The Entrepreneur

I am Eric Kinoti, founder and director of Shade Systems (EA) Ltd, Alma Tents Ltd, Bag Base Kenya Ltd and SafiSana Home Services Ltd. Through my success and that of my companies, I have gained lots of recognition globally. My company, Shades Systems (EA) Ltd is a regional leader in tent manufacturing and we have won several accolades over the years.

The Award Winner

I have been listed in Kenya’s Top 40 under 40 and Forbes Top 30 under 30 and voted the Most Influential SME personality at the SOMA Awards.

The Knowledge Philanthropist

I am an entrepreneur and a knowledge philanthropist and I use my success to mentor and help fellow entrepreneurs grow and build successful enterprises.

My Brief Bio

We have no limits. We only limit ourselves.

I was born on 8th March 1984 in Mombasa, the first born of four children and I grew up in Mombasa and Meru. I attended St. Martins Boarding Primary School, Abothogochi Academy, Nkubu High School and earned a Diploma in Business Management from Tsavo Park Institute. For as long as I can remember, I have always liked doing business. When I was 10 years old, I regularly acted as a cashier in my father’s wholesale shop. In school I was equally entrepreneurial, selling sweets, cakes and salt to schoolmates. Upon completing college, I worked as a cashier in a hotel in Malindi and it is then that my entrepreneurial journey truly began: Since I worked in the night shift, I used to spend the day buying and distributing eggs around Malindi town. A few years later, I moved to Nairobi where I distributed milk to hotels in the city.

My breakthrough came from an unlikely meeting with a client who did not want me to supply him the usual foodstuff or milk but a tent for an outdoor event. I did it successfully and the experience was a revelation. So with all my savings I ventured into tent manufacturing. Several years later and through a lot of effort, my company, Shade Systems (EA) Ltd has clients all over the African continent and is one of the leading suppliers of all kinds of tents, gazebos, shades and bouncing castles. Apart from Shade Systems (EA) Ltd, I am also the proprietor of Alma Tents – a tent hiring company, Bag Base Kenya Ltd – manufacturer of bags through cutaway canvas that come from the tent manufacturing process and Safi Sana Home Services – a professional cleaning services company. My efforts have led me to receiving lots of recognition from all over the world. I have twice appeared in Business Daily’s ‘40 leading men under 40’, the Forbes’ ’30 most promising entrepreneurs from Africa’ and lots of other publications. I was appointed the Youth Patron by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and I have received presidential recognition as an outstanding youthful businessman.

"One of my biggest goals is to help as many entrepreneurs as possible to succeed. From the challenges I faced, I recognises the importance of mentorship and how important it is to inspire and guide young people venturing into business."

Entrepreneurs Bootcamp

The annual Entrepreneurs’ Boot Camp is a week long event, where I host entrepreneurs from all over a Africa in one of Kenya’s game parks and reserves. I also invite successful and inspirational entrepreneurs from all over the world to speak and facilitate activities during the event. It starts with a fun filled road trip, camping, team building exercises, discussions, networking and fireside stories from everyone involved. At the end of the week, entrepreneurs should have learnt so much more, enhanced their networks and gained great insights into the lives of other successful entrepreneurs.

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Entrepreneurs University Tour

The Entrepreneurs’ Boot Camp (EBC) University Tour is an initiative where I seek to inspire students in university into business. In 2015, I will go around several universities in Kenya, speaking and listening to students as well as giving them a platform to pitch their business ideas. I will provide training, mentorship and a link to sources of capital to the most impressive ideas. It doesn’t stop there, I will continue to support the entrepreneurs who won’t benefit from my training and investment package through my network of friends and associates who have an interest in helping budding entrepreneurs.

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"I am so grateful for your daily inspiration which have pushed me to a next level."

Lynette Gacheri, Facebook

Shade Systems E.A

Shade Systems (EA) Ltd is my flagship company and a real inspirational story. We manufacture tents, branded gazebos, restaurant canopies, car parking shades, luxury tents, party tents among several other shade solutions. We take time to understand our clients and we are always innovating in order to offer the best possible quality. We have supplied Government, the military, humanitarian organizations, individuals and several organisations all across Africa because we have the required capacity to do so.

Alma Tent Solutions

Besides manufacturing, we lease out tents to people who only need them on occasion. We do this under the Alma Tents Ltd brand. It is a complete event management company for corporate functions, weddings, parties and so on. The company provides an amazing array of tents ranging from giant tents seating thousands of people to the smallest ones sitting only a few. The company also provides PA sound systems, platforms, lighting, catering and decoration.

Bag Base Kenya

I founded Bag Base Kenya Ltd in order to take care of the waste material generated from the tent manufacturing process at Shade Systems (EA) Ltd. We create school, laptop, travel and custom bags as well as other products such as company folders, wallets, covers, key holders, mouse pads among others. We are proud of the way we are utilising the world’s resources and even happier to pass the benefit to our customers who get high quality bags at an affordable price.

Safi Sana Home Services

Safisana Home Services is a Kenyan company tailored to provide thorough, timely and extremely professional home support services. We offer one time house cleaning and laundry services or recurring residential cleaning and laundry services weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. We have a customized program that focuses on the areas of your home that you designate.




January 22nd, 2015

Entrepreneur vs Businessman

- By Eric Kinoti -

For me an Entrepreneur, in the purest sense, is the person who identifies a need—any need—and fill it. It’s a primordial urge, independent of product, service, industry or market. Entrepreneurship is about the future and sustainability, an entrepreneur identifies a gap and creates a lasting solution and not just for money but for the future generations benefit and sustainability.

On the other hand, a business person is that person who identifies a weakness and capitalizes in that just to make profits. For example a typical business person is that who while in a pub drinking and discussing stuff, notices another person is doing well in what he/she is doing and rushes to do it without doing any research or getting to know the hurdles involved. who opens a butchery near another does that because he knows probably customers are complaining about the other butchery’s services. He gets into the business to make money. And that the primary principle of a business person.

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