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29 June, 2018

On 29th June 2018, Cytonn Investments CEO, Edwin H. Dande, spoke to entrepreneurs while delivering the keynote address at the “Founder of the Year Awards (FOYA) 2018” organized by The Founder Magazine. The Founder Magazine is an online business magazine that focuses on starting, running and growing a business in Kenya today, targeting the youth. The event was attended by young and upcoming entrepreneurs who are founders of start-up companies. The platform aims to recognize the effort of young entrepreneurs who have braced adversity to emerge the best in their various entrepreneurial ventures.

Entrepreneurs posing for a group photo on the side-lines of the event.

Speaking during the event, Welly Odendo, Patron, The Founders Club, noted that, contrary to popular belief, the major challenge facing young founders is not lack of capital but one’s perception of themselves. “To be able to make it through the journey, you must not belittle yourself especially whenever you lack an audience. Your perception should come from knowing that you too can make a difference.” Welly went on to emphasize the power of teamwork by noting that “A good partnership ensures that your business is correctly tested for practicability. This is because when sourcing for investors, the practicability of your idea is what helps you attract funding.” He concluded by stressing the importance of putting one’s best foot forward when it comes to building their craft by noting that, “Discipline and talent are never comparable as while doing business, discipline always beats talent.”

Entrepreneurs following the day's deliberations.

Edwin H. Dande, CEO, Cytonn Investments, delivered the keynote address. Speaking during the event, he shared on how he and three other colleagues started Cytonn out of the need to provide clients with alternative investment solutions. Edwin noted the importance of building a business from the ground up noting, “When we first started out, we did not have any walk in clients till after six months. Despite being faced with the temptation to go back to being employed, we stuck it out and luckily got our first major breakthrough when one of our institutional client agreed to invest money to the tune of billions in our company.”

Cytonn Investments CEO Edwin H. Dande addressing the entrepreneurs present at the FOYA Awards 2018.

Innocent Moranga, Founder and CEO, The Founder Magazine shared with the attendees the reason behind establishing the Founder of the Year Awards platform. “I felt the need to give recognition and appreciation to young and upcoming founders who were not recognized as best as their well-established counterparts.” “Thus I thought of having a platform similar to “Top 40 under 40” which then birthed the “Founder of the Year Awards”. He went on to note that, “As young founders, it is important to reach out to experienced entrepreneurs for their guidance.”

Joseph Bantu, Founder of The Bantu, a fashion and Design business, emerged the best in the Fashionpreneur of the Year category. Mumbi Ndung’u, Founder, Ibua Africa scooped the Social Entrepreneur of the year award. Ibua Africa (I.A) is a platform that profiles young Africans effecting positive change through personally driven initiatives or enterprises. Brian Kiprono, Founder, Skype Technologies, emerged the best in the “Techpreneur of the Year award”. David Ndolo, Founder – Undisputed Luxury Brands, clinched the coveted Founder Of The Year Award - 2018.

The winners of the various categories of FOYA 2018 pose for a photo with The Founders Club Patron, Welly Odendo (extreme left) and Cytonn Investments CEO Edwin H. Dande (extreme right).

Founder Of The Year Awards (FOYA) exist to recognize and appreciate young founders developing Kenya while creating jobs through entrepreneurship.