Elizabeth Muthoka Wanyoike, known to many as Lizzie Wanyoike, is a Kenyan businesswoman, educator, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
She is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Nairobi Institute of Business Studies (NIBS).
Lizzie has been through all the ups and downs of life, and her rise to the top is proof of how far perseverance, resilience and determination can take a person.
From a humble tutor earning Ksh961 per month, she has grown to establish herself as an epitome of success and role model to all the young girls, women and society alike.
Background & Education
Lizzie was born in the 1950s in Murang’a County, and is a sixth born in a family of 10. Her father was a village chief and her mother, a peasant farmer.
He attended Gathuki-ini Primary School, in Wathenge, Muranga County, and later proceeded to join Kahuhia Girls High School, in Karuri, still in Muranga County.
With her High School Diploma, she proceeded to join Kenyatta University College (present-day Kenyatta University) and graduated with a Diploma in Education.
Lizzie worked as a tutor and principal at a city college at the beginning of 1970. She was later recruited by the government and posted to State House Girls Nairobi as a teacher in 1972.
She earned Ksh961 per month as salary.
After a while, she realised that she was not meant to work for someone. Together with her husband and other partners they founded Temple College of Secretarial Studies where she taught secretarial courses.
Lizzie later felt that there was need for more and even newer courses in the education sector. She approached management with new ideas regarding new courses and curriculums they would incorporate but the proposals were rejected.
“I was pushing for introduction of more courses other that secretarial units, to meet the growing demand for education, but the management would not listen. And even though the institution was making profit, I was concerned about the growing demand for training in other areas.
“By 1999 I was sure that the realities of a moving global economy required more challenging ventures to tap in the immense benefits of a globalised economy. I quit that partnership,” she stated.
In 1999 she took her savings of Ksh6 million and a Ksh4 million loan from Equity Bank Kenya and founded NIBS.
She rented out a premise and started the institution with 25 students and 2 teachers.
NIBS had a rocky start, but continued to pick in later years. By 2010, she had raised Ksh134 million with which she built the college’s main campus on a 10-acre piece of land in Ruiru-Kimbo, Kiambu County.
By 2018, the College had grown to a population of over 6,000 students, 250 tutors spread across four campuses.
They include: Ongata Rongai, Thika Town, Nairobi Central Business District and Ruiru-Kimbo.
In 2018, Lizzy embarked on the establishment of NIBS Hotel in Kileleshwa with an intent to serve a five star hotel, and a learning environment for NIBS’ hospitality students.
The establishment cost Ksh400 million and was partly funded by loans from Equity bank.
Lizzie has since diversified her investment portfolio venturing into real estate and the stock market.
She is also the founder and owner of Lizzie Wanyoike Preparatory School located in Ruiru, Kiambu County.
Lizzie was married to her husband for 25 years before they parted ways. He was 16 years older than her.
Differences in marriage starting from preferences in interests and interactions due to their age differences, resulted in quarrels. He was into politics, and she had her own interests, so on some occasions they differed on what should be done and how.