While on a visit to Tanzania, Chebet Lesan was shocked by the level of environmental degradation around Mt Kilimanjaro.
The magnitude of deforestation in the region was mind-boggling, thanks to a growing appetite for charcoal.
It is this desperate situation that gave Ms Lesan, 27, a brainwave; to find an alternative source of energy and help conserve the environment.
That is how she founded Bright Green Renewable energy, an enterprise that uses paper and agricultural waste to make charcoal.
Her idea was bright, so bright that her efforts have been recognised by Queen Elizabeth II. Her idea, which has been termed one of the best approaches to conserving the environment, also made her bag the Mandela Washington Fellowship, which enabled her to network with other bright minds.
Lesan is one of the three innovative Kenyans who have just received the Queen’s Young Leaders Award for transforming lives in their communities.
The others are Domitila Chesang and Towett Ngetich.