An Initiative of German Industry for Future Leaders from Subsaharan Africa

The story of Lucy Wanjiku Mutinda

Lucy Wanjiku Mutinda
Kenia, Production Engineering

‘My business idea was born during my training in Germany’
AFRIKA KOMMT! smooths Lucy Mutinda’s path to becoming a successful entrepreneur

Lucy Mutinda has made reality of the saying “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure”. A qualified engineer and participant in the first cohort of the AFRIKA KOMMT! initiative, she is now Managing Director and Technical Manager of Ecocycle Ltd. in Kenya. The company installs customised small-scale water treatment plants for the organic processing of wastewater, developed by a German company based in Schleswig-Holstein. It was her practical training in Germany that gave her the inspiration and impetus to start her young company: “During my 12-month management training, I took a look at a lot of technical exhibitions, technology parks and plants. I was very curious to see how wastewater management functions in Germany. And voilà, my business idea was born.”

Thanks to the excellent knowledge of German she gained during the AFRIKA KOMMT! programme, her hands-on experience at a partner company of Continental AG and the numerous personal contacts she forged, she succeeded in finding suitable business partners in Germany. She also draws upon her experiences in Germany as a resource for training her staff: “The management training I received was excellent. I have carried out the same training in-house for our employees. It really has made our teamwork very efficient and effective.”

Lucy Mutinda used the diverse opportunities offered by the programme to widen her perspective and think outside the box. “I saw so many business ideas that would work in my home country too.’ But this young engineer is not only passionate about her business and the environment. She also wants to hand on some of the opportunities she herself has had – together with partners from Germany, she supports children in need in her home village, for example by paying their school fees so that they can go to school. Self-confident and pioneering, Lucy Mutinda has become a sought-after interviewee for the media, and her message to the aspiring future leaders of her country is encouraging: “Many people want to be part of something when it is successful but not part of the hard work it takes to get there. But success tastes especially sweet if you were part of the hard slog. So get out there and start making your dreams reality!”

Nov 2015

The alumni Lucy Wanjiku Mutinda tells her inspiring AFRIKA KOMMT! journey

Source: Sheila Lives Out Loud