Emily Korir: Illustrious Life Of Kenyan Woman Named Best CEO In Australia

Emily Korir best defines resilience and innovativeness. The Australian-based entrepreneur studied for an MBA and founded a company while suffering from the effects of a stroke.

Alongside her husband, she founded BET Global, a company that provides housing and support services for people living with disability.

With her as the CEO and her husband as the Managing Director, the company became the most innovative and fastest growing disability housing provider in South Australia and Victoria. They employ over 200 people. 

Here is her story as told by WoK.


Born in a poverty stricken family in Nakuru, Emily was raised by her mother and grandmother. Despite the difficult financial situation, there was a lot of happiness from home and the community at large. 

Moving abroad 

She got a scholarship and left Kenya for Japan in 1994. The businesswoman ended up in Australia then moved to the United States in December 2002 to marry Bernard Korir. 

The couple then relocated to Australia and raised their family. Life was good until a stroke threatened to ruin it all.

She became disabled on her right side and would often lament to God. Her husband had to take care of the children and had barely enough to cover their expenses.

She had also been the breadwinner, helping out her siblings and mother but it became impossible. Her grandmother passed away as she was recovering. 

Life became hard and it hurt her when a friend failed to invite her to a party. The reason was because she was drooling and would ruin the experience.  She started seeing physiologist and psychologist and after rehab, their house needed to be re-modelled to fit her needs. 

A business idea is sparked 

However, they decided to rent out their house and look for something else. This proved impossible as there was nothing for them to rent or buy. It is this process that gave birth to her business, which seeks to provide housing for those living with disability. 

Despite having cognitive fatigue thus preventing her from sitting for more than three hours, Emily began pursuing an MBA focusing on Human Resource Management and a Masters in Disability Policy and Practice (MDPP). 

BET and Awards 

Afterwards, they founded BET Global. The company became a success and she has bagged several awards in the past including: 

  • 2014 Young Leaders of the Year at the celebration of African Australians 
  • In 2015, she was inducted into the South Australian Women’s Honor Roll as the first African woman 
  • In 2017, she was appointed ambassador for the UN International Women’s day campaign, #BeBoldForChange.

On September 15th 2023 during the Enablement Awards in Adelaide, she was voted the best CEO in 2023 for her contribution towards improving the lives of the needy and disabled. 

“To be recognized in this category highlights the commitment to pushing boundaries, thinking outside the box, and implementing innovative solutions to improve the lives of people with disabilities,” she said upon receiving the award. 

Giving back in Kenya 

While successful abroad, the CEO has not forgotten her backyard. In a past interview with The Standard, it was revealed that she hopes to build the first accessible respite home for children with disability in Kenya.

Being the first girl in her family not to undergo FGM, she fights for others not to undergo the procedure. They also help to provide girls with pants, sanitary towels and bras.