How a University Student, Aged 23, Won Ksh150 Million

Lennox Omondi and team

Despite his youth, 23-year-old Lennox Omondi is a formidable employer, overseeing 2,000 employees.

Every young person wants to start their own business and work for themselves, but very few are able to fulfill this desire.

In Omondi’s instance, luck was on his side when he was in his third year of college and won a Ksh150.9 million cash prize, which he utilized to launch his businesses.

Because of this, he is presently a CEO who signs contracts with significant governmental and non-governmental organizations in an effort to improve the lives of girls.

The journey

During the pandemic many Kenyans resorted to reading and watching while they were at home alone and lonely. However, Omondi was following a Mashujaa celebration for the first time.

His interest was piqued by the state honors, particularly those of a woman who made washable sanitary pads for school-age girls in the northeast and was awarded an honorary degree for it. She was providing free proof of this to girls who had given up on attending school.

When he started his investigation, one thing became very evident to him: only 59% of women in the nation had access to sanitary items.

Upon his return to school in January 2021, he and three of his friends visited one of the school’s innovation clubs to discuss his discoveries.

He was already aware of the ideal fit, and being in a club with individuals who work on various projects and company concepts made it easier for him to see a possible fit.

The team started work on a draft after coming up with an idea: giving women access to clean, biodegradable sanitary pads would help with their sanitation.

During their annual school invention competition sometime around September of that year, Omondi, who now makes sanitary pads from banana tree trucks, pitched the idea, but it did not go anywhere.

They only needed a sample to show the judges; their initial product was not very nice.

Lennox Omondi Breakthrough

In 2022, when the team had given up hope, one of his friends—who is currently on the board and works as the Chief Operation Officer—received an arbitrary email.

“Are you a student, do you have a student-led organization that can be able to bring the world back to work, by being able to create 2000 jobs by 2024,” read part of the random email.

Omondi’s concept appeared in his head, and they decided to enter the tournament.

The team traveled to Boston, Massachusetts for the global accelerator competition after flying to South Africa for this competition, where they finished in second place.

Only six teams—from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Switzerland, Australia, Kenya, and Pakistan—were selected to compete internationally.

On September 22, 2022, the competition’s global and final round was conducted at Hult Business School, which is located in New York, close to Harvard.

According to Lennox Omondi, it was their ultimate goal, and after careful planning, they were prepared to give their 4-minute pitch. They won, placing Kenya on the map worldwide and taking home Ksh 150 million.

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