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Valuraha Open Day at Strathmore

What is the essence of financial literacy for High School students and how can they be educated on this?  Recently, Valuraha in collaboration with Strathmore University School of Finance and Applied Economics (SFAE) held a Valuraha Open Day with different schools coming together to meet the faces behind the companies they spent weeks researching on. Words of encouragement were echoed from all the speakers.


Valuraha high school program engages students in secondary school with investor education and financial literacy across different high schools in Kenya. Their mission: To Create a Generation of Market Movers, Starting Now! Part of the programs’ activities include; analyzing some of the listed companies on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, and competing in managing a virtual portfolio. The first edition of the program ran in Alliance High School, Kenya High School and Precious Blood Secondary School with each school analyzing companies such as Britam, Centum, Safaricom, Equity Bank and Home Afrika in 2014.


Mr. Paul Ochieng – Dean of Students Strathmore University, challenged the students to take grasp of opportunities at all times. Speaking of his experiences, guest speaker Mr. Ivan Mbowa, and spoke of his education experience. Mr. Mbowa went to some of the best schools in Kenya and he also studied at Tufts University one of the finest universities in the world. He was fortunate enough to work as an investment banker in Citi Bank for 8 years in different branches accross the world, before he chose to resign and start his own company back home in Kenya- Umati Capital. His journey and the lessons that he shared were nothing short of inspirational.


The analysis of the different companies took place with students identifying different characteristics from each company, as the company’s representatives spoke of what they stand for. Centum was discovered as a company that is unafraid to dream big and one that is driven by passion and a highly competent team. They embody the very definition of BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) that set apart the good companies from the great companies.


Britam’s team was deeply passionate about their work. They mentioned the newly launched Linda Jamii product that shows their commitment in serving low-income earners, a move in achieving their number one goal – to become a one stop financial services shop. Their ability to execute is certainly unquestionable.


As for Equity Bank, they took a customer point of focus and a market led approach, which sought to improve the social and economic welfare of people. In James Mwangi’s words: “Giving people their own dignity”. They are also interested in maximizing the opportunity they have at hand with their wide customer base to introduce new products to the market.


The event ended with the mention of the Value Investment Challenge – Schools Edition for 2015, welcoming Lenana High School to the program as well as incorporating 10 more schools.