Connect with us

Afripreneur

Mary Njoki is helping startups tell their stories through Glass House PR

Published

on

Mary Njoki is the CEO and Founder of Glass House PR, an award-winning pan-African PR firm headquartered in Kenya that offers custom public relations solutions across Africa. She founded Glass House PR in 2012 at the age of 23. Mary has worked with more than 100 organisations, including SMEs/SMBs in Africa, African artists, Facebook, Viber, Paxful, Nissan, and African governments such as Zanzibar and Ethiopia among others through her company, Glass House PR. She has mentored entrepreneurs across Africa through “A Billion Startups, a free mentorship programme that educates entrepreneurs about brand visibility and sustainable development. 11 years after launching Glass House PR, Mary Njoki in this exclusive interview with Alaba Ayinuola of Business Africa Online, shares more on her entrepreneurship journey. Excerpt.  

 

Alaba: Could you briefly tell us about yourself and your career journey?

Mary: I grew up in  Ngarariga village in Limuru. I finished High school at the age of 16, but my mother could not afford to take me to University. I found solace in acting, doing some gigs at the Kenya National Theatre to hone what I thought was a fledgling acting career. A year later I gained admission in the university to study Information Technology at Graffins College. It was while here, I concentrated on coding. I then got a job with an IT firm as a marketer, then later a Business developer. I then moved to another IT firm as a Business Executive. 

Here, I started volunteering at K Krew and I gained my first experience in the media which ignited my love for Public Relations. Soon after, I moved into a PR agency and it was in between my jobs where I enrolled for part time classes at Daystar University Majoring on Public Relations. 

Alaba: What sparked your interest to go into PR and how did you launch Glass House PR?

Mary: After my two jobs in the IT industry and while working at the PR agency, I discovered more about PR and I was determined to find my purpose. Deep down I knew the future of PR was on Digital media. I resigned, determined to start my own company. Initially I wanted Glass House to be a social Media company as I understood technology. I started Glass House PR with an initial capital of Sh6,000 from my savings, a laptop, an Internet modem and tons of optimism. 

Starting the company was not easy and the first year of business I did a lot of pro-bono jobs but I learnt alot. I then realized that there was a lot of groundwork needed for my company to gain establishment in the industry. I was a member of Business Networking International (BNI) when I was employed and this network and skills also became my capital. Presently, I have worked with tech giants like Viber,Facebook Paxful,Walt Disney Africa among others.

Download BAO E-MAGAZINE

Alaba: What services does your company offer?

Mary: We are a Pan-African PR Agency, offering PR strategies, media relations and management, digital media communications, event management, we are a whole 360 PR agency that help brands tell their stories through different channels to their audiences. 

Alaba: Before venturing into entrepreneurship, what lessons did you pick as an employee?

Mary: I have worked with SMEs, directly working with the founders, I learned and picked different lessons which actually formed the basis of the name Glass House PR. There used to be a lack of communication between us and the management, lack of transparency, and over time one realizes you do not need to share everything with everyone. But I felt that was lacking, and from that I learnt that when I start a business, I have to ensure that there is clear communication with all the public that I am dealing with. Working with millennials and GenZ, I realized the importance of employees’ inclusion, sharing with them the vision and allowing them to see themselves in it. After I resigned is when I realized I was just an employee and I was never included. 

Alaba: What lessons have you learnt as a female entrepreneur?

Mary: I have learnt that growth is a process that takes time. Keep discovering and learning every day. Becoming a leader is a process, one has to build a community they can learn from, also lead and leave a positive impact on. I have learnt to walk in wisdom and be more discerning, I have learnt to have boundaries and while disrupting the PR industry, I have previously worked through naivety, which is the major challenge women go through but grown out of it. For one to keep growing, one has to communicate their vision while bringing others onboard.

Alaba: Could you share some of your accomplishments so far?

Mary: I have worked with more than 100 organizations, including SMEs/SMBs in Africa, African artists, etc. I have also mentored entrepreneurs across Africa through “A Billion Startups, a free mentorship programme that educates entrepreneurs about brand visibility and sustainable development. I have spearheaded the conversation of the future of finance in Africa through the annual ADFS summit “The Africa Digital Finance Summit”, which is held in conjunction with governments, regulators, start-ups, and thought leaders from around the world in the digital finance and decentralized finance industries. I have won several awards locally and internationally.

Alaba: How has Glass House PR impacted society?

Mary: I came up with a billion startups, we are yet to grow it to where it’s supposed to be. It is a platform where we have been mentoring entrepreneurs and we hope to do more across the world. Glass house PR intends to help these startups tell their stories, get their market share and learn how to position their brands to their audiences. We have also spearheaded certain conversations in the society like the “The future of finance in Africa” through  African Digital finance summit; to redefine value exchange in Africa,  inviting governments, regulators, stakeholders and private sectors to discuss this. 

Alaba: What’s next for Glass house?

Mary: We are getting into a lot of content production and content marketing. We hope to be part of the people who will shape the future of media and how the future of decentralized media will look like.

Alaba: What is your source of inspiration?

Mary: I draw my inspirations from God, I have learnt from him over the years through practice. Everything I do, people or companies I bring on board, things I walk away from, I seek God’s guidance. Any mistake in the past has become a lesson that I have learnt from as a leader.

Alaba: Any advice to someone who wants to venture into PR and entrepreneurship ?

Mary: Pursuing a career in PR can be a rewarding and exciting career choice for those interested in telling authentic brand stories. 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Afripreneur

CliniDo: Your Personalized Healthcare Companion

Published

on

CliniDo Mina Shawky CEO and Hitham Essam CTO, at GITEX Africa

CliniDo, a MENA leading health tech innovator, With CliniDo’s revolutionary voice search functionality, connecting with a healthcare provider takes mere seconds. CliniDo transcends the limitations of a typical healthcare app. They envision themselves as your trusted healthcare companion, offering unwavering support throughout your health journey. Whether you’re experiencing a new symptom or managing a chronic condition, CliniDo provides personalized and exceptional customer-focused solutions.

Founded in January 2020 in Assiut Egypt, by Wael Soliman, Mina Shawky, and Hitham Essam, CliniDo aims to be the ultimate healthcare companion, providing top-notch medical services in Egypt and the MENA.

Your Voice Heard: Instant Connection Through Voice Search

Imagine needing medical attention and simply voicing your needs. With CliniDo’s revolutionary voice search functionality, connecting with a healthcare provider takes mere seconds. Forget complex menus or frustrating typing – just speak your needs, and CliniDo will connect you to the right healthcare provider. This innovative approach showcased at GITEX exemplifies CliniDo’s commitment to streamlining healthcare access.

Guiding You from Symptoms to Solutions: AI-Powered Support

CliniDo takes the guesswork out of your healthcare journey. Simply describe your symptoms to their AI-powered system, and it will recommend the most appropriate medical specialty for your needs. This ensures you receive the right care, right away – a testament to CliniDo’s commitment to efficiency and patient well-being, a theme that pervaded GITEX discussions.

Personalized Content Tailored to Your Needs

CliniDo doesn’t stop at connecting you with healthcare providers. Recognizing that knowledge empowers, they provide customized medical and educational content that aligns with your specific condition. This empowers you to make informed decisions about your healthcare journey.

A Complete Healthcare Ecosystem at Your Fingertips

CliniDo offers a comprehensive suite of healthcare services, all conveniently accessible through their platform. Here’s a glimpse into what attendees at GITEX found particularly exciting about CliniDo’s offerings:

  • Book appointments with doctors: Find the right doctor for your needs and schedule appointments in seconds.
  • Book clinic consultations: Schedule in-person consultations with your chosen healthcare provider.
  • Book home visits: Get the care you need from doctors or nurses from the comfort of your own home.
  • Book lab tests from home: No need to go to a lab. Order your tests and have them collected from your home.
  • Request Medication: Easily request your medication.
  • New! Book medical services: This exciting new Product allows you to directly book any medical service you require, streamlining the process and saving you valuable time.
  • Next: Bookings and Payment Solutions: CliniDo’s commitment to continuous innovation is clear. you will soon be able to book surgeries and procedures directly through CliniDo, with a convenient installment payment solution built into the platform.

Download BAO E-MAGAZINE

Making a Measurable Impact

CliniDo’s dedication to patient care is reflected in their impressive achievements. They’ve proudly served over half a million patients, connected them with more than 11,000 doctors and healthcare providers, and facilitated over two million dollars in healthcare transactions. These numbers represent countless individuals who have received the care they need, thanks to CliniDo’s innovative platform.

Continue Reading

Afripreneur

Rhea, a women-led Kenyan startup is cultivating change in AgriTech

Published

on

Rhea CEO and Co-Founder, Priscilla Wakarera (Image: Supplied).

Rhea is a dynamic agritech start-up that is revolutionizing soil health management with innovative IoT sensors, empowering smallholder farmers to practice precision agriculture for sustainable and profitable crop cultivation.

GITEX Africa 2024, was held in Marrakech, Morocco from May 29th to 31st, 2024. The event was an incredible platform for tech enthusiasts, startups, and industry leaders to converge, showcasing the dynamic growth and potential of Africa’s tech ecosystem.

Participating at GITEX AFRICA allowed Rhea to make meaningful connections with service providers who will be instrumental for our growth. The showcases by established market players were a source of invaluable learning and inspiration as we continue to build our vision.

Download BAO E-MAGAZINE

Additionally, engaging in insightful conversations with ecosystem drivers has opened new avenues for collaboration and support. Rhea is looking forward to the days and months ahead, the organization is excited to foster collaborations with the connections that were made during GITEX Africa 2024.

Continue Reading

Afripreneur

Tapiwa Guzha: making African-inspired ice cream with local flavors

Published

on

Tapiwa Guzha is a South African entrepreneur and founder of the Tapi Tapi ice cream brand. This amazing journey all began in July 2018 which already feels like a lifetime ago. What began as a self imposed dare by Tapiwa to share a passion for ice cream, any sort of ice cream, has evolved into an amazing storytelling vehicle. A unique way to share African folklore, rituals and cultural practices through frozen morsels and crunchy cones. A way to celebrate our diversity and embrace our differences while also realising we’re far more similar than we are different. Very creative, Tapiwa stands out for his ice creams with new flavors. Dried fish, hibiscus, Mphepho, toffee, chilli, dried blackjack leaves with caramel. Flavours that are simply unprecedented.

Download BAO E-MAGAZINE

In February 2020, Guzha launched Tapi Tapi, and the shop quickly became a success. Tapi Tapi is a Shona expression that means “yum yum”. Tapi Tapi began as a direct-delivery service that dropped off ice creams all around the Western Cape. While also orchestrating pop-up tasting experiences where people could engage with the diverse food and food practices from all over the continent. It is a one-of-a-kind shop that showcases the flavors of Africa. Tapi Tapi’s ice creams are tasty, bold, and unique, and they’re a great way to experience African cuisine.

This Zimbabwean molecular biologist, PhD in biotechnology at the University of Cape Town, passionate about cooking and entrepreneur, he makes African-inspired ice cream with local African flavors after experimenting with dry ice (dry ice making process). Tapiwa began experimenting with dry ice, a form of solid carbon dioxide that sublimates into carbon dioxide when exposed to heat. This allowed him to create ice cream faster, smoother and tastier. 

Continue Reading

Ads

Most Viewed