Dr. Jennifer Riria is the Group CEO of Echo Network Africa (ENA) and founding member of Kenya Women Holding and Kenya Women Finance Trust Microfinance Bank. She is distinguished as Microfinance Banker and Practitioner, Researcher and Gender Specialist. She has led KWFT for over two decades, and propelled it from an unprofitable NGO to a medium sized Bank, serving low income women and their families. KWFT has served over 3 Million women and disbursed over US$ 3 billion over a period of 25 years. She has served in many other leadership roles for which she has been recognized locally and internationally. To mention a few of these – In 2006 she was awarded the Moran of the Burning Spear by Kenya’s President H.E. Mwai Kibaki for her role in Development. In 2009 she was recognized by the Corporate Council of Africa for her excellence in financing. In 2011 she was also recognized by the Marketing Society of Kenya and awarded “Warrior” status award. In addition she is a distinguished Champion of Democracy and was awarded “Champion of Democracy” by the Ford Foundation in 2012 for her role both as a leader of the TUVUKE Initiative and Group CEO of Kenya Women Finance Trust.
In 2014 she was awarded the Ernst &Young (EY) Entrepreneur of the Year, East Africa 2013, and subsequently, the EY, Global Entrepreneur 2014 Country Winner Award, and got admitted to the global Hall of Fame. She is an institutional builder who focuses on institutions that empower, position and advocate for the majority, and especially low income women and their families. For this reason she was awarded The “Most Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year Award” by the Africa Economy Builders in April, 2015. In 2015 she received six other awards from the CEO Global as Africa’s most influential woman in business and government, among them was the “Africa Life Time achiever” and “Continental Lifetime Achiever”. In February 2016, she received Intellecap Inspiration award for being a true inspiration in the development sector. In March 2016 she was named the Business for Peace Honoree by Business for Peace Foundation. On May 8th 2017 she received Women of The Decade in Innovation and Leadership Award, by the All ladies league and Women Economic forum (WEF) in New Delhi India. In Her leadership engagements include WWB (Chair), Jabali Microserve (Chair), Member of the Global Leadership Council of Women and Girls Lead Global, TUVUKE Initiative for peaceful and fair electoral process in Kenya (Chair), a life Board member of Association of Microfinance Institutions in Kenya (AME) of which she is the founder, among others. In the past she played a major role in the reconstruction and re-positioning of NHIF for which she was recognized, AMFI (Founder and Life Member), Post Bank, National Bank and institutions of higher learning. She is looked upon by her large family as the matriarch after her parents’ death.
Dr. Riria is a transformative leader who strives for results. Working with and touching people’s lives is her passion. She has just launched THE JENNIFER RIRIA FOUNDATION to enhance her quest for touching lives.