Agnes Kagure (centre), the patron of the Kenya University Students Organisation (KUSO), with the organisation’s officials.

Nairobi businesswoman Agnes Kagure has revealed how she acquired her wealth and became influential in business circles.

Speaking to officials of Kenya University Students Organisation (KUSO), where she was elected the patron in July, Kagure said that she has made a name in the insurance sector, where she has risen from a commission-based saleslady to owner of a leading agency in Kenya.

In her speech, Kagure, who is the Managing Principal of The Insurance Consulting Group (ICG) said that she has worked hard to rise to the top over the past 20 years. Similarly,  she urged young people not to embrace shortcuts to wealth.

For almost twenty years, Kagure says she sold insurance and got paid by commission. “If you don’t sell much, commission becomes like a curse because 10 percent of zero is zero,” she says.

“But if you sell much, then commission becomes a massive blessing because 10 percent of 10 million is one million. And 10 percent of one hundred million is ten million. That is how I made my millions during those two decades.”

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In 2011, Ms Kagure was named in the Top 40 women under 40, an annual list of women who have risen to occupy positions of influence in Kenya before the age of 40, published by the Business Daily.

Ms Kagure reiterates that the power to make it in career or business, lies in an individual’s hands. “I know from experience that during that biting morning cold when you wake up early to go for yet another unfruitful employment interview, these words that am saying may seem empty and unrealistic. But they are true. I know it because I have lived it. “

 Ms Kagure was recently was appointed a peace ambassador by the leader of Thailand, adding another feather to her cap.

Agnes Kagure receives the peace ambassador award from the leader of Thailand

“If you want a dream job, you must start with a nightmare job. If your dream is to start the next Facebook or the next Bidco, you must start as small as you can. Remember that Facebook started in a university dorm and Bidco started as a small garment manufacture company.”

Her secrets lie in what she calls the five stones King David of the Bible used to bring down Goliath. “You too, must direct your stones at those challenges, those giants that are causing you sleepless nights. This means that you must intensely focus your time, energy, skills, education and connections at slaying the unemployment that is waiting anxiously to grab you once you finish school,” she says.

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