Brenda Anzeze ditched her lucrative job in the US and returned to Kenya, where she has established a successful consultancy company.
Brenda says she was earning a six-figure salary before she quit in 2018 after having worked for top US multinationals including JPMorgan Chase, Fidelity Investments, and the Bank of America.
Shortly after relocating to Kenya in July 2018, she formed a company named Brenda's Diaspora Consultancy, which helps Kenyans abroad to invest in real estate in Kenya.
“It was established as a solution provider for the Kenyan diaspora living across the world to enable them to invest and resolve their local issues using a trusted source while providing employment to the local businesses,” Brenda told Business Daily in a recent interview.
Brenda, who holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Ohio, says failure to secure employment in Kenya motivated her to start the consultancy.
Ironically, she could not find a job in the country despite having a decorated resume and over 15 years of working experience in the US.
“I mean I managed a whole region of seven branches in Texas for JPMorgan Chase and offered Bancorp products across the US market. I had high expectations upon arrival in Kenya, but I was very disappointed as the rate of unemployment was high even for skilled workers,” she says.
Before she formed the consultancy, Brenda ventured into the business of supplying avocados and other organic vegetables to vendors and retailers but she faced hurdles—supermarkets delayed payments or failed to pay entirely.
“I decided to venture into this diasporan consulting business because I wanted to bridge the gap between diaspora and Kenya while applying my skills and creating employment across the nation in different sectors.”
“I realized the gap and struggles diaspora have in trying to achieve some of their local projects and took advantage of it,” she adds.
Brenda mentions racism as one of the reasons that prompted her to return home, noting that being a black African woman in the US double jeopardy.
“Companies had started hiring black people just to meet their tax quarters then turn around and fire them once they meet their government needs,” she explains.
“I remember applying for a vice president position at Morgan Stanley and asked for the same salary as my white friend and they denied me the job and were clear that it was because of my salary request.”
A real estate project in Kiambu is one of the major projects she has worked with. Her company outsources two employees who help her in projects thus saving her cost.
“Some of the other projects I am currently working on with the Kenya Commercial Bank is assisting diaspora to purchase apartments and land while they get loans since I am a licensed agent with KCB,” she says.
“I assist my clients to select the best development projects in town because there are a lot of issues with some developers and sometimes the issues arise when it is too late.”
Since she formed the consultancy, Brenda says she has worked with more than 100 clients across the US, Canada, UAE, Qatar, UK, Australia, South Africa, and Italy.
“Diasporans need to identify a gap in Kenya and other African countries such as Botswana then they can work on market share in their area of interest. Africa is the new future,” she adds.
On her future plans, Brenda, says: “I would like to expand my business network and establish one of the best investment companies in Kenya.”