ID Staff Update: Introducing Catherine Munyua

Catherine, a Kenyan national, is joining us as a fellow in our Nairobi office. She comes to us through the Frontier Market Scout program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She is currently pursuing an MS in Environmental Policy at Bard College in New York.

Catherine graduated from Lafayette College with degrees in Economics & Business and Public Policy and a certificate in Financial Policy and Analysis. At Lafayette, she participated in various activities including organizing a conference to discuss the potential of ICT in fueling development in Africa. She previously participated in Monterey Institute’s DPMI program in Washington, DC as a Davis Scholar. Catherine also attended the United World College of the Adriatic in Duino, Italy. There, she spent two years pursuing International Baccalaureate and interacting with young people from over 80 countries.

After travelling around Europe, the United States and Trinidad and Tobago, she is glad to be back in Kenya where she can explore the beauty of her home country. We asked her a few questions to introduce you to Catherine’s philosophy on impact investing and how she’ll use her skills at Invested Development.

How will your studies in Environmental Policy help you in your work at Invested Development?

CM: My studies at Bard College’s Center for Environmental Policy have prepared me well to take up both research and practical exercises in a wide array of environmental issues. Specifically, I am interested in energy access issues in the emerging markets and Invested Development’s activities in alternative energy are a perfect fit. My training will also be useful in performing due diligence on potential enterprises in alternative energy. I will also be able to source for companies that present game-changing ideas to address environmental-related issues in emerging markets.

How has your experience growing up in Kenya influenced your perspective on social entrepreneurship and impact investing?

CM: As a Kenyan, I know how lucky we are to be in a country that has, for the most part, been peaceful and hard-working. Many entrepreneurs in Kenya have had businesses that fit the description of social entrepreneurship without even calling them so. Kenya therefore continues to provide a great environment for entrepreneurs to test their business solutions for the needs of the bottom of the pyramid. Just looking at the tech buzz that has hit Nairobi over the last few years makes me even more excited about the potential of Kenya becoming the hub of impact investing in Africa.

What are you hoping to learn from Invested Development?

CM: While at Invested Development, I hope to learn more about the field of impact investing and social entrepreneurship. I am also lucky to be in the Nairobi Office where I am able to interact with entrepreneurs and learn about developments in this field. The Invested Development team is very diverse, which allows me to tap into the different expertise they bring to the table.