John Mukundi: Embu Businessman Who Started College With Ksh8,000 At Age 29

John Mukundi: Embu Businessman Who Started College With Ksh8,000 At Age 29

John Mukundi is the founder and director of Achievers College of Professionals in Embu town. The institution is one of the leading tertiary education centres in Embu County, offering a number of competitive courses.

Mr Mukundi’s story is one of sheer will and determination, having resigned from his job as a tutor and borrowed a loan of Ksh8,000 from a friend and embarked on a venture in the ever-competitive education sector.

His story is an inspiration to many who wish to start businesses but are demotivated by the lack of capital and many others who are afraid of leaving their comfort zone in pursuit of their dreams.

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Here’s his story as narrated by WoK.

Background & Education

Mukundi hails from a humble background and attended St Pauls’ Kivuti High School where he attained a C plain in his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams.

He then proceeded to Nyeri Technical Training Institute in 1995 and later graduated with a diploma in accounting. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

The businessman also holds a degree in business administration from Kenya Methodist University.

John Mukundi: Embu Businessman Who Started College With Ksh8,000 At Age 29
File image of learners and tutors at the Achievers College of Professionals in Embu Town. |Courtesy| Achievers College|


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After completing his secondary school education, Mukundi worked as a bartender for two years before joining Nyeri Technical Training Institute.

He later taught at several high schools and at the accountancy college where he sat for his CPA exams.

“In my teaching career, I realised that if I was going to achieve my life dreams, I had to get into self-employment. I got some inspiration from the Bible in Joshua 3, which says when you see the priest carrying the ark, know it is time to cross over,” Mukundi told The Standard in a past interview.

Founding Achievers College

After going for eight months without pay at the accountancy college, John quit his job, having no savings at all. He borrowed Ksh8,000 from his friend and proceeded to rent two single rooms in Embu town.

He then approached a carpenter and offered to teach his brother for free in exchange for tables to be used at the school. For three months, Mukundi hired seats from an outside catering company for Ksh5 each per day. However, the biggest challenge was that he had to close on weekends since the company needed the seats for weddings, parties and other events.

“I also carried out an intensive advertising campaign. The first intake brought in 12 students all taking the Kenya Accounting Technicians Certificate 1 and CPA 1 exams. I hired five tutors whom I paid Ksh80 per lesson,” he said.

At the end of the month, each of the tutors would go home with Ksh7,000 including himself.

“This taught me an important lesson. We were earning Ksh7,000 after a month of toiling, which made me realise we were earning less than we should be.

“We sought to close that gap by offering classes after 5 pm. This allowed us to reach the working class, and we became the pioneers of evening classes in the town,” the Achievers College director said.

With time, remuneration for the teachers improved and this was a huge motivational boost to them to continue offering quality education. The school also continued to gain popularity and student admissions went up.

Mukundi later decided to expand the courses offered by the college and introduced computer packages. So he started information technology courses with three computers and charged Ksh400 per package compared tot the Ksh1,000 charged by other colleges. This attracted more learners to the school.

Due to the growing school population, the institution was forced to relocate to new quarters and thus occupied an entire floor at Subira House in Embu town. He furnished the school and acquired more facilities including new computers.

The college would later relocate to a new building and attracts more than 600 students per semester. It also has branches in Kerugoya and Chuka towns.

Achievers College of Professionals offers diplomas and higher diplomas in accounting, business, information technology, management and journalism. It is also a Cisco academy, meaning it provides practical courses for students taking online exams in computer networking offered by Cisco.

To expand the school’s reach and uplift the surrounding community, the college took computer literacy to rural areas by setting up digital villages in Kangaru, Masinga, Kibugu, Kirigi and Njukiri, all in Embu, with plans to set up more outside the county.

The villages provide Internet access at low rates and also offers training to those interested in computer packages without them having to travel to larger towns.

Achievers College of Professionals is run by a board of management with seven members.

Mukundi notes that his biggest challenge over the years was retaining tutors at the institution.

“Teacher retention is a major issue in the education business, and it can either make or break your business. You have to ensure your pay is almost equal to the market rate or else they will move to competitors.”

Faculties and Courses


  • Business Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Project Management
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Supply Chain Management


  • Certified Public Accountants (CPA)
  • Accounting Technician Diploma (ATD)
  • Certified Credit Professionals (CCP)
  • Certified Investments and Financial Analysts (CIFA)
  • Certified Secretaries (CS)
  • Diploma in Credit Management (DCM)


  • Certified Information Communication Technology (CICT)
  • Cisco
  • Diploma in Computer Science Studies (CSK)
  • Diploma in Information Technology (CSK)
  • Diploma Information and Communication Technology
  • Information Communication Technology (KNEC)
  • International Computer Drivers License (ICDL)


  • Catering and Accommodation Management (KNEC)
  • Food and Beverage Production Service (KNEC)
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