, Mt. Kenya University founder, Dr. Simon Gicharu has emerged the winner of the 2014 Eastern African Chapter of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards. Gicharu topped the Master entrepreneur category after being selected by an independent judging panel made up of entrepreneurs, leading CEOs and regional business leaders.
Gicharu turned around a loss-making college to a rapidly growing regional university and the only chartered university that has not affiliation to the State, religious organizations or professional body. MKU has a student population of over 50,000 and a workforce of 4,000.
“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. 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.
Gicharu will compete in EY global programme – World entrepreneur of the Year 2014 – that will take place in Monte Carlo the first week of June.
Some of the past winners who have competed in the World entrepreneur of the year include, Dr. James Mwangi of Equity Group and Dr. Jennifer Riria founder of Kenya Women Finance Trust.
Alex Nyaga of Parapet Group and Makini Group’s Dr. Mary Okelo won in the emerging entrepreneur and lifetime categories respectively.