Kenya’s young millionaires tap on growing network

Kenya’s budding millionaires converge on Nairobi next month to network and share experiences on how they turned ideas into lucrative money-making ventures.

The second edition of the young millionaires’ conference is set for December 2 and brings together Kenya’s tycoons below the age of 35 pooled from IT, real estate, manufacturing and services industries. Those on the list of Kenya’s freshly minted millionaires include Michael Muthiga, the brains behind “Faiba” animation aerts and real estate moguls Ian Kahara and Kimiti Wanjaria.

The duo are behind the S50 million Sigona Valley Project, a housing project comprising luxury villas neighbouring Sigona Golf Club near Nairobi.

“The objective is to encourage the youthful investors to be competitive regionally and grow their mid-size enterprises through innovation, networking and mentorship,” said Erick Sitati, the convener of the forum.

The one-day entrepreneurs’ meeting will be headlined by Paul Kinuthia, the businessman who in 2013 sold his Nice and Lovely brand to French cosmetics giant L’Oréal. The transaction was valued at approximately S billion.

Mr Kinuthia grew Interconsumer from a backstreet cosmetics maker to an industrial giant producing lotions, jelly, baby powder, soap, shampoo and hair dyes.

“The Under 35 Multi-Millionaire Economic Conference” aims to bring together young entrepreneurs so that they can share experiences, network and get business tips from established traders.

“It shall also provide an opportunity to discover various opportunities available in the regional and global markets and address the challenges facing youthful entrepreneurs,” said Mr Sitati.

The criteria to attend the exclusive workshop are entrepreneurs aged below 35 and making over a million shillings in revenue annually from their personal businesses. Kenya’s new moneyed club also includes Lorna Rutto, founder EcoPost, a firm which manufactures fencing poles using plastic waste Eric Muthomi of Stawi Foods and Fruits and Danson Muchemi, the CEO and founder of WebTribe, the firm that owns e-payment system JamboPay.

Muchemi, 31, beat established IT firms to bag the lucrative tender to automate revenue collection for Nairobi County.

Alan Murungi, founder and managing director of Ozzbeco Limited, a craft brewery which makes the Sierra brand as well as Bryan Cuthbert of Eldoret-based Doinyo Lessos Creameries, are also examples of young and rich Kenyans.

Other notable young Kenyans with deep pockets include industrialist Cosmas Ochieng, the man behind Eco Fuels Kenya, who is making millions from the sale biofuel, organic fertilizers, and plant health products.