Eric Kinoti – Shades System East Africa
Eight young and enterprising Kenyans have been featured prominently in FORBES list, of the 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa 2014, who are the making the most dramatic impact in Africa today in manufacturing, technology, real estate, media & entertainment, financial services, agriculture, fashion and the service industry.
Founder, Shades System East Africa
The 29 year-old Kenyan is the founder of Shades System East Africa, a $1 million (annual sales) company that manufactures military and relief tents, branded gazebos, restaurant canopies, car parking shades, marquees, luxury tents, wedding party tents canvas seats and bouncing castles across the region. The company’s biggest clients are non-governmental and humanitarian organizations. Based in Nairobi, Shades System exports its products to Somalia, Congo and Rwanda. The company says it is profitable and has 18 full-time employees.
Founder, Kronex Chemicals Ltd
Shah, a 26 year old Asian-Kenyan, is the founder of Kronex Chemicals Ltd, a fast-growing manufacturer of low-cost household cleaning products. Shah founded Kronex in January 2013 and the company has two products- a dishwashing liquid and a multi-purpose detergent, both of which are gaining market share amongst Kenya’s lower middle-class.
Heshan de Silva, Kenyan
After dropping out from school in the United States, Heshan de Silva, 25, worked briefly for a tea exporting company owned by his parents before breaking out to start VenCap, a business that sold travel insurance bundled into long distance bus tickets. The company became profitable very quickly, grossing over $1 million in revenues within its first year and setting the pace for travel insurance for bus commuters in Kenya. He is now a venture capitalist and the founder of DSGVenCap, a company that makes seed investments in the tech, media, agribusiness and consumer industries in Kenya.
Founder/Ceo Impact Africa Industries
The 22 year-old Kenyan is the founder of Impact Africa Industries, a company that produces low cost sanitary pads for poor women in informal settlements Kenya three years ago and he now sells the pads to as far as Uganda and South Sudan. The company is located in Kitale, a small town in Western Kenya and has 23 employees, 15 of whom are women who help in production and distribution of the sanitary pads. Paul was an Anzisha Prize Fellow in 2013.
Founder, Fatboy Animation
Muthiga, 26, is the founder of Fatboy Animation, a Nairobi-based animation company that produces 3 and 2 dimensional animation for both film and commercial use. FatBoy Animations has produced several viral animated commercials for Kenyan blue chips like brands such as Safaricom, Telkom Orange, Barclays Bank and Jamii Telecommunications (JTL).
Mike Muthiga of Fatboy Animation
Muchemi, 29, is the founder of WebTribe Kenya, a leading IT company in Kenya with operations in online payment systems, web applications and network security. Webtribe’s flagship company,Jambopay provides e-payments services for e-commerce players as well as e-ticketing services and electronic cash disbursement services. Jambopay is a recipient of the Google Innovation Awards in Financial Services for 2013.
Founder, Skydrop Enterprises
Mwale who is now 21 years old founded SkyDrop Enterprises, a rainwater filtration and bottling company which produces low-cost purified drinking water, milk and other dairy products in Kenya. In 2012, Mwale sold a 60% stake in Skydrop to an Israeli firm for $500,000. Next stop: Education. Last year Mwale founded Gigavia, an educational social networking website.
Founder, Ecopost Kenya
In 2010, Lorna Rutto, 28, founded Ecopost, a Kenyan company that collects consumer plastic waste such as polypropylene and polyethylene and converts them into durable, easy to use and environmentally friendly plastic lumber, an eco-friendly alternative to timber which is used to manufacture fencing posts.
For full list of Africa’s Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in 2014