Jennifer Riria, is an entrepreneur, company govt, and banker. She is the CEO of Kenya Women Holding Group; microfinance, banking, and insurance coverage group. In addition, Jennifer was voted twice because the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (East Africa and Kenya respectively in 2013 and 2014).
Jennifer Riria Background
Riria was born in a poor family in rural Kenya. The forth-born of 10 siblings. According to her, “I watched my mother and other women in the village operate as donkeys. They would carry on their backs firewood, bananas, a bag of other stuff and a baby. I saw them get abused, beaten and work 24 hours a day”. In her phrases. “I remember kneeling by my bedside every night asking God to send me far away from this environment.” The atmosphere impressed her to make one thing nice in her life. She determined to embrace schooling as a manner of escape and this has enormously modified her life.
Jennifer attended a major faculty, the place she travels to day-after-day. The faculty’s distance from residence was about four kilometers.
she acquired admitted to an all-girls boarding faculty known as Precious Blood High
School. The faculty is positioned in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and largest metropolis. At
the tip of highschool, Riria turned pregnant.
After placing to mattress, she proceeded to the University of Da es Salaam on a Scholarship. There, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts diploma in Education. Thereafter, she obtained a Master of Arts diploma in Education Administration from the University of Leeds within the United Kingdom.
Jennifer holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Women’s Education and Development from
She is a mom of three in addition to a grandmother of six.
Jennifer Riria Career
Dr. Riria started her profession at Kabete Technical Institute as a trainer. After six months on the institute, she proceeded to State House Girls High School the place she taught for a 12 months. Jennifer returned to her native residence; Kenya in 1979 to finish her Ph.D. at Kenyatta University. Before delving totally into ladies advocate empowerment, she lectured at Kenyatta University for ten years.
Kenya Women Finance Trust
She joined the Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT) in 1991. KWFT is a microfinance monetary establishment established in 1982 to deal with the monetary wants of girls. Before Jennifer joined the establishment, KWFT was in dangerous form, extremely understaffed and was shedding money. Hence, Riria needed to take up a number of roles to make sure the success and transformation of the establishment.
In her phrases, “I was the loan officer; I was the accountant; I was the auditor, I was everything. But I knew what poverty means; I knew what hunger means; I knew these women.”
Her relentlessness and dedication paid off finally. A one-time lifeless establishment emerged as a mannequin microfinance establishment, offering 900,000 ladies with monetary merchandise comparable to loans, financial savings, and insurance coverage. The establishment is at the moment operational in 45 counties in Kenya.
Thereafter, in 2010, the establishment was cut up into Kenya Women Microfinance Bank and Kenya Women Holding Limited. Afterward, in 2018, the holding firm turned Echo Network Africa Limited. Currently, Jennifer Riria is the present CEO of the holding firm.
Jennifer Riria Leadership
Riria is a good chief at coronary heart. She chairs the TUVUKE Initiative. The initiative advocates for peaceable and truthful electoral course of in Kenya. Under the TUVUKE Initiative, she coordinated 17 civil societies and delivered a peace treaty in 2013. However, she emphasizes that she doesn’t belong to any political social gathering however advocates for participation for all within the democratic processes.
Jennifer Riria Quotes
“You don’t have to know everything for you to embark on a task; you can take up the role, learn on the job, and seek knowledge, support, and advice from those around you. That is what I did.”
“In the beginning, I took on multiple roles such as CEO, loan clerk, and even office cleaner. There were days I would sit under trees to award women small loans to empower themselves and their households. Those were tough days but they transformed the institution into the bastion it is today.”
“Taking cost of my life on the age of 12 gave
me a go-getter angle in life, which was additional bolstered by the college’s
tradition that instilled the worth of accountability.”
“During my early years at KWFT, the concept of
ladies being drivers of the financial system appeared unattainable to the general public however as we speak
the narrative is completely different as folks’s ideas and attitudes have modified.”
“As a leader, you have to identify people you can work with and then infect them with your passion.”
More Quotes by Jennifer Riria
“At the tip of the day, a pacesetter is aware of it’s
not about them however moderately concerning the folks you empower, and it’s not about
what you get from the organisation however extra importantly what you give to the
group, the legacy that you just go away behind”
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for ALL.”
“No one who
achieves success does so with out acknowledging the assistance of others.”
“Financial inclusion must embrace a gender perspective for it to succeed.”
- Intellecap Inspiration Award for being a real inspiration within the growth sector
- Business for Peace Honoree by Business for Peace Foundation
- Regional Winner and Lifetime Achievement Winner of the Financial Services Sector at Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business & Government.
- One of Forbes 50 Most Powerful Women in Africa, 2020
Business Lessons From the Life of Jennifer Riria
1. Believe in Yourself
Coming from a poor background, Jennifer was clearly at an enormous drawback. However, she determined to develop into what her father or mother was not. A saying goes thus: when you find yourself younger, you appear like your mother and father, however once you start to develop, you appear like your selections.
In the identical vein, starting a business requires a big dose of perception. You should imagine in your self, which you can efficiently run your business. Because success is first within the thoughts.
2. Develop A Growth Mindset
When Jennifer joined KWFT, the establishment was in a nasty form. But, she didn’t permit that to discourage her. Rather, she took up a number of roles to make sure the establishment stays useful.
Likewise, as a startup, chances are you’ll not have all of the required assets wanted to develop your business at first. But, with a progress mindset, you can begin small and scale regularly.
three. Set The Pace
Normally, anybody would have thought that nothing good can come out of Jennifer’s lineage. But Riria proved them flawed. She made her society perceive that it’s you and never the circumstances round you that decide what you make out of life. More than that, she has set an excellent tempo for others to observe.
As an entrepreneur, there are unfamiliar companies folks could also be operating from. But, you could perceive that risk-taking is a part of operating a business. You can determine to set the tempo in that Industry whereas others come to hitch you.
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