Two Kenyans named in highly coveted 2017 Forbes list

The two young individuals are the only Kenyans who made the cut to the prestigious list this year.

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Two Kenyans have been named on the Forbes list of Africa’s 30 most promising entrepreneurs 2017.

Eugene Mbugua, 26, the founder of Young Rich Television Limited and Zameer Verjee, 30, the founder of Studio AZ, are the only Kenyans who made the cut to the coveted list this year.

The list has seen a dip in number of Kenyans featured over the past few years with six of them making it to the list in 2016 and 11 in 2015.

The entrepreneurs had to meet the following requirements for nomination to the 2017 list:

"Businesses should be two years or older and nominees must have risked own money and have a social impact.”

Mr. Mbugua, founder of Young Rich TV Kenya, recalls how hard he worked to creep out of poverty adding that he’s inspired by the impact his shows have to people.

“I have been poor and have had to depend on people for basic needs which is humiliating and something I would not want to go through again. Other than this, I’m very inspired by the power that stories have to change a people’s mindset.

“Every time someone writes to us saying that one of our TV shows has inspired them to be more positive, or change something about their lives, it validates me and my company that the work we do is useful,” he noted.

His company has produced shows like Young Rich, Get In The Kitchen, Stori Yangu and Our Perfect Wedding which have aired on multiple Tv stations.

He is also the founder of My Yearbook Kenya Limited which produces yearbooks for schools, companies and governmental organizations.

Mr. Verjee’s AZ studio, an interior and exterior design company, runs a company whose turnover in 2016 was Sh51.5 million with 11 full-time staff and 75 subcontractors. He had initially started the company with just Sh53, 200 which he saved as a university student in the UK.

The average age of participants in the 2017 Forbes Africa competition is 27 years.

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