Shanice Atieno: Kenyan Woman Running Successful Business in Greece

Shanice Atieno: Kenyan Woman Running Successful Business in Greece
Shanice Atieno: Kenyan Woman Running Successful Business in Greece

Every other year, Kenyans travel in numbers seeking greener pastures abroad, in a quest to fend for themselves or their families. Most of them either seek full-time employment or scholarships with part-time hustles. Having grown up as an orphan, Shanice Atieno left Kenya for greener pastures but with a different motivation, to succeed.

Popularly known as Santorini queen, Atieno is the founder of Romani Tours, one of the largest travel agencies in Santorini, which rents out cars and boats to tourists.

Santorini is a unique Island in Greece that swarms with tourists from all over the country.

The Island houses the Monastery of Santorini, the island’s highest point. At Santorini, they have views of the ocean, distant little islands, and lava-pebble beaches in shades of black, red, and white.

That’s why Santorini is one of the most renowned islands in the world, also known as Thira in antiquity. Atieno’s faced numerous challenges and setbacks in her rise to the top.

When she first arrived in Greece, the entrepreneur managed to get a tax number, but the employment number took a long time to be processed. This prompted her to make up for the time by visiting different Islands across the country.

During her stay in Santorini, a friend invited her for dinner and informed her that somebody else would join them. Little did she know that the guest at dinner that night would be her future husband.

Her-would-be husband offered her a job as a salesperson at his company, on the condition that she knew how to drive.

“He told me he needed employees for his company. He also needed a salesperson, but one that can also drive,

“But I did not have a European driving licence I only had the Kenyan licence but international, so I hoped he would not ask for the international one,” she added.

He thus asked her to drive them from one location to another on a test, promising to offer her the job after accomplishing the task.

The other challenge that emerged was the husband lived in Santorini while she lived in Athens, the Greek capital. However, they managed to work out the challenges, and their relationship would transition into marriage.

Atieno credits her husband with helping her start Romani Tours, stating, “He saw me as a sharp lady, a quick learner, and he has assisted me to grow my business and establish networks.”

She, however, admitted that running the business is hectic and that she barely gets enough sleep, mostly during the peak season.

At Santorini, she has at least 100 villas, 200 rental cars and tour boats. In addition, she has 20 staff working in her company.

Her cheapest villa, the economy one, costs $40 (Ksh 4920) per night off-season but shoots to $80 (Ksh 9840) during peak season.

She has also experienced prejudice and racism from a few of the tourists.




Shanice Atieno: Kenyan Woman Running Successful Business in Greece

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