Dr. Simon Gicharu, Mount Kenya University, was recently named a the best EY 2014 Eastern Africa EY Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY), 2014 Awards followed by Parapet Group’s Mr. Alex Nyaga under the Emerging entrepreneur category and Makini Group of Schools.’s Dr. Mary Okelo as the third taking home the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. Simon Gicharu is an accomplished educationist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and anti-corruption campaigner. He has claimed the enviable title of being the only individual in Kenya to have started a Chartered university that has no affiliation to the State, religious organizations or professional bodies.
One ideal that describes Dr. Gicharu’s journey to the crest of higher education provision is innovation. He transformed a loss making training college, which could hardly meet the rent obligations into the leading private university in the region. The university has a student population of over 50,000 and a workforce of 4,000. The university has the highest number of accredited academic programmes among private universities in Kenya.
The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award honours entrepreneurs for the energy and innovative ideas they bring to generate growth in their economies, while inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.
“The backbone of our vibrant and growing economy is entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs show unique and innovative ways of responding to their nation’s needs, eventually raising the living standards of its people. EY is fully committed to supporting entrepreneurship, which allows nations to harness their people’s creativity to achieve sustainable economic growth. We celebrate our winners and all our finalists, who inspire others with their vision and leadership achievements,” says Gitahi Gachahi, EY Eastern Africa, Regional Leader.
On the other hand, Dr Mary Okelo founded Makini Schools, a leading school in Kenya with excellent performance in academic and co-curricular activities. Dr. Okelo has been instrumental in ensuring that innovation is present in various areas of Makini Schools. Makini was the first school to introduce computers as an educational tool at Primary level.
Mr Alex Nyaga is the founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of Parapet Group. Parapet Cleaning Services, has been in existence for 16 years and has grown to be the leading professional cleaning and allied services company in Kenya serving Banks, Embassies, Schools, Corporates, Manufacturers, Insurance Companies, Malls, Hotels, and Hospitals et al. Alex’s passion for hospitality led him to establish Parapet, which currently employs over 3,000 regular employees.