It’s not an over­state­ment to say it gets frigid in Boston. So the com­pany Mike Behan started while attending North­eastern Uni­ver­sity began by selling slouchy knit hats and scarves. It has since grown to sup­port its main mis­sion of helping women farmers in Kenya.

Behan, CEO and co-​​founder of Njabini Inc., grad­u­ated from North­eastern this year. While enrolled in the school’s Social Enter­prise Insti­tute, he trav­eled to a vil­lage called Njabini near Nairobi, Kenya, for six months out of the year for mul­tiple years to focus on his business.

Njabini Inc. has two dif­ferent enter­prises: Njabini Apparel, which was started in 2010, and an agriculture-​​centered enter­prise called Wakulima Pamoja (or Farmers Together in Kiswahili), which began in 2011.

Behan said he was for­tu­nate to attend a uni­ver­sity that enabled him to alter­nate going to classes for six months and working full-​​time on his project for the other half of the year.

It allowed me to put a lot of time and effort into this orga­ni­za­tion. And a lot of what I learned in the pro­gram I was able to transfer into what we were doing in Kenya.”

As a freshman, he first trav­eled to the southern vil­lage of Njabini, where a friend had started an orphanage. After vol­un­teering there, he began his com­pany the fol­lowing fall.

Read the article at PBS NewsHour →