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Veteran women entrepreneurs share success tricks

Judith Owigar, Terry Mungai, CEO and Pat Okello on what it takes to start and grow a business



Judith Owigar, Founder of JuaKali Workforce, Terry Mungai, CEO Ashleys salons and Pat Okello debate with Renee Ngamau and Silvya Kananu, Sinapis Country Manager, during the event.

Sinapis, a business accelerator programme over the weekend held the second female entrepreneurship workshop titled ‘Successfully growing your business as a female entrepreneur’ at Daystar University in Nairobi.

Attended by over 300 women across different sectors, the workshop armed women with knowledge on topics in business. Some of the issues addressed were major hurdles facing women when growing their businesses, the top 5 things women need to stop doing that are hindering their business growth and resources that will help you take your business to the next level.

Panelists included Terry Mungai, renowned entrepreneur in Kenya’s beauty industry, running the Ashleys chain of high-end salon and beauty shops; Judith Owigar, co-founder of AkiraChix and the founder of Juakali Workforce and Pat Okelo, founder of Conferencing In A Box Limited and Willart Production Limited (She is also the author of “A Candid Handbook For Women Doing Business in Kenya).

The others were Mary Muthoni, the first elected female director (Women & Gender) at the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce & Industry; and Renee Ngamau (Moderator), a certified business and career coach, NLP trainer and speaker.


“Make no mistake, starting a business is a lot of work, but personally, I love hard work, as do so many of us,” said Terry Mungai. “And I much prefer to pour all of that work and all of those hours into something that my team and I own – financially and emo­tionally, and I know many women who feel the same way and while the rise in female entrepreneurship is being enabled by technology, it’s rooted in the fact that the qualities women bring to the workplace can also make us terrific entrepreneurs.”

Many people want to change their financial situation but aren’t willing to change their choices and this eventually, changes nothing, said Pat Okelo.

“You have to get up and act, when you reach a hindrance which will constantly happen, turn it into an opportunity, refuse to throw in the towel. Go that extra mile that failures refuse to travel.”

The Sinapis Training Program, which is held bi-monthly tackles the challenge of insufficient business knowledge among Kenyan entrepreneurs by providing practical business training skills in areas such as sales and marketing, finance, operations and human resource management which are critical ingredients for a successful entrepreneur.


Business Today is the leading independent online business website in Kenya. Started in 2012 by a veteran business journalist, it has a huge following both in Kenya and abroad. It covers various business and related issues. Email editor at: [email protected]

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