Cellulant co-founder named social entrepreneur of the year

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Cellulant co-founder and co-CEO Ken Njoroge.
Cellulant co-founder and co-CEO Ken Njoroge. PHOTO/COURTESY

The Schwab Foundation, an affiliate of the World Economic Forum, has named Cellulant co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Ken Njoroge as one of 2019’s Social Entrepreneur of the year.

The 2019 Social Entrepreneur Awardees include 17 outstanding leaders at the helm of 13 organizations pioneering solutions for social and environmental challenges ranging from refugee family reunification and human rights to water infrastructure and financial inclusion.

Mr. Njoroge was recognized for his firm’s efforts in developing a digital payments and financial services platform that has enabled entrepreneurs, plying their trade in different industries across Africa, access services.

 “Over the past couple of years, Ken has invested time in training and advising the next generation of entrepreneurs, and contributing to the growth of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Africa,” the Foundation said on its website.

Commenting on the award, Mr. Njoroge- in a news report by the Business Daily, said that the award highlights the progress that the Cellulant team has had over the years.

“It is also a celebration of the great work that our teams at Cellulant have done over the last 15 years,” Mr. Njoroge is quoted as saying by the Business Daily.

Cellulant was started back in 2003 by Mr. Njoroge and Nigeria national Bolaji Akinboro, who serves as the firm’s co-CEO. The firm is valued at Ksh. 10.8 billion which eclipses the worth of many listed firms at the Nairobi bourse. 

In May last year, the firm sold 44.04 percent of its stake valued at Ksh. 4.8 billion to US-based social impact investment company The Rise Fund in what was billed as one of the largest such deals by a Kenyan fintech company. The firm is currently in the process of upgrading its payment infrastructure to suit emerging demands as it eyes new African markets to expand into. The digital payments firm currently operates in Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

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