Trailblazing Kenyan entrepreneur uses coffee to tell the story of the women who grow it


Heading 1: Margaret Nyamumbo’s Inspiring Journey

  • Waiting Period for University: Margaret faced a waiting period of up to two years after qualifying for university in Kenya, which led her to a serendipitous encounter with American professors visiting the country.
  • Scholarship to Smith College: Margaret received a scholarship to Smith College in Northampton, Mass., where she began her studies in 2007, sparking her interest in development and policy.
  • Graduate Studies at Harvard Business School: After her undergraduate studies, Margaret pursued graduate studies at Harvard Business School, further honing her skills and knowledge.

Heading 2: Rediscovering Coffee in New York

  • Specialty Coffee’s Premium Appeal: In New York, Margaret observed the growing interest in specialty coffee, where consumers were willing to pay a premium for unique coffee experiences.
  • Identifying a Gap: Despite Kenya’s reputation for producing high-quality coffee, Margaret noticed the scarcity of authentic Kenyan coffee brands in the market.
  • The ‘Aha’ Moment: Margaret realized that she was uniquely qualified, both through her upbringing and education, to introduce an authentic Kenyan coffee brand to the world.

Heading 3: Overcoming Family Concerns and Empowering Women

  • Confronting Family Concerns: Margaret faced initial resistance from her family when she decided to leave her prestigious career to enter the coffee business, but she succeeded in convincing them of her mission.
  • Empowering Women in Coffee Farming: Margaret’s commitment to empowering women in coffee farming is at the core of Kahawa 1893’s mission. The company shares 25 percent of its profits with female coffee farmers, transforming their lives.
  • Impact on Coffee Farmers: Kahawa 1893’s initiatives have led to increased earnings and improved livelihoods for women coffee farmers, with some using their income to support their families, invest in new ventures, and even create additional sources of income, such as purchasing a grain milling machine.

Margaret Nyamumbo’s journey from student to entrepreneur and her dedication to empowering women in the coffee industry is a testament to her determination and vision for positive change. Through Kahawa 1893, she has not only introduced authentic Kenyan coffee to the world but has also significantly impacted the lives of women coffee farmers in her homeland.