Eric Kinoti was born on 8th March 1984 in Mombasa and is the first born of four children. He grew up in Mombasa and Meru and attended St. Martins Boarding Primary School, Abothogochi Academy, Nkubu High School and earned a Diploma in Business Management from Tsavo Park Institute.
His interest in business started early. At age 10, he regularly acted as a cashier in his father's wholesale shop and in school he was equally entrepreneurial, selling sweets, cakes and salt to his schoolmates.
Upon completing college, Eric worked as a cashier in a hotel in Malindi and it is that his entrepreneurial journey truly began. Since he worked in the night shift, Eric spent his day time buying and distributing eggs around Malindi town. A few years later, he moved to Nairobi where he distributed milk to hotels in the city.
His breakthrough came from an unlikely meeting with a client who did not want Eric to supply him the usual foodstuff or milk but a tent for an outdoor event. The experience was a revelation and with all his savings Eric ventured into tent manufacturing. Several years later and through a lot of effort, Eric has clients all over the African continent and is one of the leading suppliers of all kinds of tents, gazebos, shades and bouncing castles.
Apart from his flagship company, Shade Systems (EA) Ltd, Eric is also the proprietor of Alma Tents – a tent hiring company, Bag Base Kenya Ltd – manufacturer of bags through cutaway canvas that come from the tent manufacturing process and Safi Sana Home Services – a professional cleaning services company.
Eric is now recognised as a leading entrepreneur: He has twice appeared in Business Daily's '40 leading men under 40' and in 2014 featured in Forbes' '30 most promising entrepreneurs from Africa' . He has been appointed the Youth Patron by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and has received presidential recognition as an outstanding youthful businessman.
One of Eric's biggest goals is to help as many entrepreneurs as possible to succeed. From the challenges he faced, he recognises the importance of mentorship and how important it is to inspire and guide young people venturing into business.
Image and words from www.erickinoti.com