Mercy Githinji believes in empowering young people - helping them reach their true potential. Watching her father struggle to sustain a small hotel business, she decided early in life to go into entrepreneurship. Despite struggling with feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem while growing up, she was determined to find solutions for human development and to help people grow their careers and businesses. She started Uzuri Institute to do exactly this- transform lives.
Mercy noted that many school leavers who did not make it to university and government colleges were anxious about their careers and their future. At the same time there was demand in the marketplace for work ready college graduates. This was enough to channel her passion towards equipping school leavers and career seekers to be ready for the global marketplace.
Started in 2001, Uzuri Institute was a 2-room, 2-staff institution propelled by faith and hard work. 15 years later, the school has 40 staff members, sits on its own piece of land within Thika’s town centre, and has successfully graduated over 6000 professionals working locally and abroad, with a good number being trainers in other colleges.
The school offers professional courses in hospitality, tourism, IT, Media, business and entrepreneurship, electrical and electronic engineering, fashion design, hair and beauty therapy.
Mercy Githinji joined the TBN Scale for Success program seeking investment from a partner who would input professional and technical support. Over the 6-month duration of the program, there have been lessons that have shed light into her leadership style which have enhanced her role as a leader. “It has been a process of unlearning, realizing that there is much more about entrepreneurship that I didn’t learn in entrepreneurship class.”
Moreover, she has undergone mind-opening lessons that she has implemented in her business, refining roles and clarifying systems. “The documenting processes showed that the employees could do what was required of them-they just needed more clarity from the management.”
She notes that she gathered courage to define her business and work on it as opposed to just working in it. “I found the courage to look at my business as a profitable business that could serve and influence other education businesses and not just as a ministry.” The experience was not all fireworks as some tough decisions had to be made and carried out for the sake of scaling up the business.
Mercy’s view on the Scale for Success program; “I would recommend any stuck but progressive-minded entrepreneur to this program, definitely! 100%!”
Nurturing skills of members of the community, giving them a chance at employment and entrepreneurship.