Women Who Built Kenyan Business Empires From Scratch

Collage of Women who Built Businesses from Scratch
Collage of Women who Built Businesses from Scratch

The business world has for a long time been male-dominated. However over the years, women have risen through the ranks to lead some of the biggest businesses in Kenya in different sectors.

These women have not only managed to break age-old assumptions about what women can and cannot do but have made a mark for themselves.

They have inspired generations of women to come while of course making a fortune in the process. Kenyans.co.ke takes a look at women who have built successful businesses from scratch.

Mary Njoki 

One of the major challenges facing the youth is unemployment. However, for  Njoki, a woman who defied all odds went on to form her own company - Glass House PR. The company was established in 2012 when Mary was only 23 and had just Ksh6,000 as capital. 

It has since grown into an empire that positions brands across the continent through tailor-made public relations solutions.

The organisation offer a wide range of expert services that include, public relations, brand management, digital communication, crisis management and PR training.

Glass House PR went on to receive the Global Business Insight Award in 2018 for the most Innovative Agency in Digital Communication and Media Management.

Njoki has won various awards that include the FOYA awards as the Founder of the Year 2016, the Young African Women Leadership Excellence Award by Centre of Economics and Development in 2017. She was named top 40 under 40 women leaders by Amazon Watch Magazine. 

Flora Mutahi

Venturing into new markets is always seen as a risk but that’s not the case for Flora Mutahi.

She is the CEO and founder of Melvins Tea and was the first person to venture into the flavoured tea business in Kenya.

Flora is a qualified accountant and auditor. She has extensive local and international experience in strategic leadership, business development, market penetration and marketing.

The entrepreneur is also a woman of many firsts, she was the first female board chair of The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) as well as the first woman to chair the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, since its establishment in 1959.

Dorcas Muthoni 

The topic of high-end technology and software are conversations that have for long been dominated by men. 

Dorcas Muthoni is a computer scientist, entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of OpenWorld Ltd. Established when Muthoni was just 24, OpenWorld is one of the leading e-Governmental and Business Software Services firms in Eastern Africa. 

OpenWorld has been at the forefront of revolutionising Africa. It has delivered some of the most widely used Web and cloud applications in Africa. 

They include the Performance Management System for the Government of Kenya, ARIS, an African Union reporting application used by all 54 member states; and OpenBusiness, a  revolutionary cloud-based small and medium side business management tool.

Muthoni also founded AfChix, a mentorship and capacity building initiative for women in computing across Africa.

Juliana Rotich 

Juliana Rotich is the co-founder of BRCK, a hardware and services technology company established to enable communication in low infrastructure environments.

She also co-founded Ushahidi Inc, a non-profit tech company that specialises in developing free e software.

Patricia Okelo 

Okelo has over 19 years of experience in running two successful businesses - Conferencing In A box and Willart Productions. 

She co-founded Kayana Create - a space for female entrepreneurs . Women come together to nurture small female-run businesses that are still growing (0-3 years) through various networking and educational events.

The entrepreneur is passionate about Women in business and  co-authored “A Candid Handbook for Women in Business . 

File image of women who attended the cheque issuance on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at Cityhall
File image of women who attended the cheque issuance on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at Cityhall