Carolyne Wanjiku: Waitress Who Founded Successful Biogas Company With Ksh100K

By Prudence Minayo

Carolyne Wanjiku founded Kenya Sunrise Eco Energy, a biogas company. She started the business shortly after the biogas company she worked for shut down. Armed with Ksh100,000 investment, she transformed the business into a profit making venture with a decent clientele network.

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Early jobs 

Carolyne completed her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in 2009 and was soon after employed as a waitress in the village. She was standing in for an employee who was on leave and her monthly salary was Ksh15,000. She left after a year when her contract came to an end. 

This was followed by another job, this time as a pump attendant in a petrol station. She was paid Ksh10,000 monthly and hoped for better job prospects. 

Working for a biogas company 

Carolyne left the job and secured employment at a company that made biogas and installed biogas appliances. Her monthly salary rose to Ksh35,000. The entrepreneur worked for the company until 2013 when the owner decided to shut it down. This left her and her colleagues unemployed. While the job left her in a tight spot, she was thankful for the experience. Having worked for the company as a tea girl, office administrator, and sales and marketing officer, she was confident her experience would come in handy. 

Before the year came to an end, she got a job at an animations advertising company. She was set to report to work the following month, however, clients from her previous job kept contacting her. In her previous job, she had developed very good relations with the clients.

They would ask her why they had shut down and where they could get biogas. She was not sure about starting a business as she loved the comfortability that came with employment. Entrepreneurship scared her, especially since she would have to pursue clients and devote her full time into the business. 

However, everyone around her, including her spouse, urged her to get into the business. Finally, she gave in and started the business with Ksh100,000, which she had saved from her previous job. Carolyne Wanjiku also convinced a friend to allow her have a small space to operate in her office. A few weeks later, she had a meeting with her first client in the shared office space and managed to convince him to make a down payment for biogas products. She felt a great sense of satisfaction after delivering the goods and receiving full payment. 

In a previous interview with a Daily Nation, she said that the business has a monthly turnover of Ksh300,000 and stock valued at Ksh800,000. She had also managed to open a warehouse and an office at Nairobi’s CBD.


In the early stage of her business, she realized that people urging you to start something does not equate to support. Some people also thought that it would be too hard for her and she could not manage to sustain herself with the business. The lack of enough capital also meant that she could not afford to keep enough stock. This meant that at times she would keep her clients waiting. She was able to deal with this problem once her income stabilized and she got a loan from the bank. This enabled her to start importing her own biogas appliances at an affordable price. 

Another challenge came in 2015, after a year in business. A customer bought goods worth Sh300,000 and paid using a cheque. However, the cheque bounced and she could not recover her stock. Luckily, she recovered from the loss.