Grace Murugi, managing director of Cakes-online, won the ‘Sinapis Group 2016 Business Plan Competition’ award. She was presented the award by Ms. Courtney Rountree-Mills, the Group’s Co-founder and Executive Director.
The Annual Business Plan Competition award honors outstanding entrepreneurs from the 6month program every year for their inspirational, viable and live pitching event that brings together business owners, investors and other individuals in the entrepreneur ecosystem.
The winner of the competition receives $10,000 (Ksh1,000,000) in grant-based seed capital, and proceeds to join Sinapis’ Fast Track Fellows Program (FTFP) together with other outstanding finalists.
In the Fellows Program, they benefit from key resources such as customized mentorship from successful business owners, professional advising from experts in law, branding, accounting and one-on-one support from widely experienced consultants.
They also gain access to additional funds in the form of early stage and growth stage investment capital.
Popular for her #WeBakeLove cakes, Grace owns a franchised cake making company in Kenya. During the competition, she defended her presentation as to why she was the right entrepreneur to go home with the prize, and at the end of the presentations, she emerged the winner among the five competitors.
While receiving the award, Murugi said, “Wow!!This is God, this is purely God. Last night when I pitched, I was running through the slides and I told God today take over, give me the answers I need. This is God’s story. I just want to tell all the entrepreneurs who are here our challenges that we grow through are God’s story and we need to go back to him for inspiration.”
She dedicated the award to her husband and this is what she said about him, a man who she said they were campus mates:
“I want to appreciate my husband more now because we just had a baby!! Two weeks ago and so after the baby came and the deadline for Sinapis on the 9th of July, we sat down and we were like are going to do this or we let it to pass?
And then we had the discussion, and he said, I am going to take care of the baby you just do what you need to do. There are many moments that I was nursing the baby, they were intense moments. And why did we do it, everything my husband and I do is for our kids and so, I just want to thank you so much for your support.”
It was a nostalgic moment as she expressed her gratitude to the Sinapis team.
“Then there is this amazing team that is Sinapis. From Courtney, she is brilliant. If all entrepreneurs could find her, she provides brilliant ideas. Then there is Mark; he has walked with us throughout the journey, thank you so much.
Mathew has been amazing. He would pray for us when we were freaking.
Then there is Brad, he is full of energy and tough love which we all need. And then he has very good ideas and thinks outside the box. Thank you very much for the support.”
She also appreciated her fellow entrepreneurs beginning with Ms. Carolyne Wanjiku, founder of Waridi Events – many thought she was to emerge as the winner, unfortunately, she did not.
“Wanjiku of Waridi events, she was super, she is brilliant and she will take over Africa and we all know that,” she said.
“All the amazing entrepreneurs, we are all winners, I have learnt from everybody and I thank you very much.”
Murugi’s journey into baking cakes besides following her dream of becoming perhaps a business consult after graduating with bachelors in business science and a diploma in baking could not be distracted.
She began her venture with the help of her husband, a web designer, who proposed they use the social media – Facebook – space to announce it. “It was simply amazing,” she says as people begun to order cakes.
Two years later, she now has employed six assistants, all highly trained.
For her, their core values are innovation, world class quality cakes, to provide superb service and to ensure their client has a customer experience.
My company’s growth strategy is, “To be Africa’s leading premier cake brand becoming Kenya’s cake boss that will later transform itself into a franchise.”
“Our customer retention rate is 42% from #Webakelove. We are passionate about our cake company,” she says.
Other finalists who pitched their business plans for the KSh 1million seed capital money include: Kendi Walla, Colleta Macharia, George Johnson, Caroline Muiri, Violet Nduta Chege and Wanjiku Kariuki They will all be part of the Fast Track Fellows Program.
Asha Mweru, the Regional Manager Sinapis Group, the group has generated USD 13.2M from the Sinapis entrepreneurs and raised USD 7.2M in total investment capital with an average of 75% growth in revenues for its alumni.
— PlayingTitan (@AshaMweru) July 9, 2016