mARKMark Shuttleworth?is a name that has become synonymous with the African entrepreneurial spirit. Being a household name, many would easily recognize him to be the first African space tourist, and only the second ever private space tourist which he did on a Soyuz mission in 2002. Despite his name recognition, most would probably be unaware of his other entrepreneurial ventures.

Mark was born in South Africa in 1973. He attended the University of Cape Town where he graduated with a degree in Finance and Information Technology. After he graduated, Mark founded Thawte. His company became a major player in the web security and certification business. In 1999, after much success, Thawte was acquired by VeriSign for a large sum. VeriSign in turn was later acquired by Symantec.

After success with Thawte, Mark Shuttleworth founded a new investment business which he called HBD. HBD is short for ?Here Be Dragons.? From HBD?s official website, it is explained that in ancient times, unexplored territory was marked as such. HBD?s mission is to invest in emerging markets in both listed and unlisted investments. The investments made by HBD have helped fund various African companies. These investments, obviously, are a positive contribution to the further development of the African continent.

Shuttleworth also founded Canonical Ltd., a computer software company which produces free and open source software. Canonical is responsible for software such as the open source operating system Ubuntu. Ubuntu is the world?s most popular Linux distribution, and it is named after the South African philosophy of the same name which encourages humanistic attitudes.

Mark also founded the Shuttleworth Foundation, an innovative non-profit which funds ventures in social change. The foundation works by identifying those at the forefront of social change, and then helping support them to make the world a better place. There are few other innovations that would better serve to make improvements on the continent and the world as this model, and as such Africa is proud of Shuttleworth?s legacy.

Mark Shuttleworth currently resides in London, England. According to? his official website, he enjoys the African bush, weightlessness and skinny-dipping, while his dislikes include salary negotiations and public speaking