Meet the Thomas J. Bata Legacy Award Top 5 Finalists!

We are proud to announce the top 5 finalists, chosen from over 100 young entrepreneurs pursuing responsible businesses in East Africa.  Selected for their ability to address a community’s social need through a viable, sustainable business combined with commemorating the Thomas J. Bata family values, the finalists are competing to win an award of $15,000 US.  Two runners up will each receive $5,000.

During the next phase of the competition finalists will be paired with mentors from East Africa with expertise in entrepreneurship who will help them prepare their final proposal to the Bata Shoe Foundation.  The mentors will stay with the entrepreneurs for the following year to support the development of their businesses.

The finalist proposals will be judged on the potential impact of the Award on their business and community by an international panel of business and entrepreneurship experts.

The five finalists are:

1. GreenChar: Alternative energy in cooking practices, Kenya

Team: Tom Osborn Chief Executive Officer, Yina Sun Head of Operations, Ian Oluoch Finance Director, Brian Kirotich Marketing & Tech

The developers of the Green Char provide agricultural waste cooking briquettes designed to be healthier, safer and cheaper for consumers. Green Char briquettes, made from recycled bagasse (sugar cane husks) are nearly smokeless, more energy dense and longer lasting than wood and coal. Green Char’s smokeless briquettes combat the health risks associated with coal ovens, while also reducing deforestation. Green Char hopes to expand into creating products, which repel mosquitoes and a next generation of safer, cleaner ovens.

2. KARIBU Solar Power: “Business in a box,” Tanzania

Team: Adam Camenzuli & Sameer Gulamani

The creators of Karibu have designed a solar powered business in a box. Their business strives to provide a safer, cheaper, and more socially responsible solar alternative to kerosene lighting. Engineered for grassroots success and local empowerment, the Karibu system consists of a 2W solar panel and two rechargeable “hockey puck” batteries designed to provide a night’s worth of lighting. Local Karibu distributors will rent hockey pucks to consumers, charging one hockey puck while the consumer uses the second. This distribution system strengthens local business, while providing safer and healthier lighting.

3. STAWI: Food and fruit processing company, Kenya

Team: Eric Muthomi Founder & CEO, Kent Libiso Chairman, Sangu Delle Director

Stawi Foods and Fruits Limited, founded by Eric Muthomi, provides high quality processed foods through sustainable and equitable farmer relations. Seeking to combat agricultural waste from foods such as bananas, which can spoil before making it to market, Stawi processes perishable fruits, grains, and cereals into gluten free flour. This flour, with a higher market demand and shelf life, increases food security, increases farmer income, and reduces waste. Small holder farmers, whose crops are most at risk for perishing, and rural consumers, most at risk for malnutrition, receive the sharpest benefits from Stawi foods.

4. The Designers Studio Limited: Fashion magazine and retailer, Kenya 

Individual: Wanjiku Nyoike-Mugo

The Designer Studio (TDS) produces a series of online magazines, fashion shows and media buys which present local fashion as a better alternative to international brands. This marketing drives consumers to TDS’s online store and future retail spaces stocked only with Kenyan designed and produced goods, which benefits the local Kenyan economy. This higher demand for local goods, driven in large part by an increasingly wealthy, fashion forward population, further strengthens the Kenyan fashion and clothing industry.

5. BIO-INNOVATIONS: Alternative energy, Uganda

Team: Stephen Birikano, Alex Tumukunde

Bio-Innovation Company LTD challenges Uganda’s terrible deforestation issue – 80% of natural forest area has been destroyed since 1960 – by creating a bio-renewable cooking and heating briquette derived from bio-waste. These briquettes, organic municipal solid waste amalgamations, are a lower cost, safer and environmental safer alternative to wood and coal fires. Targeting women and youth as employees, Bio-Innovation Company empowers local rural communities while freeing up consumers’ discretionary income by undercutting current heating and cooking costs.

The Grand March Sale: 30% Discount on Bata Shoes.

It is a “Shoestival” we all have gotten used to these past few years. That time of the year when families come in to quench the thirst-the thirst for new shoes.

The good news is: it is now on! The Grand March Sale is back!

Visit your nearest store, buy all the shoes you can buy, and enjoy your discount! The terms are simple: You get 25% off the second pair and 30% off the third pair!


True Love, Bata Style!

BCP volunteers cleaning at the hospital

Every year, the 14th of February has millions across the world presenting their loved ones with candy, flowers, chocolates and other lovely gifts as a reflection of love. This year Valentines Day fell on a Saturday and Bata Children’s Program(BCP) Volunteers in Kenya had just the perfect idea on how to mark the day. The Volunteers , especially the very youthful and the young at heart , visited Tigoni District Hospital’s Pediatric Ward. Tigoni District Hospital is a public hospital not far from Bata Kenya Head Office in Limuru. The hospital caters for the local community.

The aim of the visit was to spend time with the children and to assist the hospital in a clean up exercise. The fifteen volunteers divided themselves into small working teams. Some fetched water using buckets for cleaning the pavements and floors, while others did the scrubbing of the pavements and washing of the walls.

The highlight of the day for the volunteers was spending time with the children and their mothers in the wards giving them words of encouragement, praying with them and giving assurance and hope. The team had carried with them presents and gifts which they also took time to distribute.

Mr. John Ndung’u, a clinician at the hospital, thanked BCP volunteers for the visit. He pointed out that the visit would play a big role in making the children feel loved and appreciated by the society. He urged the volunteers to keep up the inspiring work. His comments were echoed by Mama Njeri, a mother in the pediatric ward, who said she was happy that the volunteers had decided to spend their time with the children. They were surprised that people could spend a day like that at a hospital with total strangers.

The visit was not only beneficial to the Tigoni Hospital Community , but also very fulfilling to those who participated. “Spending my valentines day with the sick children was the best valueless gift of love that I could imagine giving to them. Being a new volunteer, this is very touching” , said Lavender Owako in reflection.

Check out the pictures:


The One: The Perfect Shoe Commemorating the Perfect Shoe Maker

The One

To commemorate 100 years since the birth of Thomas J. Bata, a very special shoe called “The One” has been created in a limited quantity.

At the age of four, Thomas J. Bata received at Christmas from his father Tomáš , a miniature shoemaker’s bench with a set of cobbler’s tools: a small gift with a great significance that would soon pave the way and inspire this extraordinary “shoemaker to the world“.

The One is a tribute to this very man, honoring his values and wish of bringing affordable quality into people’s lives. Developed in Italy, this limited edition shoe is a rendition of Mr. Bata’s favorite style – the classic black brogue. Both elegant and subtle, The One represents perfectly Mr. Bata’s character, as a talented entrepreneur but also a man of the people.

Made with the finest quality leather, each piece is individually numbered, from 1 to 1200. This brogue has been specially designed with a Derby broke wing tip with a slightly wider fitting and elevated toe. The upper is made of premium calf leather brushed off by hand, first with “carnauba” wax to close the leather grain and make it water resistant and then brushed off with shining cream.

Bata Shoes CEO Mr. Jack Clemons presents a pair of The One to Nairobi County's County Executive in charge of Trade, Industrialization, Co-operative Development & Tourism Ms. Anna Othoro during the opening of Bata MBK

Bata Shoes CEO Mr. Jack Clemons presents a pair of The One to Nairobi County’s County Executive in charge of Trade, Industrialization, Co-operative Development & Tourism Ms. Anna Othoro during the opening of Bata MBK

A highlight is undoubtedly Thomas J. Bata’s signature engraved into the Goodyear welted sole. The welt process, or double stitch by hand, is one of the most complicated and, at the same time, one of the most fascinating methods of shoe construction. The upper and the raised insole lip are sewn to the welt, which, in turn, is stitched to the sole. The advantages of Goodyear welt shoes are many: long lasting product life, comfortable fit, flexibility, water-repellent, easy to maintain and repair.

Another special feature is also the heel. Built in multi leather layers and fixed with nails, the rear quarter has inserted rubber to reduce walking noise. Moreover, with each pair of shoes, a personalized T.J.B. box and the following accessories have been developed:

• Cedar wood last (to maintain shoe shape and absorb humidity), brass top with T.J.B. signature

• Personalized black shoe polish natural wax

• Personalized cleaning brush (short hair)

• Personalized polishing brush (long hair)

• Metal shoe horn with leather string and T.J.B. signature

• Spare pair of cotton wax laces

• Presentation booklet in the box pocket

“The One” is not available for retail sale as it has been produced to be given as a company gift to directors and other notables. In line with Bata’s vision, this project truly honors tradition and heritage with the understanding of the importance of maintaining quality even in today’s fast changing world.

You can view “The One” at the Biggest Bata Store in Africa, MBK. 

Adapted from: Bata World News. 

Bata School Fees Bonanza

Bata Kenya's Mr. Njoroge hands a winning coupon to a BCLB representative during the draw.

Bata Kenya’s James Njoroge hands a winning coupon to a BCLB representative during the draw.

The first draw for the Bata School Fees Bonanza happened last week.

A total of  Sh. 905,000 in Cash and Bata Gift Vouchers was won by 400 lucky customers spread across 5 regions.

To see the list of winners, please visit a store near you or click here:

~> BTS Draw 1 Winners

The second draw is happening this Friday and you stand a chance to win bigger prices! Buy school merchandise, fill in an entry form, drop it in the collection box and cross your fingers!

Form Ones, where are you?

Happy Feet, Happy Kids, Happy World!

In this week’s New Arrivals, is it about the little men and women in our lives-kids!

30th Jan 2015press advert BBG-01____

The Largest Bata Super-Store Now Open, Officially.

Bata Shoe Organization CEO, Mr. Jack Clemmons cuts the tape to officially open Bata MBK. He is flanked by, from left, Bata Kenya's FD, RK Gupta, Bata Shoes COO, Jorge Carbajal, Nairobi County's Anna Othoro, Bata Kenya MD, Alberto Errico, Merchandising Director, Agnes Murila, Retail Manager, Rajat Saxena and Bata Africa MD, Hernan Vizcaya.

Bata Shoe Organization CEO, Mr. Jack Clemmons cuts the tape to officially open Bata MBK. He is flanked by, from left, Bata Kenya’s FD, RK Gupta, Bata Shoes COO, Jorge Carbajal, Nairobi County’s Anna Othoro, Bata Kenya MD, Alberto Errico, Merchandising Director, Agnes Murila, Retail Manager, Rajat Saxena and Bata Africa MD, Hernan Vizcaya.

The largest Bata store in Africa, Bata MBK, was officially opened on Thursday, 22nd January 2015 in a pompous event attended by Bata Shoes Organization’s top executives, Bata Kenya’s management and officiated by County Executive in charge of Trade, Industrialization, Co-operative Development & Tourism Ms. Anna Othoro.

Bata MBK is now the largest Bata store in Africa and one of a kind in the world. As you go up the steps into the store, a new world starts opening. The first thing that strikes you is the size- this is, practically, a mall of shoes and accessories. A whole 12,000 square ft set on two floors!

The colours, lighting and the whole decor is like nothing you have seen in Kenya, actually Africa, before. The kids run between the isles and up the escalators in excitement, to the children’s play area, leaving you to “wow” and “aah” at the collection.

There is a large collection of Bata shoes you have never seen elsewhere. And then there are renowned international brands in the house: Nike, Clarks, Skechers, Adidas, Puma and Naturalizer.

Check out the photos:


Brogues and When to Wear Them.

@Sh. 4999

The Brogue is a style of low-heeled shoe or boot traditionally characterised by multiple-piece, sturdy leather uppers with decorative perforations and/or serration along the pieces’ visible edges.

Undoubtedly one of the most easily recognized shoe styles, the brogue is a footwear classic. Comfortable, durable and timeless, the pattern of holes has a practical purpose – to speed up the drying process when wet.

How and When to wear Brogues

A full brogue would formally not be considered the proper shoe to wear with a three piece pin-stripe suit, whereas a quarter brogue in black or oxblood makes for a perfect business shoes. Here is how to wear brogues, based on the occasion:

  • Source: FashionCadet

    Always bear in mind that a shoe is less formal the more broguing it has and vice versa. As such, full brogues are perfect when combined with anything related to more casual attire, and semi brogues in a darker brown color are very versatile and can be worn with sport coats and brown suits.

  • Brogues are never appropriate for very formal events, or with dark three piece business suits.
  • When worn as a dress shoe with a suit, it is better to opt for either half brogues or quarter brogues as they are not too elaborate and maintain the formality of the outfit. A full brogue is mostly too casual for a formal suit.
  • On other semi – formal occasions where a suit is not required and where a blazer or a sports coat the semi-brogue makes for an ideal choice. It maintains just the right amount of formality and casualness.
  • In a casual setting the brogue can be paired with jeans, chinos, and most other casual trousers. Slimmer fitting trousers that show a small bit of ankle also work well, as they show off the decorative nature of the shoe; a checked shirt will do great.
  • Of course, if you work at a bank, law firm, or a similar white collar job, go with black quarter brogues. If you are kind of in between, suede full or half brogue in various shades of brown are appropriate.

What to avoid:


@Sh. 4299

Because brogues have become so popular for formal and casual styles, there isn’t a lot you can do wrong. But there are a few key points to consider.

  • Trousers that are quite baggy don’t work well with any dress shoe, and a brogue is no exception. Cargo trousers can be worn with brogues, but it is essential they aren’t too big; if they are, the wearer will look like they have tiny titsy feet.
  • As with anything to do with fashion, colours are important. Tan brogues go well with navy outfits, black brogue work well as part of work suit and for colourful brogues, try and coordinate with your accessories.

Every man should have at least one pair of brogue shoes and once you increase the number of shoes in your collection, probably half of your shoes or more will have some sort of broguing. If versatility is your goal, the darker semi brogue is probably the way to go but a lighter brown will also work with many outfits.

Brogues’ classic style lets move from the office to the pub without missing a beat.

Sources: Gentleman’s Gazette | | Samuel Windsor

The Biggest Bata Store in Africa: Get Ready!

It will be huge, the biggest Bata store in Africa,

It will be beautiful, with a whole new design and concept,

It will be fun for the kids and peaceful for you, with a children play area,

It will be make shopping easier, with escalators and electronic shopping guides,

It will offer a much wider variety, actually, stocking many more international brands,

And it is opening very, very soon!

Are you ready for Bata MBK?

A5 Coming Soon


The Thomas J. Bata Legacy Award Idea Submission is now on!


The Thomas J. Bata Award was announced on September 17th 2014.

You have been asking for submissions procedures and more details. It’s here!  It’s time to submit your responsible business idea for a chance to win up to $15,000 from the Bata Shoe Foundation.  The submission period opens Monday, November 17 and goes through December 19.

In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which coincides with the opening of the submission period of the Award, the Bata Shoe Foundation is co-hosting networking events at Nairobi-area business schools to provide inspiration and information about the Award.

Events during Global Entrepreneurship Week include:

November 18

7:00 am – 10:00 am Strathmore Business School and iBizAfrica Breakfast Networking Reception

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Riara School of Business Cocktail Networking Reception

November 19

3:00 pm – 7:00 pm USIU-A Chandaria School of Business CEEDWomen and Responsible Entrepreneurship Address and Reception

November 20

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm  Kenyatta University Business School and Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Centre Cocktail Networking Reception

For event details please visit

Established by the Bata Shoe Foundation in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Thomas J. Bata, “Shoemaker to the World,” who died at the age of 93 in 2008, the Thomas J. Bata Legacy Award will match three to five finalists with mentors, and Award one $15,000 and two $5,000 prizes.  The Award commemorates Mr. Bata’s dedication to responsible entrepreneurship and service, reflecting the Bata family values, and will create a legacy to perpetuate those values.


Photos: Welcome to the New-Look Bata Hilton


Nairobi County Executive for Trade, Industrialization, Co-operative Development & Tourism Ms. Anna Othoro, and Bata Kenya MD Mr. Alberto Errico cut the cake to launch the new look Bata Hilton.

The date is Friday 31st October 2014, the location is Nairobi CBD, Hilton and there is a big occasion. Bata Hilton is being re-opened!

So, what was the fuss about?

Introducing the New Look Bata Hilton!

On the outside:

IMG_3383IMG_3396Let’s look inside:

Have you visited? What do you think about the new look?

Locate your nearest Bata Store

Did you know that Bata Kenya has 138 stores retail countrywide? That’s right! 113 of these are company owned, with 25 franchise stores.

In addition to these, we have 13 Depots and 70 Wholesale stores supplying over a thousand dealers. That’s how much you love Bata, and for this, we say thanks.

Back to the retail stores, how do you locate the nearest store? This is now very easy, check out our newly updated Store Locator.