Kenya’s Beauty Queen Who Built an Empire
Terry Mungai has built Kenya’s beauty empire and forged a trail for female entrepreneurs in the country
“When we were starting out, if you were a woman and you went to the bank for a loan, they wanted to know who you were married to and whether you had permission to be in business,” says Terry Mungai.
Terry, the founder and chief executive of Ashleys Kenya, a beauty company with more than 240 employees, adds: “But now all that has changed. You are considered an entrepreneur.”
Twenty years ago when her then-employer, Diners International, quit Nairobi she did what she had always wanted to do, and opened a hair salon.
Today, walking around one of her 12 hair salons in the upmarket Lavington area of Nairobi, she greets her clients with a broad smile as she moves along the row of hairdryers.
Towards one corner of the room, three hairdressers hover over a customer as they twist and turn her hair braids.