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Economist sealing the financial literacy gap

By Sylvia Wakhisi
Tuesday, February 9th, 2021
Sheila Mmboga , a Financial Literacy Advocate. Photo/COURTESY
In summary
    • Sheila terms her mother as her greatest support system.
    • Sheila’s passion is to spread financial awareness to help people and businesses become better money managers ultimately achieving their financial goals.
    • She has done short courses in data and business management such as SPSS, QuickBooks, Sage, CPA 1 & 2, Stata, Python, Tableu, SQL and Revenue management.

For many people, the topic on financial awareness is one that is normally given a wide berth.

Many people shy away from discussing matters that touch on finances and their management.

But despite its sensitive nature, Sheila Mmboga, a financial literacy advocate and an entrepreneurship consultant decided to start a financial literacy firm to breach the topic. 

Her passion and purpose in finance was nurtured when she was still young as she would help run in her mother’s fast food business in Nakuru. 

“By actively participating in her fast food business, I got the exposure to business at a young age as well as got to learn a number of entrepreneurial lessons practically, though with a limited perspective,” says the 26 year old. 

Sheila now empowers thousands of people to learn proper financial management through her consultancy firm, Financial Wellness Centre.

Her journey of becoming a financial consultant has not been easy, but has been characterised with challenges that moulded her to become the person she is today.

Born in Nakuru in the nineties, Sheila was raised in a humble background. “Life wasn’t all too rosy, but my mother who raised us singlehandedly worked hard to give me and my two siblings the best she could,” she says. 

She begun her primary school education at Baharini Primary School in Nakuru in 2000 and later moved to Nairobi in 2005 where I sat for my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams in at Kinyanjui Road Primary School in 2007 emerging the top student in the school.

Despite being placed in one of the national school’s in the country, Sheila had to miss out on the opportunity because her mother could not afford the fees. 

For the whole of first term, she missed school and lived with a relative in Nairobi with no hope of joining secondary school.

She decided to go back to Nakuru in 2008 to help her mum in running her small fast food business. 

Good samaritan

Being a small business and considering the political upheaval at that time, the proceeds from the business couldn’t sustain their needs and allow them to save up for her secondary school fees. 

The lack of money to pay school fees did not dampen her resolve to learn. Her determination paid off in 2008 when she joined Nakuru Day High School for her secondary education.

Armed with a deep conviction that this is the school I would study in, I walked into the principal’s office one day, presented my KCPE result slip and requested him to give me a chance to study without school fees, Sheila says.

The principal, was impressed by her boldness and agreed to admit her to the school even though the term was almost ending.

In school, Sheila says she faced hardships including joining school with donated second hand uniforms.

But she is grateful to a well-wisher who supported her with new uniforms and other school items and paid fees for the whole of the first year. 

“I am also very grateful to the principal as he never sent me home for fee arrears and allowed me to pay in installments,” she says.

At school her business studies teacher had a big influence on her by encouraging her to stay focused and nurturing her interest in finance and business. 

Despite all these hurdles, Sheila performed well and was admitted to join Kenyatta University in 2012.

Before joining university, she got a job at Reliable Concrete Works,a company in Nakuru through a referral and briefly worked in the accounts department as an account assistant.

“This opportunity gave me good exposure to various business dynamics at only the age of 17, ” she adds.

Sheila graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Statistics. 

She decided to venture in financial consultancy after realising that many people lack financial literacy.

In 2019, Financial Wellness Centre was born to help people, especially those above 18 years, get to learn various money principles, which when put into action can improve their financial management. 

“I always say that money is a tool that can help or hurt you. Unfortunately, most people have been hurt more by money than being helped by the same.

This has made many people to make huge financial mistakes such as investing in wrong ventures, failing to save thus living from paycheck to paycheck,” she notes.

The centre is focused on helping individuals and corporates to learn various money principles to help them to achieve their financial goals.

She later expanded her services to include the Entrepreneurs Academy, a finacial mentorship service for ndividuals and businesses.

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