Kenyan CEO Akinyi Williams Dazzles in US Billion-Dollar Industry

Akinyi Williams
Akinyi Williams, founder and CEO of Cheyenne Mortgage Capital.
Carlson School of Management / Hope for the Child

A US-based Kenyan woman is making waves in the United States’ financial landscape having established a top lending company, Cheyenne Mortgage Capital of which she is the CEO.

Akinyi Williams is also the founder and Executive Director of ‘Hope for the Child’, a Non-Governmental organization that seeks to make quality education available to disadvantaged children in Kisumu.

Having grown up poor in a family of nine, Akinyi strives to change the circumstances of others with a similar background. 

She is the Executive Director of ‘The Healthstore Foundation’, an organization that aims to provide access to essential medical supplies, basic healthcare and prevention services to children and families in the developing world.

Hope for the child
Hope for the child beneficiaries
Hope for the child

In addition, she is the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Western Capital which she runs with her husband Travis Williams who is the CEO. The two founded the company in 2018.

She has a master's of education from Harvard University, an MBA from the University of Minnesota, a bachelor's in business from Metro State University and is looking to get a Law Degree to top off her impressive catalogue.

"I always have to prove myself," Williams said. "I have to do extra,” she said in an interview with the Star Tribune.

Throughout her career, the 47-year-old has been a senior loan officer at Wells Fargo and a consultant at UnitedHealth Group and Accenture.

Akinyi’s driving force has always been emulating her mother who worked in Finance at Barclays Bank, Kenya.

To actualize that dream, she earned her business degree while working as a flight attendant to support her family.

Later, Akinyi founded Hope for the Child in 2007 while she was still working on her MBA at the Carlson School of Management in Minnesota, United States.

Additionally, an Ambitious Akinyi and her husband who has more than 25 years of experience as an investor in the private lending industry and real estate finance, gathered their savings that they used to renovate over 80 properties.

It was then that they noticed a gap in alternative financing and established Western Capital.

However, Western Capital could not cater to people who wanted to borrow small amounts of money, prompting Akinyi to create her own lending company.

She used her savings for the first few loans she offered.

“The loans are for non-owner-occupied properties, typically investment or rental properties,” Akinyi said.

Since then, her company has grown and now serves people across the United States with most of her clientele being immigrants and people of colour. 

Akinyi Williams and her husband Travis Williams.
Akinyi Williams and her husband Travis Williams.
Star Tribune