• Being an entrepreneur is not child’s play and requires bold action and never say die attitude in the face of defeat and discouragement.
  • However, despite all these challenges, African entrepreneurs continue to rise and beat the odds like the masters of their destinies they are.
  • Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa sheds a spotlight on some of Kenya’s most influential entrepreneurs who dared to dream and are now changing their societies big time.

Being an entrepreneur is not child’s play and requires bold action and never say die attitude in the face of defeat and discouragement.

The odds of making it in Sub-Saharan Africa is even higher since access to capital, lack of markets, cutthroat competition, corruption to staggering government bureaucracy are but everyday realities.

An aerial view of Nairobi City An aerial view of Nairobi City

However, despite all these challenges, African entrepreneurs continue to rise and beat the odds like the masters of their destinies they are.

Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa sheds a spotlight on some of Kenya’s most influential entrepreneurs who dared to dream and are now changing their societies big time.

Considering that, here are the top 9 most influential entrepreneurs under 40 in Kenya today.

Eric Kinoti

Eric Kinoti Eric Kinoti

Eric Kinoti has been listed twice in Kenya’s top 40 under 40 and voted the most influential SME personality at the SOMA Awards.

In 2014, he was also listed among 30 most promising young entrepreneurs in Africa, by Forbes Africa list.

The 33-year-old is the founder of Shades Systems E. A Ltd, 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.

Jackline Cherop

Jackline Cherop Jackline Cherop

Born on the foothills of Mt. Elgon in a humble home, growing up Jackline Cherop never imagined in her wildest dreams that one day she will be running a successful business and giving back to the society.

Jackline Cherop is the co-founder and the managing director of Densey Tours and Travel company, one of the leading African travel houses based in Nairobi that specializes in conducting tours and travel worldwide.

Today, the company has 12 full-time employees and is worth about Sh 400 million ($4 million).

Bundotich Zedekiah Kiprop alias Buzeki

Bundotich Zedekiah Kiprop alias Buzeki Bundotich Zedekiah Kiprop alias Buzeki

Mr Buzeki is the founder of Buzeki Group of Companies, an amalgamation of companies incepted in 1999.

The Kenyan entrepreneur in his 30s also owns a logistics company in Kenya, an oil-trading firm, a heavy vehicle dealership and insurance agency.

He was awarded by the president Order of the Golden Warrior (OGW) in 2016.

Joyce Muthoni

Joyce Muthoni Joyce Muthoni

Joyce Muthoni likes to call herself a spirited individual and indeed she does a lot to show for it.

She is the founder of Viral Gorrrila, a digital marketing and creative agency based in Nairobi.

She started her first business Proteque Consulting while still on campus, just before she graduated.

And that’s not all, she is also the CEO and founder of Helium balloon company, a company that supplies helium balloons and other party confetti items to corporate and personal events.

Eugene Mbugua

Eugene Mbugua Eugene Mbugua

Eugene Mbugua has accomplished a lot despite his young age.

He is the CEO and Young Rich Television Limited, a media company that has produced several popular television shows in Kenya, among them; Young Rich; Get In The Kitchen; Stori Yangu and Our Perfect Wedding.

He is also the founder of My Yearbook Kenya Limited, a company that produces yearbooks for schools, companies and governmental organizations.

Mbugua was named among 30 most promising entrepreneurs for 2017 by the Forbes Africa list.

Vava Angwenyi

Vava Angwenyi Vava Angwenyi

A confessed coffeeholic, Vava is the best example of how to turn your hobby into a flourishing business.

In 2009, Vava Angwenyi started VAVA COFFEE – a Social enterprise that trades, roasts and consults on coffee value chains, whose main aim is to contribute to better future prospects for coffee communities and the industry as a whole.

Angwenyi is also the co-founder and director of business development & fundraising at GENTE DEL FUTURO (People of the Future).

Zammer Verjee

Zammer Verjee Zammer Verjee

Verjee founded Studio AZ, an interior and exterior design firm based in Nairobi, in 2012 with the £400 he saved at the university.

Five years later, he has turned the design firm into a $500,000 (Sh51.5 million) venture with more than 10 full-time staff and 75 subcontractors.

In 2017, he was named among 30 most promising entrepreneurs for 2017 by the Forbes Africa list.

He has also made it as one of Kenya’s top 40 under 40 by Business Daily Africa.

Terryanne Chebet

Terryanne Chebet Terryanne Chebet

If there is a Kenyan entrepreneur who has defined the meaning of being resilient and smart is none other than Terryanne Chebet.

Terryanne Chebet is the CEO of Scarlet Digital, a 360 Advertising and communications firm that opened in 2011.

She is also the founder of Keyara, a natural Bath and body product lines that boast the best of Africa’s butter, oils and scents.

In 2018, Chebet was appointed as the chief executive officer of Fanaka Television, a 24-hour news station with a specific focus on sports, entertainment, current affairs, and business.

She is also the General Manager of Metropol TV Kenya.

Notable mention….

Pamellah Oduor

Pamellah Oduor Pamellah Oduor

Pamellah Oduor can as well be the face of the Kenyan most influential entrepreneur.

Pamellah started out as a banker, became a chef, a trainer, a mentor and now she is a counsellor.

She quit her banking career to concentrate on building one of Kenya’s most popular Facebook groups, Let’s Cook Kenyan Meals and singlehandedly turned it into arguably one of the biggest online markets in the country today.

In 2018, Facebook came calling and recognized her as one of the African fellows and awarded her $50,000 (Kshs 5 million) to be used for their community initiative.

Pamellah is also the Proprietor of a catering firm, Spice Land, has vast interests in real estate and runs very popular holiday homes at the North Coast of Kenya, Mtwapa going by the name, Pacod Holiday Homes.