Today in our Women Making History Today series, Like a Boss Girls chats with Isis Nyong’o, Founder of MumsVillage, the leading parenting website in Kenya. MumsVillage is empowering Kenyan women by providing reliable information that enables them to make informed decisions regarding the health and well-being of themselves and their families.
Name: Isis Nyong’o
Job Title: Founder & CEO
Currently based in: Nairobi, Kenya
Originally from: Kenya and Michigan
Superpower: I am the ultimate connector!
Name a woman in history that you admire & why:
Queen Nzinga of Angola during Portuguese rule in the 1600s – she was a masterful negotiator and diplomat. I learned about her when seeing a painting of a famous negotiation she held with the Portuguese governor. Many powerful female African leaders are largely unknown to the world and it’s important to me to learn more about them.
Quote/piece of advice that you live by:
The journey has to be worth it. (…because there may be no “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow!)
What inspired you to start your current venture?
The gap of local content online for mothers inspired me to create MumsVillage two years ago. It is now the leading parenting website in Kenya.
What is your company doing to make history today?
We are providing Kenyan women with information that empowers them to make informed choices for the health and well-being of their families.
What is one thing your company has accomplished that you are most proud of?
I am proud that we have built a company that supports women in such a big way. Not only are our users mostly women, but so are most of our partners, suppliers and team members. We have built a wonderful ecosystem for Kenyan women to thrive in. It is invigorating to see so many women benefiting from our business.
What is one project you are currently working on that you are most excited about?
I am super excited to produce the second season of MumsVillage Show – Africa’s first online-only talk show for moms. Available via Facebook Live, our first ten-episode season covered topics ranging from postpartum depression to the digital life of mums, and the show’s first season had close to 500K views! Kenyan women love MumsVillage Show and I can’t wait to get back into the studio.
What, in your opinion, is one of the biggest challenges facing your industry today?
It can be challenging to understand users and their digital habits, and figuring out how our business can leverage that information toward our success.
What is a trend in your industry that you foresee becoming popular in the future?
Chat platforms like WhatsApp are quickly becoming the main way that Kenyans consume content, buy goods online and communicate with each other.
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced at this job?
Building a business is challenging every day, but one of the hardest things is accepting that you might not have the capacity and resources to carry out some of the things you want to do.
What were you doing before your current role?
Before becoming an entrepreneur, I scaled African expansion for major global media and tech corporations including Google and Viacom for close to a decade. I have my Bachelor’s Degree from Stanford University and a Harvard MBA.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to other female founders & change-makers?
Trust the journey but do not internalize negative feedback. Try to see feedback through the other person’s lens and listen to where they’re coming from. Remember that criticism of your work isn’t personal, and it’s not a direct reflection of you. (Although I find this advice to be nearly impossible to follow at times!)
Are there any great resources you have discovered that you would like to share?
Connect with Isis Nyong’o on LinkedIn.
Visit the MumsVillage website.