In my experience there is still a ceiling, women progress a bit slower than men,’ says Anita Kerai FCCA. Kenya-born Kerai made the leap from being a senior finance professional to setting up her own cooking business, which includes her TV show ‘Return to Kenya’ – airing on Amazon Prime in the UK, Europe and in the US – her cook book Flavours of Kenya and teaching

‘Workmates used to grab my lunch and they loved it,’ says Kerai. ‘The idea behind Anita’s Kitchen is to educate people on how to cook, how to reduce food waste, what you can do with what’s in your pantry, that you don’t always need to go shopping. I’m a green person; where I come from there was a lot of poverty, so I don’t like to see food or water waste. That’s how I started my cookery school Anita’s Kitchen, to show people how to reduce meat intake and transition into being vegan and vegetarian. It’s nothing “cheffy”, it’s more like cooking with friends.’

The transition from employee to entrepreneur can be tough.

‘You become an entrepreneur because you want to spend more time with your family, but that isn’t the case in the first few years. You have to give so much of your own time to make sure it works,’ says Kerai.

‘In the first three years you need to really push yourself. You need to be mentally, physically and emotionally strong. You need to believe this is want you want to do. I have a deadline, if it doesn’t work by a certain point, I will go to plan B. I’m in a good position, I know I can always go back to work straightaway because of my qualification and my level of experience, but I’ve come across entrepreneurs who don’t have a plan B. My advice to women is work for a few years and build up that experience before becoming an entrepreneur.’

 

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