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Mercy Kitomari, Nelwa’s Gelato

Tanzanian Mercy Kitomari is founder and CEO of Nelwa’s Gelato, an ice cream business operating in the financial hub of Dar es Salaam. Her interest in ice cream began while she was studying for an MBA in the UK. She worked part time as a tour guide, and after every sightseeing trip she would take visitors to ice cream parlours at Leicester Square in the heart of London. Upon completing her studies, Kitomari took up a job at a bank in Tanzania. In 2012 she started making ice cream from her mother’s kitchen and eventually quit her job to run her business full time.

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Julian Kyula, MODE

Julian Kyula, founder of technology company MODE, previously lived and worked in the US for 11 years before relocating to Kenya in 2005. While in the US, he tried his hand at business and failed.

“I tried a real estate business and it flopped completely. I lost a lot of money and I have lost a lot of friends,” he recalls. And his first business in Kenya after returning from the US (a financial risk and debt management company) “did very badly”. “I sold it for a dollar because I didn’t have the strength to restructure it,” he said. Today MODE has operations in 31 countries with a customer base of over 250 million.

Source: How we made it in Africa

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