The Ascent Leadership Team

November 10, 2022

The Ascent program has successfully launched, and the first cohort has had an amazing journey thus far. From personal breakthroughs to dynamic mentoring relationships, the elite group of entrepreneurs is almost ready for the final pitch day. But none of this could have happened if it weren’t for the strong team of leaders behind Ascent. 

Toby Kilgore, Managing Director for Strategic Initiatives and Growth Services

The leadership team is made up of experienced business leaders. Toby Kilgore is the Managing Director for Strategic Initiatives and Growth Services at Sinapis. In his career both at Sinapis and as a partner with two international consultancies, Toby has worked with executive teams to address core strategy issues and growth opportunities. Ray Barreth, known as a “serial entrepreneur,” has seen six businesses from inception to scale. These businesses now range from $40M USD to $100M USD in revenue. He brings 35 years of experience to the team, including creating, directing, leading, and coaching within the business world. Purity Wainaina is yet another asset to the team. She is highly skilled in training and coaching entrepreneurs, with over 18 years of experience in business finance. In just four years, she has coached over 200 entrepreneurs to new levels of growth in their businesses.

Purity Wainaina (center left) working with Ashitiva Advocates, LLP team.

To round out the team is Martin Kibisu, the Associate Director for Innovation and Growth at Sinapis. Martin has a deep-rooted passion for seeing entrepreneurs grow to their potential. He desires to see others succeed not just through profit but through lasting Kingdom impact. Martin’s background in the business sector involves organizational strategy and innovation, including over thirteen years of experience working as head of the innovation hub at Kenya Airways. Martin holds strongly that entrepreneurship is the solution to problems seen in emerging markets, such as poverty and unemployment. When business owners push past their self-imposed limitations and break their own glass ceilings, space opens for them to thrive and have a lasting impact on their communities. (Learn more about the team members here.)

Martin Kibisu, Associate Director for Innovation and Growth

The Ascent team comes with decades of business and leadership experience. Together, these four bring distinctive strengths to the elite program. They are driven, desire success, and love to face challenges head-on. However, this core group also recognizes their need to keep God at the center in order to make the greatest Kingdom impact. Their hearts are for impacting communities through thriving businesses, and this common goal drives them forward as a unit. The four leaders pray together, care about each other’s life and family, and mutually encourage one another. Ascent is covered in prayer and concern from the top down.

Ray Barreth, Entrepreneur in Residence at Sinapis

As the first cohort of business owners finishes its Ascent journey, the leaders have already cast a vision for what Ascent will do in the coming years. The vision is threefold: First, Ascent is designed to help businesses experience breakout growth, establishing and strengthening compelling business models that investors are eager to buy into. Second, Ascent guides business owners to live out their faith in practical ways, not just in preaching but in ways that have a holistic social impact. Finally, the greater vision is for Ascent to cultivate businesses throughout Africa, even helping some of those enterprises grow globally. Martin Kibisu sums up the vision of Ascent this way:  “The businesses that have gone through Ascent are able to unlock their growth potential and grow exponentially to allow for communities to thrive, to be able to have a Kingdom impact, and to be able to live out their faith in very practical ways in the marketplace.” 

Great things are ahead for Ascent and its participants. Applications are open for the next cohort, beginning in January 2023 (apply here). Contact Martin Kibisu at mkibisu@sinapis.org for more information.

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