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Njeri Rionge sets her sights on budding entrepreneurs

According to Forbes Magazine, Njeri Rionge is one of Kenya’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Her stint in business started in her 20s when she was selling yoghurt and doing hairdressing besides importing items from the UAE, UK and other parts of the world for sale.

Ms Rionge is credited with turning Wananchi Group which she co-founded in 2000 from Sh42.5 million into one of East Africa’s leading internet service providers now valued at Sh14.8 billion.

Determined to provide internet to all, she endured the bureaucracy that hindered acquisition of a licence to successfully launch cable television, broadband internet and internet phone services.

After Wananchi, she founded Ignite Consulting, Ignite Lifestyle, Insite and Business Lounge.

Ms Rionge says she is now inspiring budding entrepreneurs and working with Small and Medium Enterprises to grow indigenous businesses. She is also engaged in strategic decision making as director and chair of several companies.

She has served as the chief marketing manager, Telkom Kenya since March 2008. She serves as a director of Wananchi Online, Unilever Tea and AAR Health Services.

The member of American Business Association, the Organisation of Women in International Trade, All African Business Women, Kenya Women Finance Trust, Urukundo investments and Kenya Rwanda Association completed her marketing courses in North Lake College, Texas in 1991 and United States University of Africa in 1999.

She completed Computer Information Systems courses at the University of La-Verne in 1989.

She has won awards including 2009 Inductee to the ICT Hall of Fame by Computer Society of Kenya and 2009 World Technology Forum Nominee.