- Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Mansour Bin Jabr, a 32-year-old Emirati. I'm an investor, venture capitalist, philanthropist, environmentalist, and a former UAE rally champion.
- What are your latest business ventures and why?
My latest business ventures are gold and cobalt mining in Congo. I'm also focused on producing biomass charcoal to save the world from deforestation, especially in Africa. One of my goals is also to save the outnumbered gorillas in Congo because most of them fled to Rwanda and Uganda. I'm trying to build an orphanage-like facility for these gorillas.
I also have a medical cannabis facility in Africa, as well. I'm focusing on a lot of agriculture at the moment, mostly superfoods like ginger, turmeric, avocado, and blueberries. I'm diversifying and rerouting my focus from oil and gas production and hospitality to permaculture and agriculture mining.
- What is your definition of success?
Success is what you give back—it's not what you earn when you help. It's how you create change, how you help in the ecosystem and basically keep nature in this place; that is, to make nature's and people's lives better. At the end of the day, that's what counts on your scorecards.
- What motivates you?
I'm motivated by changes to make the world a better place. It's not money. I used to be motivated by money before I earned a lot of it, and then I realise what's next for me? I made a lot of money, enough for me to live in two generations. So it's clearly not my motivation. I was born into a very wealthy family and I made my own money down the road. I'm blessed that I had an awakening at a very early age, realising that my motivation is not money. It's what you contribute back to society and to the earth.
- What jobs/businesses do you consider the jobs/businesses of the future?
That's a tough question for a person like me who doesn't believe in getting jobs to be honest—I believe in entrepreneurship. I believe you shouldn't work for somebody else. You should create your own business. You should work for yourself. Some people want to work and they say that starting your own business is not easy.
I believe that everyone should follow his passion. If your passion is in the medical field, do it. If you want to be a soldier, firefighter or a policeman to save the community and help the community, then do it. To work for someone else and to make someone else rich, just to earn a low income, I don't believe in that.
- What advice would you give to someone starting out in business?
One piece of advice I'd give to someone starting a business is to just go for it. If they believe in it, and they're passionate about it, do not think twice. There's no failure; there are only lessons to learn. You need to get out of your comfort zone and take risks.
You're going to fail at some point, you will feel ashamed and you will realise that it might not be the business for you, but that's not the end of the road. They are just valuable lessons that you take for yourself. You just need the courage and strong heart to actually move forward.
- How do you look after your mental health when success is no longer your main focus?
I spent a lot of time in African villages with indigenous people. Whichever country I am in, I'm always connected with the real locals. I'm not a city guy. I like to experience a country's culture. I look after my mental health by spending a lot of time in nature. I'm also into meditation and exercising a lot. Running and handling a lot of businesses all over the world is not easy. I release a lot of stress in the gym. I do a lot of boxing. I hit the punching bag, and that's how I actually stay sane.
- What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
I would say just to take every risk he can get. There's a lot of time to catch up, make mistakes and to climb back out of a hole that he might fall in if he fails. High risks may produce high returns. I wouldn't say all calculated risks will surely give you a good return, but as I said, courage and just a strong heart will take you a long way.
- What are you involved with outside of business?
I'm involved in a lot of environmental activities, and one of my battles in life is fighting against deforestation, as well as engaging in philanthropic activities. These include supplying solar panels to villages and supplying small African villages with water out of air. We have this machinery that we usually supply to militaries and defences, which creates clean water out of moisture and humidity.
- What questions have you been asking yourself recently?
When will all the governments of the world unite and fight global warming? This is a very serious problem. I'm talking about reversing global warming because its damaging effects are palpable more than ever. Sustaining it is not going to solve the problem. We need to reverse it. Another question that I keep asking myself: why has nothing changed up to this date? That's a billion-dollar question in my head.
- What's that one quote that you live by?
Tough times don't last—tough people do. In life, you're going to experience hard times. You just need to keep going. Strong people survive—the survival of the fittest. It's like the wildlife in the jungle, if you're strong you'll survive, and the weak are eaten. That's my motto.
Follow Mansour Bin Jabr on Instagram http://www.instagram.com/mansourbinjabr.