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Humble Beginnings: From Failing To Join College To Starting Successful Hotel, The Inspiring Journey Of Evans Odour

Evans Oduor is the founder of Grand Summerland Hotel and Butchery along Oginga Odinga Street. The entrepreneur’s journey to starting his own successful business had its own fair of challenges. This did not stop him from pushing on and growing his business to what it is today.

Here is his inspiring story as told by WoK.


The 34 year old scored a C+ (plus) in the Kenya Certificate Secondary Education (KCPE) examination but could not join college. His parents did not have the financial muscle to put him through college. 

Rather than pity himself, he secured employment at a friend’s eatery in Kisumu. 

“I had a friend of mine, he had a butchery and an eatery and in fact, he loved the way I was working. He used to pay me something small just to keep me going,” he told KBC Business. 

Then, the 2007 post election violence happened. This led to the foreclosure of the business and Oduor went back to the village. 

Starting the business 

Luck would strike when a friend who had a kiosk in the village asked for his help. Afterwards, he secured a small location where he could set up an eatery business, which was his dream. 

Despite the business being small, he continually saved what he could and found himself slowly expanding the business. 


During the pandemic, businesses shut down as many could not stand the tough times. However, for him, this was the time to grow. 

He got a loan from the Kenya Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF). He used the money to expand his business. 

Initially, he had started with one stall but had managed to get five stalls. He joined the stalls to form one business. 

Advice to Youths 

His advice to young people is the need to think out of the box. Instead of looking to be employed, they need to be employers. 

Currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in Project Management at the University of Nairobi, the businessman also emphasized on the need for education.