The “Beninese Steve Jobs” — Born to be an entrepreneur

At 29 years old, Ulrich Sossou is an innovative entrepreneur who believes in the capability of the Beninese people to take over digital opportunities. This story is an example of how an average African man with scarce technological resources, has become a successful entrepreneur made in Benin through hard work and tireless determination.

Ulrich Sossou enjoys creating things and helping people out of business structural issues in ways that he only could action by being an entrepreneur. Indeed, he created 8 companies that are exported to various countries around the world and set up a start-up incubator based in Cotonou named TEKXL. At the present time, his personal wealth is about 500,000 dollars.

Among his companies, include, a platform that edits flyers for real estate agents. More than 10,000 real estate agents are using it, essentially agents working in United States. The company has become cost-effective into two years and the platform has a growth traffic rate of 20% per month.

TEKXL, the start-up incubator that he co-founded with Simon Beheton in 2014, hosts six Beninese start-ups that he believes to have a high growing potential. Indeed, Ulrich Sossou not only hosts theses start-ups but he also holds 20% equity in each. He supports and helps them to develop their business models abroad with low cost. He focuses on long term investment in order to replicate his successful experience, to share his knowledge and to contribute in a big chunk to eco-systems in Africa and abroad. His main objective is to invest in the 10 start-ups that will raise 1 billion dollars within five years.

Ulrich sets high goals to achieve and has an innate determination he demonstrated from his early years. Born and raised in the capital of Benin; at eight years of age, he discovered new technologies thanks to his uncle who owned a computer repair shop. He spent a lot of time there where he developed his passion for IT and for solving problems, the two keys factors of his business success. Confident with his capacity to create and innovate, in 2006 he founded his first online company, with limited resources and no computer of his own, he launched it out of a local internet cafe, where he could navigate on internet for free in exchange of his competences in computer repairs. Working as a developer, Ulrich Sossou won many contracts for international clients including the University of Stanford which was one of his most valuable contracts at that time. The institution employed him to develop an online course platform for its students. With the money earned from that contract he decided to invest in his first company, this was ten years ago.

The story of Ulrich Sossou shows the growing awareness of African born people to the evolution of the economy. Thanks to digital devices they have the possibilities today to develop businesses from almost nothing. The digital age has brought a big opportunity for Africa’s young leaders to develop their lives in a way that would reflect the Western World and demonstrate to the rest of the world, the vast capabilities in digital innovation Africa has to offer.

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