How A Former Hair Dresser Built A Company Worth Over $100 Million Dollars
Success stories, amazing as they may sound, are never limited to a specific gender. They are attainable by anyone with a vision and a relentless drive to achieve their goals no matter what set backs they face. They constantly place themselves in the right circle of friends and follow their dreams till they find true fulfillment.
This story springs hope for entrepreneurial African women and shows that the right business model coupled with a great effort, dedication, and a strong team behind you can make anything happen.
This is the short success story of Njeri Rionge Hogan, a Kenyan tech entrepreneur who has shown that anything is possible if you believe and stay true to your dreams.
Here’s how she did it:
The Early Hustle Of Njeri Rionge Hogan
Njeri Rionge Hogan was born in Kenya. At the age of 20, she started selling yogurts to the International School Of Kenya and Loretto Convent Musongari High School students, during their 10 am and 4 pm breaks. The yogurts would be picked up from a farm located in Limuru town in Kenya at 6 am daily, in partnership with her friend, and would be sold to the school students from the boot of her friend’s car.
During this period, she was employed as a hair dresser and had a clientele which comprised mostly of high networth individuals.
As a highly entrepreneurial lady with a keen eye for spotting opportunities, Njeri Rionge Hogan would save up money so she could take some regular trips to London using discounted courier tickets, in order to buy luxury items which were not on sale in Kenya at the time. These merchandise after purchase, would then be re-sold to the people she had met at the hairdressing salon.
Her Big Break
After many years of founding small scale enterprises, Njeri took the leap of faith and channelled her passion for selling and creating new businesses to co-found an Internet Service Provider call Wananchi Online in the year 2000, with the aim of making internet connectivity affordable for households in Kenya for the very first time.
A hustler as she was, Njeri was eventually able to raise a substantial sum of money to the tune of $500,000 from investors. After an excellent run, this investment followed up with an additional funding of $3,000,000, till she had raised up to $238,000,000 in funding from various investors.
An excellent networking skill and entrepreneurial drive helped Njeri Rionge Hogan to start Wananchi Online from a small scale till she was able to grow it into the multinational behemoth that it is today.
Her passion, intelligence, and serial success, caused many individuals and investors to completely believe in her. They trusted both her and her actions to the point that they started risking millions of US dollars in investment in her companies.
Her Business Today
Today, Wananchi has gone on to become East Africa’s largest provider of PayTv, broadband internet and VoIP services. She also runs a highly successful consulting firm with locations in Kenya and Canada, called Ignite Consulting, and is an inspiration to many African women entrepreneurs.
See Also: 6 Startup Tips for Women Entrepreneurs
To Sum It All Up
This short success story of Njeri Rionge Hogan shows that identifying and taking advantage of opportunities is not enough. As an entrepreneur, you need to hone the ability to build a strong network to perfection. This will determine how far your ideas will go because, it is people whom you have met and have known your potentials, that would be able to risk their hard-earned money in any business you venture into that requires an external investment.
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