Capitalizing on Africa’s Rise
Salome Ndunda is a talented investment professional and driven change catalyst who is passionate about empowering sustainable African businesses through impact investing.
Meet Salome Ndunda
Salome Ndunda is an Agro-debt Investment Manager at Incofin Investment Management, Africa Region. She believes in Africa.
Salome believes that with the right investment support, Africa has the capacity not only eradicate poverty but has the potential to be one of the biggest economic pillars of the world.
Salome’s involvement in the African focused impact investing industry was not by chance.
Born the daughter of a Kenyan coffee farmer on the slopes of Mt. Kenya, in East Africa.
Salome experienced firsthand, the challenges faced by local communities tucked away in the rural country enclaves. She saw women with babies on their backs tugging at coffee bushes to retrieve the red berries that would, by the end of the day, help provide a meal for the family. She saw children hawk single eggs and live chicken on the road sides in an effort to raise money for school fees.
By the time she was ten, Salome knew that she had a role to play in the lives of her people. She decided that she would use her education to look for a way to help her people establish meaniningful, gainful and sustainable livelihoods.
When she was aged twelve Salome harvested and sold K apple seeds from neighbor’s fences and used the money she earned from her enterprise, to buy books for the village kids that she played with. That was a Eureka experience! She could indeed make a difference in the lives of people!
If Salome was going to use money to help her community, what better way was there than learning how to manage money!
At University, Salome majored in accounting and business administration, embracing these as tools that she would use to change her world. As Treasurer for a University Tuck Shop ran by the University Investment Club, Salome had the opportunity to not only to put into practice her accounting lessons but also to learn how to “manage” money and make it “work”. Her eyes were opening wider into the magic that the world of financial management could play in opening opportunities for the communities that she had interacted with from her childhood.
A class trip to the finance stock market in Nairobi, opened a window into investment in action. The window into the world of investment opened even wider for her when, at the stock market, she met an investment analyst who had gone through a professional course of study in finance (CFA), and sounded “very knowledgeable” in matters finance.
From this point on, her career path was drawn. The way to help her people would be through managing money!
After undergraduate, Salome got an internship as an Accounts Assistant at an insurance firm. This served to confirm her new focus. In order to serve and improve the livelihoods of her people, she needed do more than keep books. She needed to delve deep into finance. She enrolled for CFA and later, for a Master’s degree in Finance.
The Dream, the Vision and the Road to Both
Salome began working for a locally based infrastructure-focused investment company, where her projects focused on the energy and transportation sector. She learned the critical investment analysis skills such as financial modeling and valuation. Additionally, she assisted in gathering various Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics. Through this exposure to social impacting, Salome saw that there was much more to effecting change and promoting financial and social returns. Now, when she goes out into the community, her questions extend outside of just financial concerns. She delves into various Social Development Goals (SDGs) metrics such as gender equality and poverty eradication.
Having entered the working world as an analyst, Salome has found her space and her calling in the world of investment. This world holds the key she has sought from the days of her youth. The key that holds the secret to opening opportunities for her people to engage in productive and sustainable business practices.
Working with international lenders with a focus on investment in Africa, Salome keeps her focus in line – always remembering her goal – the only way to understand the needs of a people and truly know how to help them is to move down from the ivory tower, go down to the people, experience their world, identity their needs, tap into their strengths and empower them financially.
By actively engaging with social entrepreneurs working on the ground, side by side with the individuals interacting with their market, Salome practically identifies with the communities whose livelihoods she is committed to uplifting. She knows her impact is real. Her real life involvement in her work brings to the fore reflective questions; “Would I be able to live with the measures that I’m implementing?” and “Do the people I am working with appreciate the impact of the work we are doing together… will the impact we have achieved be appreciated by the next generation?”
As an investment professional dedicated to effecting change and catalyzing Africa’s rise, Salome Ndunda firmly believes that Africans need to find and develop their own solutions. They need to develop solutions through sustainable business models that meet the demands of a growing African population. She is confident that working in partnership with others throughout the world, positive and sustainable impact is attainable for the benefit of Africa.
Time, experience and exposure have only affirmed Salome’s dream of enhancing the lives of her people. Towards this end, in the last couple of years she has been part of various teams that have invested in the Africa’s future. Her vision catalyzing Africa into economic freedom keeps growing.
Salome Ndunda has a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce (a double major in Accounting and Business Administration) from Daystar University, Nairobi, Kenya and a Master of Science degree in Finance and Investment Management from Aberdeen University in Scotland. She is an accredited CFA Charterholder.
French Beans Factory
Salome at her father’s coffee farm
Salome Ndunda’s Latest Post:
Female entrepreneurs face many obstacles throughout their journeys. For female entrepreneurs to be successful, they need to move beyond the basic access to financial and human capital while still being able to tackle social and skill constraints they face every day. Studies based on capital, training, and gender interventions have shown that women entrepreneurs have a better chance for success when given access to the right tools.