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Marita Mutemi: Entreprenuer Who Quit High Paying Job to do Criminal Checks, Education Verification for Hiring Companies

Marita Mutemi is the founder of Peleza International Limited, a leading background screening company providing comprehensive and accurate pre-employment, vendor and partners screening solutions.

She left her job to establish the company to make staff background screening and due diligence easier for hirees.

Mutemi admitted that leaving her job for this new venture was not easy, especially because it would take time before generating revenue.

Hers is her story as told by WoK.

Mutemi got the idea of establishing Peleza International Limited while working for General Electric (GE), an American multinational conglomerate.

In an interview, she noted that one of her targets was reducing the cost of sourcing for professional services in the sub-Saharan Africa region.

“…most of my employer’s professional services were sourced from a US-based company and wondered why these competencies could not be sourced locally,” she said.

Having identified the gap in the market, Mutemi seized the opportunity and started Peleza International Limited, specializing in background screening and due diligence.

While it was hard for her to quit her job, Mutemi said her first clients were companies that she worked with while still under employment.

“The first people I reached out to were the HR sourcing firms I had worked with while at GE and they gave me an opportunity based on trust,” she said.

Mutemi decided to focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) instead of the multinationals that she had previously worked with.

“We started selling our services to SMEs and began gaining traction. It was not easy because this is a service that was not very well known and most human resource sourcing firms were only doing reference checks and not background checks,” she said.

Having established the company in 2016 with about 12 staffers, it picked in 2018 although they had a tought year in 2017.

“We now serve 269 clients in Kenya and Nigeria and support seven other countries in Africa with our staffing level growing from four in 2016 to when we began to 33 presently,” Mutemi said.

Peleza International offers among other services identity verification, business onboarding, background checks and transaction monitoring solutions.

Peleza offers a wide range of background screening solutions, including identity checks, criminal background checks, employment history verification, education verification, credit check, know your customer, know your business and AML/CFT, PEP.