The first entry criteria for A Profile of Kenyan Entrepreneurs was stable companies with annual turnover of Sh100 million and above. After wide research through newspapers, the Internet, periodicals and consultations, we ended up with a list of over 80 entrepreneurs.
The next step was to shortlist the top 20 based on inspiration, innovation and integrity.
We wanted people who had built successful businesses from scratch, proven rags to riches stories or, individuals who had inherited a small business and taken it to the next level. The virtue of sacrifice and overcoming hardships needed to come out clearly.
We also wanted business ideas that have revolutionalised an industry; changed the rules of engagement or spawned new types of industries.
Integrity was a key factor especially in a country where corruption is so deeply rooted. We will not pretend to be moral purists but we made every effort to weed out people who have been obviously tainted in financial scandals where the information was in the public domain.
Lastly, we wanted to embrace diversity in gender, age, type of industry and geographical regions.
Getting the chosen people to accept to be featured in the book proved to be a big challenge. Many business owners in Kenya hate being in the spotlight. Some declined to be featured for personal reasons and in some cases we did not get a response at all despite numerous letters, emails and telephone calls.
We are grateful to those who agreed to be featured in the book. They are motivators, teachers and torch bearers.
If there is one thing this writing journey has shown, it is that profiling successful Kenyan entrepreneurs will take several volumes; this book barely scratches the surface. Many worthy people were left out because of space and time constraints.
It has been a learning experience and we hope that more Kenyan entrepreneurs will tell their stories and inspire young Kenyans to embrace their dreams and reach their highest potential as business owners.
Where to get it:
For people in the diaspora order it from Amazon or African Books Collective which prints on demand and ships worldwide within 2 days. Click here: http://www.africanbookscollective.com/books/a-profile-of-kenyan-entrepreneurs