By Isaac Blessings
The young generation in Kenya is taking a lead when it comes to leadership and entrepreneurship. More youths are charting their destiny by engaging in business and in the process creating employment.
Here is a list of Kenya’s young entrepreneurs running big corporate companies.
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He is the Co-founder and Operations Director at EcoFuels Kenya – a company that deals in the production of organic fertilizers, biofuel, animal feeds and plant health products from the nuts and seeds of the Croton Megalocarpus – a naturally abundant and indigenous plant in East Africa with no other productive or commercial use. The 27 year old founded the company together with his friend Alan Paul back in July 2011. The company which recently changed its name to EcoFix (K) is the world’s first and only Croton nut processing company that is committed to sustainable agribusiness developments. In 2012, Growth Africa and Village Capital invested heavily in the company helping it to penetrate into the East African regional market. Cosmas was named by Forbes in their ’30 under 30 Innovators and Entrepreneurs’ in 2013.
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Lorna Rutto is the founder of EcoPost Limited – a company she formed in 2009 after quitting her job in the banking sector. The company recycles plastic wastes and manufactures aesthetic, durable and environmentally friendly fencing posts among other commodities. Since its inception, the company has grown to employ over 300 workers and attracted investors across the world. The 28 year old has played a big role in reducing plastic wastes in the country and her efforts made her to be recognized by Enablis in 2019. She has made a fortune out of this garbage collection business and won several international awards.
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Eugene Mbugua is the founder and CEO of Young Rich Television Limited. He became the youngest producer with a show in Kenyan television when his first TV Show dubbed ‘Young Rich’ premiered on K24 when he was only 22 years old. He has gone ahead to produce some of the biggest shows in Kenya including; Concert Nyumbani which aired in 12 stations simultaneously, Foods of Kenya, Being Bahati, Stori Yangu, Sol Family, Get in the Kitchen, Our Perfect Wedding and The Best Of. These shows have aired on K24, KTN, NTV, EBRU TV, Startimes, Trigger, Showmax and Maisha Magic East. In 2014, Eugene was named by Business Daily in Kenya’s male Top 40 under 40 entrepreneurs and won the best editor awards in the Kalasha awards. In 2016, he was listed by Forbes among the 30 most promising entrepreneurs and 2017 in the Top 30 under 30 entrepreneurs in Africa.
Other than film, the 30 year old is largely involved in the business world. He is the founder of Number 7 – a popular cocktail bar located along Koinange Street in the heart of Nairobi City. He also founded Bullocks farm together with his partners – a feedlot that purchases bulls and fattens them for 12 weeks to become premium beef. He is also among the panel of judges for the annual Riverwood Awards and a columnist at the Saturday Nation newspaper.
Also Read: Eugene Mbugua Profile, Education, Career, Big Break, TV Shows, Businesses & Awards
Eric Kinoti is the founder of Shades Systems East Africa – a multi-million company that manufactures military and relief tents, branded gazebos, luxury tents, car parking shades, marquees, canvas seats, wedding party tents, restaurant canopies and bouncing castles. The company which has branches across the East African region has a total of Ksh 100 million sales per year. Apart from being at the helm of leadership at Shades systems limited, he is also the founder of Bag Base Kenya limited, Alma tents and Safi Sana home services. He also serves in different boards of prominent companies in East Africa.
In 2014, he was listed among 30 most promising young entrepreneurs in Africa by Forbes. He has been listed twice in Kenya’s top 40 under 40 and voted as the most influential SME Personality at the SOMA awards.
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Terryanne Chebet is the Founder of Kayara botanicals – a natural bathing soap and body product line that has the best of Africa’s butter, scents and oils. Apart from being involved in the fashion industry, Terryanne is also huge in the Communications field. After leaving Citizen TV where she worked as a News Anchor, she started Scarlet Digital – an all-rounded advertising and communications company in 2011. In 2018, she was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Fanaka Television – a 24 hours news station which mainly focuses on Sports, entertainment, politics, business and current affairs. She is also the General Manager of Metropol TV Kenya – a business TV Station available on all free to air networks. She recently started a Communications Consultancy Agency named ‘Pink Foundry’ which is doing quite well.
Kevin Mulei is the founder of Mo Sounds Events – a creative company that organizes events, provides production services, digital media and entertainment equipment with operations across East and Central Africa. He is also the Founder and Owner of NRG Radio – one of the most popular radio stations among the youths of Kenya. The station first went on air on 1st March 2018 and became the first visual radio station in Africa. It is available on 97.1 FM or live through its websites and social media platforms. Mulei’s first investment was the then famous Groove awards – an event that supported, promoted and awarded gospel musicians in Kenya. At 39 years, he is among the most successful and wealthy young people with an estimated net worth of over Ksh 200 million.
Gloria Michelle Otieno
Gloria Michelle Otieno is the founder and CEO of Recours Four Kenya Consultants Limited (R4Kenya). The company provides professional HR Services in consultancy, recruitment, training and development, psychometric testing and staff outsourcing. The company which was started in 2013 is among the fastest growing companies currently employing over 21 employees and profits of up to 40 million Kenyan shillings every year. At 38 years, Gloria is managing one of the most successful companies in Africa with huge clients such as the World Bank Group, Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC), United States Agency for International Development, Sportpesa and the British Pharmaceutical company – GlaxoSmithK-line Plc.
Catherine Mahugu is the founder and CEO of Soko – an e-commerce platform based in Kenya and San Francisco in the United States of America. The company offers an opportunity to local artisans to sell handcrafted jewelry directly to their consumers. Apart from being at the helm of Soko’s leadership, she has been part of numerous big ICT projects such as the Stanford University’s Nokia Africa Research Center project – creating a mobile application for informal communities. She is also the founder of Chiswara – an agro-tech and online platform that offers an equitable coffee experience for farmers and consumers. Her vast experience and work in the ICT field has led her to win many awards including World’s Bank top 11 inspirational women and BBC’s top 30 under 30 African entrepreneurs in Africa in 2015.
Navalayo Osembo Ombati
Navalayo is the founder of the Enda Shoes Company – the first African sports shoes company. She started the company together with her American friend Weldon Kennedy in 2016 with the vision of creating high quality shoes for export to bring the world’s attention to Kenya not only as the source of great marathoners, but of high-quality manufactured shoes as well. She recently received a Ksh 169 million grant after the Enda Shoes Company business proposal emerged third in the African Business Heroes Awards being sponsored by Chinese Billionaire Jack Ma.
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