I first stepped into a plane in 1991 when I was 22-years-old. With my afro hairstyle sitting like a crown on my head, I reclined in my seat and flashed a wide smile to everyone my eyes came in contact with. I was on my way to a trade exhibition in Japan to sell kiondos and other traditional handicrafts made by women groups in Kitui and Machakos districts.

Three years earlier when I was 19, I had realised that due to a limited market reach, these women barely earned a decent living from their products. They wallowed in poverty despite their talent and diligence. I vowed to tackle this poverty head-on by finding for them more customers not just in Kenya, but globally. I didn’t know it then, but I had actually taken my first steps into social entrepreneurship.
Prof Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh is widely considered one of the gurus of social entrepreneurship. When he won the…

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