The first Centonomy Entrepreneur Chats of 2020 was finally held last Saturday at the National Museums of Kenya. Graced by four keynote speakers who electrified a packed auditorium with their inspiring stories of success, the event’s theme was scaling your business: how, when and why?

Scaling a business

Guests register at the Centonomy Entrepreneur Chats on Saturday, 1st February 2020. The event is designed to bring together innovators and entrepreneurs to ‘meet, interact, network and learn new ideas that will enable their businesses to grow.’

Centonomy Ltd is an organization that focuses on training people on how to build and manage personal finances. This particular event is designed to bring together innovators and entrepreneurs to ‘meet, interact, network and learn new ideas that will enable their businesses to grow.’

Scaling a business

Scaling a business is crucial to the growth of any venture. Today, many start-ups face hiccups in trying to make this a reality. The next big challenge after launching your brand is how to stay afloat in a fluctuating market and a struggling economy. Therefore, the big question is; what is the formula of scaling a business to ensure success?


Guests take notes at the event whose theme was scaling your business: how, when and why?

Pitching in scaling a business

At Centonomy Entrepreneur Chats, this prescription was exhaustively dissected in the form of real-life anecdotes by each of the speakers. Opening the event with a brief history of the ten-year growth of Centonomy Ltd, the CEO, Waithaka Gatumia, emphasized the fact that an entrepreneur’s foremost duty is to be able to communicate the effect of their business. An entrepreneur should be in a position to clearly outline how they will add value to the client. “One of the things that will build your ability to communicate about your business, is practice. This helps build confidence.” For an entrepreneur to remain relevant and stay afloat, they must first master the art of pitching.

Business pitching

Guests were given three minutes to pitch their businesses to each other at the event. Four lucky people won partial scholarships for the Centonomy Personal Financial Management course, a program that seeks to help entrepreneurs ‘build a great business.’

Visibility in scaling a business

Versatile Photographers founder and CEO, David Macharia, stressed that in order to succeed in scaling a business, one should maintain visibility and become flexible enough to embrace change. “The ideas that you have that can solve a certain need; these can be your breakthrough to creating wealth.” He declared and went on to candidly narrate how his love for enterprise began at a young age in the village where he caught moles and solved the needs of farmers.

Versatile Photographers founder and CEO, David Macharia, said his spirit of enterprise began from a young age and he developed an interest and a hunger for growth and knowledge.

Integrity in scaling a business

To begin the journey of entrepreneurship, one must develop an interest, a hunger for money and knowledge. Create time to learn and grow, have a positive attitude and package yourself in a way that calls the attention of your target market. This requires mentorship from an experienced person who has walked down this path before. Nonetheless, nothing should limit entrepreneurs to scale their business and building successful brands. “If you want to create wealth, then you have to create time. Evaluate yourself and know what you need. Are you ready to receive criticism? Do you have a positive attitude towards work? If you need to go back to school to acquire new skills, go back to school!” Mr. Macharia also stressed the need to have integrity in business. “Most businesses fall because of a lack of integrity which is the cornerstone of business.”

Empowerment in scaling a business

Online marketing is crucial. Entrepreneurs must take consistent steps to ensure that their brands remain relevant in a competitive market. The long-term success of any brand depends on the vision, and how it trickles down to others. Business people should inspire and empower others through what they do. This includes training others to make them part of the business. That way, continuity and sustainability, which are two major pillars of scaling a business, will remain firm.

Nancie Mwai

Fashion blogger and entrepreneur Nancie Mwai, narrates her turbulent journey in business at Centonomy Entrepreneur Chats.

Mistakes in scaling a business

Fashion blogger and entrepreneur, Nancie Mwai, narrated her interesting journey in business, admitting that hers is a series of mistakes that finally added up. Her first attempts to venture into business hit dead ends owing to unguided decisions and poor management of money. However, she learned from her mistakes, grappled with the challenges, and eventually made it to her feet. “Entrepreneurship is making small steps every day. It is not a grand gesture. Mistakes help scale a business if you learn from them.” She said, revealing that the Centonomy entrepreneur class helped bring out the business lady in her.

Confidence in scaling a business

Michelle Ntalami, Founder of natural hair care line, Marini Naturals, awed attendees with her story of entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur revealed how her decision to embrace natural hair and venture into her line of business was inspired by her late father. She said that saving money is an instrumental ingredient in scaling a business. Ms. Ntalami encouraged entrepreneurs not to be drowned by the negativity that sometimes besieges startups. The vision of the business, she said, should be one’s guiding compass. Customer feedback about the product should also be among the major considerations. And when success finally comes, “Be confident enough to know you are the best, but humble enough to not look down on people.”

Marini Naturals

“Be confident enough to know you are the best, but humble enough to not look down on people.” Michelle Ntalami, Founder, Marini Naturals, and strategic brand and marketing expert.

Sustainability in scaling a business

Centonomy Founder Waceke Nduati weighed in on the day’s debate, giving tips learned from her journey on scaling a business. She told entrepreneurs not to limit themselves but to spread their wings and reach numerous opportunities. Ambitious people must be irritated by their lack of success. They must leave their comfort zones and pitch their business in a way that scares them. This will help grow confidence. To ensure long-term growth, an entrepreneur should always think about profitability and question the sustainability of the business. They must step back often and look at the bigger picture. Mrs. Nduati accentuated the need for entrepreneurs to pay themselves which helps value one’s role in the business and understand the cash flow.

Scaling a business

Centonomy CEO, Waithaka Gatumia emphasizes a point at the event. He said that entrepreneurs must understand the drivers if their businesses in order to move ahead.

Destiny in scaling a business

Samchi Group of companies CEO, Esther Muchemi’s keynote address sent ripples across the packed auditorium as she shared her journey and gave lessons on scaling a business. In a powerful, candid, inspiring, and humorous approach interrupted only by frequent applause, Mrs. Muchemi narrated her ups and downs in business. She conclusively relayed the recipe for success in entrepreneurship. The successful entrepreneur began by mentioning the great need of having a positive mentality and predetermining one’s destiny which she did when starting out. “I would walk on the streets and whisper to myself; ‘Esther you are meant for greatness.’”

Waceke Nduati

Centonomy Founder Waceke Nduati makes her remarks at the event. She mentioned the importance of entrepreneurs taking time off and going on holiday as this will give them time to strategize.

Investments and savings in scaling a business

To begin, one must first understand what you need to know about the line of business and what you need to achieve. The idea, the dream, this should be the main focus, the money will come later. Focusing on one business also ensures that the foundation is strong enough to withstand market forces. It helps keep your eyes on the goal and use the limited resources well. Along the way, as the business grows, investments and savings will become a cushion in scaling a business and will take you to the next level.

Esther Muchemi

Corporate executive and author of ‘Give Me My Mountain,’ Esther Muchemi, electrified guests with her inspiring speech, delivered in a candid, humorous way. She reminded entrepreneurs that they were created to dominate and they should go into the world and take their place on the seat of greatness.

Impact in scaling a business

In order to set the stage for the growth of a business, Mrs. Muchemi encouraged entrepreneurs to set up a team early and sell the vision. Documenting processes will help to monitor growth. Entrepreneurs cannot circumvent adapting to technology in today’s world. They must identify risks m and deal with them from a position of strength. This strategy will help to avoid future problems. Entrepreneurs should be less anxious and more hopeful that their efforts will finally pay off. Mrs. Muchemi also underlined the importance of honesty and integrity as a major strength in scaling a business. Entrepreneurs who want to succeed must be ethical in their dealings. And finally, they must dominate and leave an impact in society with the successful dealings of their businesses.

STORY BY: David Macharia, CEO and Founder, Versatile Photographers

WRITTEN AND EDITED BY: Tim Njugi, Writer, Blogger and Photographer

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