Mount Kenya University (MKU) founder and chairman Dr. Simon Gicharu was welcomed with jubilation at Thika Main Campus today following his return from Monte Carlo, where he was inducted in the World Entrepreneur of the Year Hall of Fame.
Dr. Gicharu who represented Eastern Africa in the annual awards organized by global accounting and tax advisory firm Ernst and Young was pitted against 64 other contestants from around the globe. His spellbinding entrepreneurial journey wowed the panel of seven judges drawn from some of the largest companies in the world.
“I wish to dedicate this honour to all staff and students of Mount Kenya University for believing in my vision,” said Dr. Gicharu during the welcoming ceremony held at Thika Main Campus.
Dr. Gicharu started MKU with a loan of Sh20,000. Now, it is East and Central Africa’s largest private university with a footprint in six countries. “We will continue developing this institution for the sake of future generations,” he said.
The induction into the world Hall of Fame was an endorsement of Dr. Gicharu’s entrepreneurial acumen and the success of MKU.
The Ernst and Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Award had six judging criteria namely Entrepreneurial Spirit, Innovation, Global Impact, Philanthropy, Financial Performance and Strategic Direction. “Our story was most impactful before the judges,” said Dr. Gicharu.
MKU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Stanley Waudo, while congratulating Dr. Gicharu on behalf of the staff and students said, “We are all proud of your success. Our challenge is to ensure that we don’t let you down.”
“People are looking for mentors from outside but as a university, we have a ready mentor in the name of Dr. Gicharu,” he added.
Mohed Altrad, the Chairman of the French company Altrad was crowned the World Entrepreneur of the Year.