Mr. Taa Wongbe, one of Liberia’s enterprising social businessmen, advocates and philanthropists, has been named among Forbes’ “Next 1000” “inspiring entrepreneur and small business leaders.”
Forbes is one of the United States-based reputable global media brands that celebrate entrepreneurial capitalism. To shine a light on these entrepreneurial heroes, Forbes created the Next 1000. This year-round initiative showcases the ambitious sole proprietors, self-funded shops and pre-revenue startups in every region of the United States—all with under US$10 million in revenue or funding and infinite drive and hustle.
Announcing the name of Taa and the other 999 persons in New York on Wednesday, June 16, Forbes said many of its Next 1000 are from “diverse underrepresented communities” and they “are redefining what it means to build and run a business amid the new normal.”
Even though Taa started his company, The Khana Group (TKG), 13 years ago before this global Covid-19 pandemic, Forbes said “The pandemic sparked millions of entrepreneurs to start their own businesses—out of necessity and opportunity. The impact of this once-in-a-generation entrepreneurial explosion has been astounding in its breadth, size and speed. Many small business leaders pivoted their businesses to meet the moment, making quick adjustments and reimagining creative ways to position themselves for post-pandemic success.”
The Liberian businessman set up TKG when he became inspired to provide data-driven solutions to the development sector in Africa after fleeing the civil war in Liberia as a child and emigrating to the U.S. as a refugee at age 20. He started TKG in 2008, which has worked on 300-plus projects (26 currently) in 22 Sub-Saharan African countries with over 100 partners and clients, including Gallup (Liberia), the World Bank (Ghana and Liberia) and UNICEF (Nigeria), using 3,000 trained data collectors.
Wongbe’s TKG is a social impact strategy consulting firm with the mission to develop sustainable solutions to positively impact and transform communities in Africa.
The Khana Group achieves this mission by ensuring that data and research that inform these solutions reflect the attitudes and realities of the African communities they intend to serve. The firm has four offices – New York, Liberia, Nigeria and Ghana – and has worked in over 20 countries across Africa. TKG is capable of rapidly implementing social research projects across Africa based on its reach and networks. Taa employs young Africans, focusing his energies on mentorship to ensure his staff has the right skills for the specific project and for future employment opportunities.
He has served a wide range of clients and led engagements for governments, corporations, multilateral institutions, aid agencies, and social impact investors in Africa and around the globe. Prior to TKG, Taa consulted with McKinsey, Deloitte and other consulting firms and was Co-founder and CTO for Pangean Technologies, a technology firm that provided communication solutions and services to corporations globally. He is a CNN contributor and was recently awarded the Business Leadership Excellence Award and inducted into the African Leadership Magazine’s CEO Hall of Fame.
Khana, which is the local Liberian way of referring to the palm “kernel”, the soft edible part of the palm fruit, began implementing projects in Liberia in 2014, beginning with a grant solicitation and management program. It was a USAID-funded project, which was implemented by World Learning in Liberia. TKG was charged to provide an integrated capacity development program to strengthen the capacity of up to ten local partners (health sector) non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the following areas: Strategic planning, program development and fundraising and sustainability.
TKG when on to implement other projects in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.