A Kenyan with a dream to create Africa’s largest investment brokerage

Joel Macharia, CEO and founder of Kenya-based online investment brokerage Abacus, is a true entrepreneur. His hard work and pioneering spirit were recognised in May 2016, when he was included in Forbes Africa’s 2016 30 Under 30 list.

Joel will now receive further recognition when he appears in the first episode of Chivas, Win the Right Way – a TV series that showcases African entrepreneurs who use business as a force for good.

The show celebrates those who build personal successes while also positively impacting their communities. Its host, Audu Maikori, a Nigerian entrepreneur, social activist, lawyer, public speaker and creative industry professional, calls this “profit with purpose”.

This isn’t the first initiative from Chivas in this area. In 2014, Chivas launched The Venture, a $1-million annual competition, to support and bring together the best young minds in communal development; young minds like Joel, who started managing people’s finances at the age of 19.

An avid inventor who built gadgets as a schoolboy, Joel is now set on building the largest pan-African investment brokerage. His goal is to grow Abacus’current investor database of around 4,000 to half a million within a few years, and he wants to see the systems that Abacus is building being used to build wealth for the disadvantaged and poor.

Joel has surrounded himself with staff who see this vision as clearly as he does.

“My understanding of business is that it has to have value, not just monetary value, but also the intrinsic value of making an impact. You need to build impact into your product, and your people need to believe that they are working for something that is greater than their paycheque,” says Joel.

As an entrepreneur, Joel has sage advice for others: “Be patient, it’s going to take longer than you think. Be prudent, it’s going to cost more than you think. And find support, you don’t know as much as you think.”

Through all of this, Joel keeps his perspective by focusing on what’s been done – not just what still needs doing.

For him, “winning the right way” is about the small achievements and the big milestones; it’s about the millionaires he’s set on creating; and it’s about the children who can’t afford their school fees and who benefit from a trust he’s set up.

In his own words: “For me, ‘winning the right way’ is about living, and working, ethically.”

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