Winnie Barawa
Founder of Queen Dada Daycare

JAMII Femmes Inspiring Stories – Winnie Barawa

JAMII Femmes Inspiring Stories – Winnie Barawa 1650 1800

Tell us a little about yourself and your business.

I am a childcare and education entrepreneur, a 2022 Jamii Femmes Cohort 1 Fellow, a 2021 Mandela Washington Fellow and Winner of Digital Opportunity Trust Social Innovation Award 2021. I am the founder of Queen Dada Daycare, a social enterprise in Kilifi County, Kenya that promotes social economic balance among women by providing them with quality and affordable 24 hours daycare services to children aged 3 months to 8 years.


What inspired you to start your business?

It was 12.30pm, mid-2019 when my friend called me. In a worried voice, she begged, “Could you kindly pick my son from School? I am still at work and my house help ran away yesterday night. Kindly baby sit him in the few hours left till I return from office.” My friend’s scenario represents many similar stories of working mothers in my community. Queen-Dada daycare was born from these stories and for this particular category of mothers, to give a hand to mothers who are torn between forgoing their dreams or taking care of their children at home.


Placing side by side your skills or the solutions we believe you are providing  and looking at the major gaps in your sectors, do you see these challenges or gaps brought down to their barest minimum?


If yes, please briefly give an expert overview or summary of how you believe this should or can  be achieved. 

Estimated globally, 2 million mothers quit jobs annually due to difficult transition to motherhood responsibilities and childcare. This is contributed by factors such as limited or unpaid maternity leave, patriarchal culture and unreliable nannies. Notably, most employers offer only 90 days paid leave in Kenya at the moment. It therefore necessitate mothers to look for care options otherwise their job security is risked. In Kilifi alone, there are limited quality daycare services to meet the growing demand and this situation replicates in many countries and communities in Africa. 

Quality and affordable childcare services such as at Queen Dada Daycare, offers a solution to this dilemma by offering mothers a 24 hour daycare solution. We thus enable working mothers to balance their motherhood role and work, by providing a fun and affordable childcare service to them consequently leading to financial independence. In the long run this contributes to reducing the social economic gender imbalance in our communities where childcare burden is mainly vested on the woman.

What is your biggest achievement as a female entrepreneur?

Being able to impact women both direct and indirectly through Queen Dada Daycare has been my biggest achievement. Since inception in 2021, I have been able to impact more than 200 women  through direct daycare services, information and skill training on proper childcare, created 8 job opportunities directly at the centre and admitted over 40 children to our centre. This impact has been recognized in several platforms include being nominated for Most Promising Founder of the Year in 2021 and winning the Digital Innovation for Social Inclusion Award in 2021.

Tell us about a few women who inspire you.

Two women inspire me, Dr Amakove Wala  and Beryl Wanga Itindi. Dr Amakove is a tenacious brave Kenyan woman who has harnessed the power of media in breaking biases against women and gender biases. She oozes brevity and is goal oriented, breaking barriers around women in business and health systems. She is the managing director of Wanderlust diaries, a tourism company that promotes tourism in Kenya and beyond.

Beryl is a serial education entrepreneur who runs Bee Haven School in Nairobi Kenya. She has risen above the challenges and started a school at daycare level to now running two fully pledged branches of Haven School.

What message do you want to share with African women who aspire to be changemakers?

You were born with wings, Keep flapping them.

How has WIA (Women In Africa) welcomed you in its community? 

The WIA community has been warmly and business friendly to women who aspire to improve their entrepreneurship and social skills. The online course on 21st Century Soft skills for business women on Honoris Online Academy has been instrumental in helping me restructure my business and management. I have been able to boost up my business skills from the modules offered on personal, social and entrepreneurial skills. Additionally the regular webinars have built my confidence in digital skills and mastered the art of using social media platforms to harness potential of my business. The WIA social platform has been a unique experience and allowed me to network with other ladies in the different business ventures. For instance I have met Quinta Rimba, a social entrepreneur who apparently is from my neighborhood doing impactful work for girls through poultry farming and Yvonne Akoth who is in the business of hiring printers to organizations and individuals in Nairobi.


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