33. Kinyanjui Kombani (34)
Kinyanjui Kombani is a creative writer, banker, learning facilitator, award-winning entrepreneur and business mentor based in Nairobi, Kenya. His novel ‘The Last Villains of Molo’, based on ethnic instigated clashes in Molo, Kenya, is a study text at undergraduate level in universities in Kenya & Germany. It has also been mentioned in postgraduate work at Harvard (USA) and University of Sussex ( UK). He is a graduate of Kenyatta University, where he honed his skills in theatre and creative writing. Kombani’s two children’s stories: ‘Wangari Maathai: Mother of Trees’ and ‘We Can Be Friends’ have been approved by the Kenya Institute of Education for use in Kenyan schools.
34. Kevin Mutiso (28)
His company Samchi Credit Limited recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Riara University to train its students in finance.
“After five years of this programme under Samchi Foundation, we believe the trainees will be properly prepared for the financial world,” he said. Kevin started the company to help SMEs improve their cash flow. He has since changed the goal to helping students gain real life experience in this field. He started in 2012 with his two partners, Sam Muchemi and Esther Muchemi. Despite having dropped out of campus, he is doing great.
35. James Mwaura Mbugua (35)
He’s among the few Kenyan cyclists who have bagged international awards. He did not do this by simply hopping onto a bike, training and going abroad for competitions. James has gone through a lot of challenges on his way to stardom. He has been conned by event organizers, harassed by immigration officers and even rode on a broken bike. However, her did not settle for less. He is now preparing for the Hell Bike Race in India, one of the toughest mountain bike riding contests in the world. Previously, he had a passion for rugby and swimming before embracing cycling.
36. Ben Kiruthi (32)
He is one of Kenya’s most popular photographers. Ben has set standards that upcoming photographers can use as a benchmark when breaking into the industry. He is happy to share his success tips with young talent across East Africa. He uses his own savings and resources to train them. In October alone, he trained 130 upcoming photographers. His Bujumbura workshop left 50 beneficiaries launching their careers. At Pawa 254 in Nairobi, he trained 80 talented upcoming photographers. Once the workshop is done, he creates a network that fosters idea sharing and growth. Ben is an electronics and computer graduate from JKUAT and has a Masters in Business Administration – Entrepreneurship.
37. Ahmed Abdi (28)
He is a former matatu tout who now owns an insurance agency. He joined his cousin’s firm as a messenger, where he was offered working space until he was stable. Life changed for him since then. He has received several awards, including the Best Agency Award in 2011. Earlier this year, he left Takaful (his cousin’s agency) to start his own company by the name Amana Insurance. With his impressive aptitude, he was recently named the Best Insurance Broker. When he started working for his cousin, he only had a primary school certificate but has since pursued further studies, gaining qualifications in insurance and strategic management.
38. Eric Muthomi (29)
Eric has been listed by Forbes Africa as one of Africa’s Top 30 Under 30 young entrepreneurs in Africa. This happened in 2013, three years after he started his food processing company. He had seen the way banana farmers in Meru County end up being poor despite their hard work. He decided to leave his legal career and start a banana processing company. In the area, he supports over 300 families and 1000 households indirectly. He has attracted global investors, for instance the U.S. based Thriive which pumped one million shillings into the business for expansion. He is the founder of Stawi Food and Fruits Limited.
39. Jacob Maina Rugano (26)
Jacob was feeling bad seeing the rate at which road accidents and car jacking incidents were making people lose lives. He decided to find a solution. With his partner Douglas Mwangi, they’ve created an application to help save lives. Their company is called AfricarTrack International. Using sensors and systems in the car, the app reports real time speeds of cars and warns the driver if he is driving recklessly. In case the car is stolen, the app takes videos of the thugs and the owner can switch the car off remotely. It also has a panic button that the car owner can press to alert family and friends of the occasion. He says that he is driven by the need to find solutions for the society.
40. Frank Tamre (27)
Despite having dropped out of college two times, Frank is living his dream. He is the co-founder of Moringa School, which offers coding training in a bid to close the coding gap in Kenya. He abandoned his political science course at UON and later a CPA class at Strathmore to concentrate on developing his business idea. He met Audrey Achieng, his co-founder at an incubation Hub in Nairobi and the rest is history.
The school offers consultancy services for firms and training classes at 200,000 shillings for each four-month course.