Kenya microfinance boss picked for top global prize

Tuesday March 8 2016

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Kenya Women Holding (KWH) chief executive Jennifer Riria has been nominated for a prestigious global award in recognition of entrepreneurs who impact positively on society.

Dr Riria who has led Kenya Women Microfinance Bank (KWFT) for over two decades was nominated as a 2016 Business for Peace Award Honouree.

The award recognizes exceptional entrepreneurs who “ethically create economic value that also creates value for society.”

Honourees are selected by an independent committee of Nobel Prize winners in Peace and in Economics after a global nomination process through its partners International Chamber of Commerce, UN Global Compact and UNDP.

“We are very pleased to inform you that Dr Jennifer Riria, Chair, TUVUKE Initiative and CEO, Kenya Women Holding has been selected as a 2016 Business for Peace Award Honouree, along with Tore Laerdal (Norway) and Ms Farah Beydoun from Lebanon by Business for Peace Foundation.

The Award Ceremony will take place on 2-3 May 2016 in Oslo, Norway,” said a statement to newsrooms from the Business for Peace Foundation.
Dr Riria was one of the two nominees proposed by the UNDP Kenya country office.


United Nations Development Program Administrator Helen Clark said Dr Riria’s nomination highlighted the role of female business leaders in driving positive societal change.

“This year’s winners are exceptional role models who exemplify how ethical and responsible business action can drive positive societal change”, said Ms Clark at press conference in Norway.

Business for Peace Founder and Chairman, Per L. Saxegaard, said the awards highlighted the increasingly important role of the business actions of individuals.

KWFT grants loans to marginalized women and their families, serving over 1.5 million women and disbursing over US$2.3 billion over a period of 20years.