In their Visionaries series, The New York Times selects people from all over the world who are pushing the boundaries of their fields, from science and technology to culture and sports. In their latest piece, they shine a spotlight on Thomas Njeru, the proud co-founder of Pula. Pula, a Flourish portfolio company, is a microinsurance firm based in Kenya that covers small farms across Africa.
Read excerpts from the article below and see the full piece here.
Growing up on a farm on the slopes of Mount Kenya, Thomas Njeru witnessed firsthand the devastating impact such setbacks had on the lives of small landholders, including his own family. His mother lectured him to work hard in school so he could one day leave the farm and land a good job in the city. Mr. Njeru followed that advice obediently — until he did not.
Today, he is a co-founder and the chief financial officer of Pula, a four-year-old microinsurance firm that serves 1.7 million smallholder farms of 0.6 acres or less in 10 African countries and India. Microinsurance — think of it as an offshoot of the microloan programs that kick-start businesses in impoverished areas — provides protection for low-income individuals who do not have access to conventional coverage.
“Pula’s mission is to give farmers confidence by providing risk mitigation. Our solutions protect a farmer’s investment by pairing it with insurance. We build business cases to persuade Fortune 500 companies, seed and fertilizer suppliers, lending institutions, and governments in Africa, that embedded insurance will help deliver better results for both businesses and food security,” Njeru says.