COO Named Among the Top 40 under 40 Women
Working for Strauss Energy, a company she founded with her elder brother, Tony Nyagah, places a heavy load of responsibility on charity’s shoulders. The Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology alumnus, who is a member of the Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors, developed her career working with interior design and architectural firms as well as Aga Khan Hospital and the United Nations.
Around 2014, she and her brother left their jobs to work full-time developing the Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)-a product they thought had the potential to change the world.
“Our parents were not very thrilled about the two of us leaving employment to venture into entrepreneurship, but once they understood what we were doing they became our strongest supporters,” she said. Ultimately, the BIPV technology was integrated into roofing tiles allowing homeowners to turn their roofs into a giant solar panel, reducing reliance on electricity from Kenya Power.
Initially, the product was manufactured locally but as demand grew they resorted to outsourcing manufacturers abroad. The architect who is a creature of habit like being told things plainly so that she is able to make decisions without any assumptions, which she adds, “comes with the territory of the construction sector”. When she is not working she will be outdoors probably enjoying a good workout either running a marathon or going for a hike. Her day-to-day work schedule might be erratic as it evolves writing proposals, meeting potential clients and investors or going for site visits.
Charity says that working with her big brother for the last two years has been a delicate balance that the duo has learnt to manage and is comforted by the fact that he would always have her back.
Her role has seen her travel the world, giving talks and pitching to investors at various forums with the latest being during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Silicon Valley, USA in June where Strauss Energy won cash in the People’s Choice category of the Global Innovation through Science and Technology competition.
As reported by the Business Daily on 16th September 2016