A Look at Our Incredible Women: Meet Irene Njoroge

By Simon Kiragu

Edited by Linda Davis PhD and Maureen Onyango

Irene runs a briquette business, Flame Blaze Limited based in Kasarani northeast of Nairobi’s central business district, Kenya. She produces and supplies briquettes to households, businesses and academic institutions. With over 10 years of experience in financial services sector and agri-business, Irene believes that briquette production is her niche that has a potential to impact Africa as a whole as an alternative fuel. Briquettes can be made from various agricultural residues and  solid municipal waste.

Irene’s desire to increase production to at least 7000 tonnes of briquettes annually from the current production of 2000 tonnes, has been hindered by high capital costs and minimal financial support from financing institutions.  Additionally, lack of public awareness on briquettes has been a barrier to increased adoption of the alternative energy fuels.

Irenet Njoroge at the Flame Blaze Limited production site in Nairobi, Kenya

Mentorship

Through support from wPOWER, Irene has received support in enterprise development and business skills training on her  energy business. She is also receiving online tailored mentorship by Zarin from Pakistan with a focus on marketing, financial management, business growth and expansion. She has also benefited from linkages with other entrepreneurs through networking forums and advice on efficiency in production.

“The mentorship program has helped in enhancing learning of skills and knowledge including the political and social skills required to succeed. Zarin and the mentoring team is playing an important role in facilitating feedback loops – helping me reflect on my strengths and weaknesses and to effectively develop strategies that are informed by these experiences.”