To celebrate this year’s Global Entrepreneurship week 2017, we’ve chosen to profile one of Africa’s leading serial Entrepreneurs in Njeri Rionge.
To listen to the words of Kenyan entrepreneur Njeri Rionge is to understand, almost immediately, that she is a woman of keen, powerful foresight and creative vision. However, to take stock of her remarkable list of accomplishments, as a businesswoman, is to know, beyond any shadow of doubt, that Njeri Rionge must also be a woman of action, tenacity, integrity and discipline.
Since discovering, in her late teens, her creative flair and entrepreneurial spirit–first as a vendor of flavoured milk and then as a talented hairdresser– Rionge has continued to forge for herself a path that has seen her rise to prominence as a business owner and consultant in the field of Information Technology, among others. She is one of the co-founders of Wananchi Group, which became, under her stewardship, one of East Africa’s leading providers of home Internet; entertainment and technological connectivity accomplishments that has earned her the nickname, Njeri Rionge, “the woman who brought the internet to Africa”.
Rionge has since expanded the scope of her business empire to include Ignite Consulting, which specializes in creating marketing solutions for small businesses, as well as NRBC Inc., a company whose broad mission is to connect accredited, international investors to the intriguing and viable investment opportunities that exist throughout Africa and its global diaspora.
It is important to acknowledge that the success, diversity and breadth of Njeri Rionge’s leadership in business testify to something beyond sheer entrepreneurial acumen and ingenuity. Her status as one of Africa’s preeminent business people is proof of her unwillingness to be confined, to accept limitation, or the culling of her dreams.
With this in mind, Rionge has said that part of her motivation, as an entrepreneur is to use the world of business as a way of testing and fortifying her personal capacity. She believes that sustained success in the realm of business requires not only uncommon tenacity, but also an unwavering self-understanding and enduring self-belief.
It is Njeri Rionge’s own self-belief that has allowed her to flourish in the hyper-competitive world of international business for nearly 30 years. Importantly, too, Njeri Rionge is a person whose words and actions have, over the course of her lengthy career, spoken to the importance of two things: having a plan and having a purpose. Perhaps, in some ways, Rionge’s many successes can be boiled down to such fundamental understandings.
By now, after decades of executing plans that have helped to animate and solidify entrepreneurial cultures in Nairobi, London, Dallas, Barcelona, Rome, Athens, as well as Toronto, where she now has an office, Njeri Rionge’s methods for success are beyond reproach and she’s unquestionably one of the most acclaimed entrepreneurs, visionaries and business leaders living in the world today. For this fact, of course, she has garnered great respect. Though, if we are appraising the facts of Njeri Rionge’s life and career, we must also admit that her skill, grace and determination exemplify the power and necessity of the entrepreneurial spirit for Africans, and indeed, all people doing business across the globe.
Follow Njeri on twitter @NjeriRionge