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Leading Kenyan Women CEOs and Entrepreneurs

Vincent Nyoike
Vincent Nyoike Careers

In the recent past, women have taken big steps in acquiring leadership positions unlike in the past. There are many Kenyan women doing well in business, leadership and administrative roles. In this article, we will focus on some of the leading women CEOs and entrepreneurs in Kenya.

1. Tabitha Karanja

Tabitha Karanja

Tabitha Karanja is the founder and CEO of Keroche Breweries Limited. She is a businesswoman, entrepreneur and industrialist. Tabitha Karanja founded Keroche Breweries Limited at a time when the industry was flooded with men. She has become one of the leading Kenyan women entrepreneurs. Kercohe Breweries Limited contributes 20% of beer consumption in Kenya. 

Tabitha Karanja and her husband started making fortified wine in 1997. In 2007, the government of Kenyan introduced heavy taxes on Keroche's locally made wine and its product was kicked out of the market. It is then she started manufacturing gin and Vodka and other drinks. She has had a number of challenges with government institutions like the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Read also: Highest paid CEOs in Kenya. 

 2. Rebecca Miano

Rebecca Miano

Rebecca Miano is the current CEO of KenGen from November 2017. She served in the acting capacity from August 2015 until she was confirmed in 2017. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Nairobi and a Masters of Las in Comparative Law from the University of Australia.

She joined KenGen in 1998 as a legal officer and rose in the rank to become the company’s assistant secretary. She was then appointed as the Director of Legal Affairs and the Company Secretary. It is until 2017 when she beat other 90 applicants for the position of CEO at the company. 

3. Jane Karuku

Jane Karuku

Jane Karuku is among the leading Kenyan businesswomen and CEOs. She is the CEO of East Africa Breweries with headquarters in Kenya. She assumed her position in January 2020 after the resignation of Andrew Cowan. Prior to her appointment as the Managing Director of EABL, she had served as the Managing Director from July 2015.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology from the University of Nairobi and a Master of Business Administration from the National University of California. 

4. Julie Gichuru

Julie Gichuru

Julie Gichuru is a Kenya entrepreneur and a media personality. She has investments in fashion retail, media and entertainment. She is an Independent Director at Acumen Communication Limited. She is also a Fellow and trustee of the African Leadership Initiative.

She has worked in the media industry for 15 years and has worked with Kenyan televisions like KTN and NTV.  She attended the Cardiff Law School University of Wales and the Cardiff Business School University of Wales where she acquired an LLB Law and an MBA respectively.

5. Rita Kavashe

Rita Kavashe is a Kenyan businesswoman and CEO. She is the current CEO of Isuzu Motors East Africa Limited. Rita Kavashe started her journey as a sales representative at General Motors East Africa. She then went to work for the company’s facilities in South Africa in 2010. In 2011, she was appointed as the managing director of General Motors East Africa Limited. In 2015, General Motors was acquired by Isuzu Motors and she retained the position as the CEO.

She has a Bachelor of Education from Moi University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Nairobi. In 2013, she attended Business Leadership Program at Harvard Business School.

Read also: Highest paid journalists in Kenya. 

6. Nasim Devji

Nasim Devji is a Kenyan businesswoman and CEO. She is the current managing director and CEO of Diamond Trust Bank Group with headquarters in Nairobi. She was first employed by Diamond Trust Bank in 1996 as the regional financial controller. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England. Besides, she is also a Member of the Kenya Institute of Directors.

Final Word

Women are taking big steps in business, leadership and administrative roles in Kenya. The two-third gender rule is also promoting and encouraging women to get into leadership roles. The above is a list of Kenyan businesswomen and CEOs.