 young African entrepreneurs will fly to Abuja, Nigeria and will be part of a 12-week business training. Mulla will be among the large number of young African entrepreneurs. It will also be her first time in West Africa. Asides networking and meeting people, Tony Elumelu’s ideology of Africapitalism is one of the reasons Mulla is excited to be part of the entrepreneurship programme.
Mulla’s goal is to play a leading role in South Sudan’s private sector. With a strong sense of determination and continuously pushing herself out of her comfort zone, the people she has met on her journey as an entrepreneur such as billionaire Nigerian business magnate, and investor Aliko Dangote have been one of the highlights of her career.
“A South Sudan that realises its potential. A South Sudan where more young South Sudanese begin to believe in themselves more and more. A South Sudan that works together and supports each other,” this is the kind of South Sudan Mulla wants to see.