East Africa's celebrated serial entrepreneur

Founder of Wananchi Online, Wananchi Group Holdings, Ignite Consulting, Insite Limited, Business Lounge, Njeri Rionge Business Consulting Inc

Country: Kenya

Sector: ICT, Business Consulting

Njeri Rionge is one of Africa’s leading entrepreneurs and one of the very few women pioneers in the ICT sector on the African continent. She co-founded internet service provider Wananchi Online that has since been transformed into Wananchi Group Holdings – one of east Africa’s leading providers of pay-tv, broadband internet and VoIP services. Last year the company raised US$57.5 million in growth capital from a group of international investors.

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Njeri's Startup Story 

Njeri's talks about how she got started....

"My first business was selling yoghurt from a friend's car trunk to the International School of Kenya and Loretto Convent Musongari High School over their school breaks. I saw a business opportunity and acted on it, determined to turn it into a reality. This sounds like an obvious thing, but it's basic to every entrepreneur – taking an idea that's on paper or in your head and moving it forward into real, tangible action, and it's something that I have continued to do throughout my life. I was also working in a salon as a hairdresser during this time and soon recognized another business opportunity selling luxury merchandise to my high net worth clients: to buy and re-sell luxury goods, I used to fly regularly to London using discounted courier tickets.   I would not say I felt a compulsion to take these business opportunities, I would simply say that I had a passion for selling and for creating a business"....

Read more about Njeri's startup story →

“I create companies serially because I believe that Africa is the next economic frontier and we must build indigenous organisations that will support this growth.”

“I think that there are lots of opportunities in this world, and a lot of opportunities in Africa in particular for both male and female entrepreneurs, and I've demonstrated that being a woman is not a barrier to success here in Kenya. I have a portfolio of companies (The Business Lounge, Ignite Consulting, Insite Ltd.) and more businesses in the pipeline. If you are determined, are passionate about what you do and work hard you can be successful no matter what.”


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Awards & Accolades

Njeri's recent awards and honours include:

  • 2011 - Njeri is listed in the Forbes List of Africa’s Most Successful Women

  • 2009 - Njeri is inducted into the ICT Hall of Fame by the Computer Society of Kenya

  • 2009 - Njeri is a World Technology Forum Nominee