At Clean Start Kenya, Teresa Njoroge builds bridges connecting the formerly imprisoned to the outside world and vice versa.

Why you should listen

Teresa Njoroge is the cofounder and CEO of Clean Start Kenya. She was pursuing her childhood dream, a career in banking, when she was falsely accused of a fraudulent transaction. Sentenced to imprisonment in the High Security Langata Women’s Maximum Prison, Njoroge was forced to bring her three-month-old baby with her.

What began as a loss of career and social standing led to her purpose in life, advocating for Kenyan women, youth and men trapped in a cycle of poverty, survival, petty crimes and life behind bars and equipping them with entrepreneurial skills, jobs and formal education. Later cleared of any wrongdoing, Njoroge is now a beacon of hope and second chances to thousands, with her mission to build up the bottom-of-the-pyramid economy and an inclusive Africa. As she writes: "I am an optimistic, self-driven social entrepreneur with over a decade of progressive experience in economic and social justice work, in my journey from 'I can do it' to 'I did it'!"

Teresa Njoroge’s TED talk

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This year’s TEDWomen in New Orleans was a truly special conference, at a vital moment, and I’m sure the ripples will be felt for a long time to come. The theme this year was bridges: we build them, we cross them, sometimes we even burn them. Our speakers talked about the physical bridges we need […]

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