In the face of motherhood’s demands and the entrepreneurial world’s challenges, Florence’s journey with Mukuru Kicks exemplifies her determination and resilience.
Meet Florence, a recent graduate from KCA University in Nairobi, Kenya, and the founder of Mukuru Kicks.
Florence's remarkable journey unfolds from her entry into the Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship, through the challenges she faced as a new mother during the Explore Phase of the program, to the entrepreneur she is today, eight months later.
Florence's experience demonstrates the strength of determination and courage. In a world where women entrepreneurs are frequently underrepresented across several business sectors, her experience serves as a ray of hope for all budding female business owners. She did not allow her responsibilities as a mother to limit her entrepreneurship journey.
Florence's life took an unexpected turn as she embarked on the Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship. The twist? Her new journey coincided with the arrival of her newborn during the Fellowship's Explore Phase. Balancing motherhood with entrepreneurship was no easy feat, but Florence was determined to excel in both roles. She even contemplated naming her baby "Jim Leech" as a reminder of the transformative fellowship that empowered her.
Florence stated, “To be honest, while applying for the program, I was a few weeks away from my due date. I was confident of the fact that I would be home for the first few months with my newborn; hence, I saw this as no problem. When I welcomed my newborn shortly after the launch of the JL MCF Program in January and office hours were on, I felt so overwhelmed that I actually contemplated dropping out of the program.” and continued, “However, I soon discovered that this program was not only feasible but also incredibly rewarding. It was structured in a way that allowed me to access the content at any time via the OnQ Platform, the office hours were in different timings and having been allowed to attend any session with no restrictions of only my allocated coach, it was indeed perfect for my unpredictable schedule.”
Florence says her journey through the fellowship has been profound. She gained fresh perspectives on Design Thinking, High-Performance Teams, Business Branding, and overall personal and professional development. These insights have transformed her into a more effective leader, helping her streamline operations at Mukuru Kicks in Nairobi, Kenya.
The support and resources provided during the program were invaluable, and Florence's testimony attests to their impact. Mukuru Kicks, under Florence's dynamic leadership, has not only created high-quality leather balls but has also become a force for positive change. It provides employment opportunities to marginalized individuals, skills training, and contributes to economic growth. The venture's products also promote well-being, physical health, and innovation in materials and manufacturing processes.
As Mukuru Kicks approaches its third anniversary, Florence reflects on their achievements and sets her sights on an even brighter future. She aims to diversify their product line, build a strong brand identity, and become Africa's leading leather ball seller within the next five years.
Florence's journey is a story of determination and resilience. She is a mother and entrepreneur who has not only thrived but has also become an inspiring role model and a beacon of hope for her community.
Mukuru Kicks was part of the 2023 Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship cohort. They make affordable, high-quality crafted leather soccer balls in Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Nairobi, Kenya.