Samuel Ngigi, Dorothy McCormick, Paul Kamau


This article aims to trace the entrepreneurial journey of CEOs of successful mid-sized companies in Kenya. This was done by documenting their motivations, their turning points and the challenges they face in pursuits of their entrepreneurial pursuits. The study used primary data collected from Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of mid-sized companies and entrepreneurial leadership experts through combination of methods namely: survey, case studies and the Delphi method. The results indicate that CEOs take different and unique routes in their entrepreneurial journey. This can be linked to variations in their family and social groups they belong to and their personal drive. Entrepreneurial journey is characterized by ups and downs which are experienced differently. The main challenges facing CEOs in Kenya include financial constraints, intrapersonal challenges, family pressures and demands, social obligations, unethical practices in business performance. Some of the challenges that CEOs encounter in the course of executing their duties challenges their character and societal ideals. A case in point is the rampant corruption that has currently permeated in every aspect of the society. In some cases to get a business opportunity both in government and private sector, one is required to bribe in order to be favoured. The big question to the CEOs is whether to or not to engage in corrupt dealings. In a society where the corrupt are the winners, being ethical may jeopardize chances of entrepreneurial survival. As such, corruption is a major detriment and work against personal efforts for development of entrepreneurial competencies.

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