Meet the CEO Who has built her Ladder to the Top

Catherine Mwamba has built her own ladder to the top
Catherine Mwamba, CEO, Times U Sacco.

We talk of climbing the ladder, but Catherine Mwamba has built her own ladder to the top. She started Times U Sacco Society Limited as a single employee back in 1993. Today, she sits at the helm of the organization as the chief executive officer. Catherine has seen the Sacco grow from a small organization with about 200 members to what it is today, boasting of an asset base of a billion Kenyan Shillings and a membership of over 30,000. The CEO prides herself in seeing the members transform their lives and improve their lifestyles. During a chat with Destin Africa team at her office at the Sacco headquarters in Nkubu, Meru County, Catherine shared her journey to the top, her experience in the industry, and her vision for Times U Sacco

Where it started

When Times U Sacco was founded 30 years ago, there was only one member of staff managing the society, and that was Catherine. She was a jack of all trades, from messenger to cleaning to undertaking every duty that was required for the smooth operation of the organization.

Over the years, she has seen the Sacco grow from a 10 by 10 one roomed office to having its own building, which also serves as the headquarters. Today, Times U Sacco has six fully fledged branches and two satellite offices. It also has over 40 agents spread across Meru County.

Catherine has worked in the Sacco industry for the better part of her working life. She shares that given an opportunity; she would not choose to work in any other institution.


Her greatest satisfaction is in seeing her contribution in the transformation journey of the members. There is no great fulfillment than seeing people grow from one stage to the other and improve their lifestyles. “I have witnessed some members grow from tenants to home owners and from laborers to employers. In fact, I’m very happy when a client calls me to share their progress. They call me Cathy, this is what I have been doing and it is so thrilling.”

Anytime I come into the office and I feel that I’m going to change somebody’s life, it gives me the satisfaction and drive to move on to the next level.

Catherine says in order to serve the members better and offer products and services that meet their needs; she puts herself in their shoes. “I ask myself, if I were in the same position, what could I have desired?”


To help run the organization smoothly, expand her skills and boost her career, Catherine has pursued a few diploma courses, in addition to having a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in Strategic Management.

The skills base, together with the support she receives from the Board members and the staff has helped her steer Times U Sacco to greater heights.

Leadership Style

You cannot use one leadership style while managing an organization. For Catherine, she combines democratic, autocratic and authoritative styles. At times, you are required to authoritatively give directions. When giving directions, she manages from a point of information of doing the right thing at the right time.

Other times, you are required to use democracy, where you give others a chance to air their views. 

Women Empowerment

The CEO shares that she has never faced a major challenge as a woman in leadership. She has been given a free space and an opportunity to do what men do without gender bias.

In fact, having started the Sacco as a single employee to becoming the chief executive officer, Catherine says that the Board believed in her as the engine that could propel Times U to higher heights.

Times U Sacco also gives equal opportunities to its staff. Out of the seven departmental heads, four are women. Besides, the staff ratio of men to women is 50:50.

Vision for the Sacco

Catherine is looking forward to building a big organization with branches across the country, with the core mandate of empowering people financially. Currently, the Sacco has not extended its tentacles outside Meru County.

She is also looking forward to having Times U Sacco foundation that will help in empowering more children through corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects. Currently, the Sacco is sponsoring 16 students from needy backgrounds through high school. Having a foundation means bringing more partners all over the world on board and this will help in expanding the scope of sponsorship.