On February 5, 2017, June Syowia turned exactly 22 years old. No one can imagine at that age Syowia could have tasted success with a big spoon. A recipient of the Business Daily Africa Top 40 Under 40 2015 Award, Syowia aims for the stars in all sectors of her life.
Besides a string of awards under her name, the third year Economics student at the University of Nairobi has two companies under her management. Beiless Group Limited, established in 2015, that offers creative advertising solutions through digital marketing and brand storytelling. She started off with three clients advertising for free, and got referrals that expanded her client list. Part of the company’s success Syowia said is a strategy in which they target at least 5 clients a month. “Results are always high and indeed nothing should stop you from achieving your ambitions. This is what I try to tell the other young people,” she said.
Syowaks Limited, also her own creation offers a platform for contractors sourcing workers. “If a construction company wants to hire 100 workers, Syowaks links employer to the employee,” she told a judges’ panel on Saturday in Westlands during the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO) Kenya national competition. “My biggest passion is growth. I work with a team of creative thinkers. We are five of us in the company and always very enterprising. We call ourselves teammates, and set up high targets for ourselves,” she told People Daily.
Syowia recently went home with Sh1 million in a Global Student Entrepreneurs Awards (GSEA) Kenya competition beating four others to the prize. The GSEA was sponsored by M Holdings Limited, a Bank Holding Company which set up recently in Kenya. The competition is definitely a springboard for Syowia as she eyes over US$150, 000 (Sh15 million) in the competition’s final scheduled for April 26, 2017, in Frankfurt, Germany. The competition received 44 applications, out of which only 5 made it to the finalists’ list. Victor Mutua took the runners-up position with a mobile banking idea. As she looks forwards to the cash prize of US$20, 000 (Sh2 million) and a total package of over US$150, 000 (Sh15 million), Syowia hopes to scale up her business.
M Holdings Limited, Senior Vice President, Rohan Jathanna said the company is keen to see young entrepreneurs in Kenya get the skills required to make them self-employed. “We are doing this to empower undergraduate students to come to the forefront before they go out there to look for jobs,” he said.
Her business acumen is well traced to the parents who run different trade interests. Her mother owns a shop in Dandora where she started helping out at just 6 years old when she was not in school. “My father is a farmer. He is involved in agribusiness. He farms other fresh produce,” she said confirming her creativity in business is borrowed from the parents.
Since she attended the Google marketing workshop in 2015, Syowia has never looked back. The lessons at the forum challenged her. “After this workshop, I felt challenged and knew that’s where to be. In short, I saw a huge potential on the Internet. I don’t prefer to be employed, but rather become an employer,” Syowia looks into where it all started.
However, the 22-year old, a polished online advertiser now, is grateful to James Muriu, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mombasa branch chairman. When asked about who her role models were by the judges, she said the Chamber of Commerce boss. “James Muriu is grounded in spirituality. He is someone who sets targets and achieves them. When we spoke he said he thought I had the makings of an entrepreneur. He encouraged me to start my own business. His words inspired me,” she said.
As June prepares for the final leg of the Global Student Entrepreneurs Awards (GSEA) it is clear that she is destined for greatness.