Kuza Blog » Blog Archives

Author Archives: Kuza Biashara

Starting a business is a leap of faith even in the best of circumstances. We at Kuza Biashara are focussed to encourage these daring small business owners who have the potential to innovate and change the world by contributing to the nation’s economy and livelihood.
About Kuza Biashara

About Kuza Biashara

Starting a business is a leap of faith even in the best of circumstances. We at Kuza Biashara are focussed to encourage these daring small business owners who have the potential to innovate and change the world by contributing to the nation’s economy and livelihood.

Blog business Experiences Learning



Is entrepreneurship a solution to the massive unemployment challenge in the country? Some would argue that young people should rely on their own hustles to make a living due to the huge gap between available jobs and the number of qualified people. However, other people are of the view that entrepreneurship is a tough game that has its own obstacles such as raising capital, acquiring licenses and the huge rate of entrepreneurship ventures that have failed.

This was an interesting conversation I had with Joyce Wagaki, an entrepreneur who started from scratch and is slowly building her brand in African inspired fashion.

If you had told her 5 years ago that she would be a successful entrepreneur, Joyce would have laughed that idea off as impossible. How could she be an entrepreneur yet she was a Journalism and Media Studies graduate, with an amazing voice and a ‘bright future’ in the media industry?

Crushed Dreams

“Before I graduated, I got a 3 month internship at a leading media house. We did a voice test and my voice set me apart from the other interns landing me reporting duties both on radio and on the lunch hour T.V bulletin. I knew then that my goal in life was to be a news reporter and eventually become a news anchor.” Joyce said.

After finally graduating from media school, Joyce was positive it wouldn’t be long before she got a job. She prepared her C.V and her Cover letter and started applying for reporting jobs in the media. She didn’t get any positive responses immediately but she kept applying, kept working on her C.V and following up on the jobs she had applied for.

About 3 years after her graduation with no success in getting employment, Joyce’s sister who was accommodating her in Nairobi got another opportunity in China leaving Joyce to fend for herself while sending her money from time to time for her upkeep.

Seeing her job applications for news reporter/news anchor were not bearing any fruits, she went an extra mile and sent her C.V with voice recordings of herself hoping this would set her apart. Unfortunately no station picked her and this left Joyce frustrated and disappointed.

“I knew I couldn’t go back home because I did not want to burden my parents. Even though my sister supported me, I still needed my independence.”

Entrepreneurship or Employment?

One day, Joyce’s sister saw some handbags in China which had unique prints. Amazingly, the bags were so cheap. She reached out to Joyce and asked her if she would be interested in selling the bags in Kenya.

“At first I was reluctant because I had never thought of being an entrepreneur. However, my sister convinced me to give it a try since one of my strengths was the ability to convince people.”

Joyce’s sister sent the first batch of 20 bags and 20 ear rings. True to her word, the bags had a unique design and print compared to the bags in the market then.

“I knew that my livelihood depended on the sale of those bags and ear rings so I did everything I could to sell them. I started by selling to my close friends and church mates. I also went to town daily with a backpack stashed with some bags and walked office by office selling the bags. Sometimes, I didn’t make any sales, I had to deal with some clients who were so rude but that did not deter me.”

However, this whole time, her mind was still set in the media. She sold bags during the day and in the evening, she did her recordings and kept applying for jobs.

“Impressively, I managed to sell all the 20 bags and ear rings and made a profit of Ksh. 30,000. My sister had bought and shipped the bags and ear rings at only Ksh. 10,000 in China. Since the bags were unique, I sold them at Ksh.800 – Ksh. 1000 per bag and the ear rings at Ksh. 250.”

The Birth of Gaki Collections

This experience made Joyce rethink her initial decision of being employed full time in the media to actually taking entrepreneurship more seriously. Her sister kept sending her bags from China and with time, she expanded her collection to leather bags which were more official compared to the printed ones. She even opened a face book page, Bags and Leather to take advantage of the online market.

Joyce sold the bags for a while and the returns were great, she was able to pay her bills but due to unavoidable circumstances, the bags business was not sustainable.

“I had to think on my feet since I couldn’t keep running an unsustainable business and I still had financial obligations. I thought of going back to applying for jobs but considering how far I had come, this wasn’t an option for me.” Joyce said.

One day Joyce had gone to Eastleigh to meet up a friend. However, as is the typical Kenyan style, her friend kept her waiting for over an hour.

“I was so frustrated when my friend eventually never showed up and called to cancel our meeting. Instead of wasting my day, I decided to take a walk around Eastleigh and window shop because Eastleigh was popular for getting quality items at affordable prices.”

As she was window shopping, Joyce met some ladies selling deras. At the time, she didn’t even know what deras were since it was 2014 and deras were still a new concept in Nairobi.

“I got curious and asked the lady to tell me more about deras, how much they cost, how they are made, e.t.c. She sold me a material for Ksh. 300 then directed me to a tailor who sew the dera for me at only 50 shillings and in a few minutes, the dera was ready.”

The Birth of Gaki Collections


Joyce was so impressed with the end result that she wore the dera to church the next Sunday. Being a lover of taking photos, she took a photo of herself wearing the dera and posted it on facebook that Sunday evening.

“When I woke up the next day, I was surprised to get a lot of requests from my comment section and inbox from people who loved the dera and wanted one for themselves. I was so shocked by the numerous requests but I also saw this as a great business opportunity. Also most people perceived Eastleigh to be unsafe and I took advantage of that by being the middle person between the traders and my clients.”

However, Joyce still hadn’t figured out how she would run the dera business since she needed people’s sizes thus each dera needed to be custom made. So she asked people to send her their measurements and design preferences and she would ensure they get their deras delivered to them at a fee of Ksh. 500.”

That was when Joyce opened Gaki Collections, a face book page that she used to sell deras.

The Birth of Gaki Collections


“With time, one of my clients asked me if she could get African sandals to wear with her dera. At that time, I had no idea where I would get African sandals but one lesson entrepreneurship had taught me was, You do not tell a client No, Just say Yes and figure it out later.”

That is exactly how Joyce started the Gaki collection sandal line which consists of custom made sandals tailored to a client’s needs. All a client needs to do is send details of their shoe size, what color and design they would like their sandals to have and Joyce makes sure she gets the sandals made and delivered anywhere in the country.



Since my business was purely online, I knew there was more to social media and in order for my business and brand to grow, I needed to pick up social media and digital marketing skills.

“That is when the She Goes Digital program came along. Through the program, I learnt how to boost my page, make use of online ads and figure out details such as what time my audience is active online. I made use of the skills I gained through the program and by the end of 2017, I had shipped my goods to Ghana, Liberia and U.S.A and I got even more clients online.”

This year, Joyce plans to open a website for Gaki Collections and also open a shop in town.

Final Word

Our take-away from this interview is that we are all gifted in many ways. However, we need to have the heart to explore. You don’t need to close up your mind to employment as the only source of income, open up your mind to more possibilities.

So what’s your excuse? Get up, identify opportunities around you and make a difference.


Blog business Experiences Learning

My Entrepreneurship Journey: Lessons from Gina Din Kariuki

My Entrepreneurship Journey: Lessons from Gina Din Kariuki

Earlier this week, I was going through my YouTube feed and bumped into a Caroline Mutoko interview with Gina Din Kariuki titled Gina Din Kariuki – @20. Having drawn so much inspiration from Gina Din not only as an entrepreneur but also as a pioneer of Public Relations in Kenya, I knew the interview would come with a wealth of knowledge.

Here are some things that stood out for me from the interview about the different phases of entrepreneurship.


The denial phase signifies the early stages of entrepreneurship where you are transitioning from employment or whatever else you are doing to entrepreneurship.

It’s called the denial phase because as a new entrepreneur, you think you’ll have more freedom, more free time and more money. You enter this phase with high excitement, high expectations and high energy while being in denial about the harsh realities of entrepreneurship.

As a new entrepreneur in the denial phase, you have a clear idea and vision about what you want to do and you can see the potential of your business but you are also not sure how to execute everything at this stage.


During the wilderness phase, your business is gradually picking up and your main focus is bringing more clients on board.

You realize you have bills to pay, new staff to hire and salaries to pay. So what do you do? Be like the hyena, and grab every opportunity available, get as many clients as you can so that you maintain cash flow.

At this point, you rarely consider the quality of impact a client’s project will have. You believe you can do it all as long as it translates into more cash for your business.


So you’ve launched your business, gone through the denial phase where you had a fairy tale about how you envision your business to turn out, your business is just starting to pick up and you have already adjusted to life as an entrepreneur. This is where you transition to the boutique phase.

The boutique phase means you are getting work done, you have secured some clients and you can comfortably pay your staff salaries and cater to your bills.

However, you still hunger for more growth.


The desert phase is probably the trickiest part for most businesses and if you are not careful, this is the phase where you get stuck.

At this point, you have an adequate number of clients, however, you still want more clients. This means you hire more staff thinking it translates to more business. You also want to probably move your office to bigger better premises at a posher location.

However, this becomes a vicious cycle that doesn’t translate into more money for your business because the more money comes in, the more it goes out to other ‘non-essential’ expenses.

The desert phase is hypnotizing, you feel good about yourself about your business and you may end up staying at this phase for too long without any notable growth.


This is the phase where you get a harsh wake up call. The issue is no longer, Is there work? But Is the work I’m doing impactful?

You realize that you don’t need to have a million clients but only a few whose work is impactful. The performance phase is where you scale down on your employees based on their professionalism, performance and stick to projects you can deliver with impact.

This phase also means you have figured out how to make more money for your business while still cost cutting and maximizing on your profit to help you be more flexible financially.

FINAL WORD: Are you an entrepreneur? Can you relate to these 5 phases?

Watch the full video below.

Blog business Learning



Beauty standards in the 21st Century have really changed compared to past years. Nowadays beauty treatments are not only limited to women, men too enjoy getting a professional manicure and pedicure done. This makes starting up a nail parlour a viable business idea especially if you have a passion for making people look beautiful.

This article will help you learn how to set up a nail salon business by answering these key questions;

  1. How much money do I need to get started?
  2. What licences do I need?
  3. What are the basic equipment and items will I need and what is their approximate cost?
  4. How do I get started?
  5. How much profit can I make?

Getting Started

Running a nail salon has its glamorous side but it’s also a lot of work. As the owner of your salon, you need to be conversant with all aspects of your business and also figure out how to make the business sustainable and maintain cash flow.

That said, before getting into the nail salon business, it is advisable to learn by actually working in one. Take up a job at a fairly successful nail salon, learn the ins and outs of successfully managing the business, find out what it is you can do differently, know what are some of the latest nail art techniques and equipment and how much revenue you can expect to make as profit.

As with any other business, you need capital to get started. The least amount you need to open up a small nail salon is Ksh. 100,000 excluding licences and permits.


A good location is key to the success of a nail parlor. It is advisable to choose a location with high foot traffic for maximum visibility. This might set you back quite a generous amount due to high rent and a small outdoor advertisement board to help your business stand out. Rent prices vary from town to town. In Nairobi, depending on the street and proximity of your space from the road, prices vary from Ksh. 60,000 on the higher side to Ksh. 18,000 to Ksh. 10,000 on the lower side excluding goodwill.

You also need to set aside an extra Ksh. 20,000 to Ksh. Ksh. 30,000 to hire a carpenter and interior designer to revamp the space to fit a nail salon.

Basic Equipment and Items to Start-Up (approximate prices)

5 sets Acrylic Nail Tips – @Ksh. 2000 each

Acrylic Nail Kit – Ksh. 10,000

Nail File and Clippers kit – Ksh. 2,000

10 Nail Buffer blocks – @Ksh. 300 each

Nail Polish LED Light Dryer – Ksh. 4,500

Nail Polish (200 pieces) – @Ksh 100

10 Nail Cleansers bottles – @Ksh. 500 each

10 Nail Polish Removers – @Ksh 100 each

10 Nail Glue bottles – @Ksh. 300 each

10 Nail Moisturizers bottles – @Ksh. 500 each

5 Manicure Bowls – @Ksh. 700 each

5 Staff Aprons (depending on number of staff) – @Ksh. 500 each

Water Heater – Ksh. 1,200

Furniture (Seats, Tables, Décor) – Ksh. 7,000

TOTAL – Ksh. 77, 700

 Get Licenced

You will require a single business permit from your county government to operate the nail salon. The cost of it will depend on the size of your business and from an analysis from your area ward rep. A small salon will cost Ksh5,000 – Ksh15,000 per year to license.

Get Started

So you have already identified a suitable location for your nail parlor, gotten the relevant licenses, furnished your work space and bought basic equipment to start with and hired a few staff members to help you. So what’s next? It’s time to open shop.

The first thing you need to do is have an effective marketing strategy that will help you get clients. This can include opening a social media business page, passing out flyers in the neighborhood, having an outdoor advert sign, having a discount for your first customers and depending on your budget, you can organize a grand opening event.

Investment Vs. Profit

To start small, you can start with as little as Ksh100,000 and keep re-injecting your profit as the business grows.

Depending on your price list and the services you offer, a nail salon can make you between Ksh 10,000 to Ksh. 15,000 on a fairly busy day.

Final Word

Nail parlor is a wise and timely business idea that doesn’t necessarily require too much capital and has a lot of potential. If fact, research by popular beauty magazine, NailsMag suggests that 82% of nail salon goers return to get their nails done.


Blog business Learning

6 Tips from A Professional Cleaning Business Owner on How to Get Clients for Your Cleaning Business

6 Tips from A Professional Cleaning Business Owner on How to Get Clients for Your Cleaning Business

Ever wanted to start a cleaning business? Does the idea of actually going out there into the world of business and gaining clients that are going to sustain your business scare you? It really doesn’t have to scare you anymore, well after this post it won’t! This post is going to go over 6 simple, yet highly effective and proven to work, tactics that you can start implementing into your cleaning business today.

1: Business Cards

Before you say to yourself, “business cards are old, they won’t work anymore!” I’d like you to reconsider. However, business cards are only effective when they have two essential elements to them:

i: They are well designed and easy for everyone to read.

ii: You are giving them out often, in the proper situations.

For business cards be effective for you, you need to be passing them out to any relevant person. For example; if someone shows interest in cleaning services, you’re first thought should be to hand out a business card they that they might decide to look at later when making some final decisions on who to go with.

To address the first point, you need well designed cards. Places like VistaPrint are excellent for business cards. They have extremely high quality cards, great prices, and overall amazing services.

2: Flyers and Handouts

Just like last time, I know this one sounds like an old tactic but it isn’t a bad idea! It’s all about where you are placing your flyers and who you are handing them out to. Here are some great ideas for your flyers/ handouts:

i: Hand them out at relevant events where potential clients might be.

ii: Put them on street poles especially in areas with high foot traffic.

iii: Place them indoors on boards open to advertising by local businesses.

As you can tell from the above list, it’s all about where you are placing and delivering your flyers. Although they do need to be well designed, that is only half of the process.

Make it a goal to hand out flyers and put them up around your servicing area once a week, and you’ll be sure to get some leads if you do it right.

3: Have a Website

If you aren’t on the web today, you are missing out on tons of potential customers. People search for cleaning services all of the time, and if you don’t have a website to capture those people you are missing out big time!

Building a website doesn’t have to be hard. Using free services and following guides on how to register domains, get web hosting, and get your website online is all relatively easy to do.

4: Get on Social Media

While having a business website is a must, social media is becoming more and more of a ‘must-have’ today as well.

Everyone is on it, and if you aren’t with the majority you are missing out on so many more potential customers! Be sure to target the right people that would be interested in hiring you for your cleaning services, and stay active!

Posting informative content is key to social media success. A great tip is this; don’t just advertise your services on social media, it won’t get you many (if any) leads.

Instead, post a mix of informative content and promotional offers to get some serious results with social media.

5: Use Targeted Ads

Notice I said targeted? If your ads aren’t targeted towards the right demographics in the proper location, you are going to waste a ton of money and probably get hardly (if any) leads from it.

When using ads you need to make sure you do the following:

i: Set the proper location of the ad (E.g Nairobi)
ii: Target your target market (E.g People aged 18-30)

Ensuring you do those two things will lead to much higher converting ads for your business. If you could learn one thing about ads, it’s to ensure you always use proper location targeting.

You don’t want your ads displaying to someone across the country because they will never buy your services!

6: Encourage Word of Mouth

Last and certainly not least on this list is word of mouth. Using current clients as part of your marketing strategy can be one of the most effective and powerful marketing strategy you will ever use.

Better yet, when you incentivize your clients to talk about and refer other people can be one of the most powerful ways to get referral business that keeps coming back.

You can incentivize people by offering discounts to them, offering free services or extras, or even a simple ‘small gift’ can do the trick.

Have any other ideas on how to promote a cleaning business? The list could go on and on forever, so please share what you’ve found to be highly effective in the comments down below. I’m sure everyone would highly appreciate everyone’s ideas, even me personally!

Author Bio: Owner of CleaningZoom.com, an authority source on starting and growing a cleaning business. CleaningZoom offers resources for all small business owners alike that are interested in the cleaning services industry.



Blog Learning

Why You Never Fulfill Your New Year Resolutions

Why You Never Fulfill Your New Year Resolutions

A New Year is like a new chapter opening in your book of life. This prompts us to create resolutions and make certain changes in our lives. However, researchers looked into the success rates of New Year resolutions and discovered that the first few weeks usually go great but by February, most people are backsliding.

Why is it so hard to follow through with your new year goals? Am sure you have a list of excuses and explanations but they can be summarized into these 5 points;

  1. Your resolutions are not specific

Are your New Year resolutions something like,

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Save Money
  • Eat Healthy
  1. Settle debts
  2. Get a better job

Well, that is probably why you never achieve your goals. Having a list of goals with no defined action points is as good as building castles in the air. Giving details to your goals makes them more realistic and achievable.

For example, if your goal is to lose 36kg’s this year, clearly write that down and put it at a visible place where you can easily see. Then break the goal down into losing at least 3kg’s a month, and have action steps like going to the gym 3 times a week for an hour, getting a nutritionist, cutting down on junk food and any other steps to get to your goal.

  1. You do not have an accountability partner

Having an accountability partner increases your chances of fulfilling your goals. Whether it’s one person or a group of likeminded people, ensure you have someone to walk with you through your journey, someone you can send regular updates of your progress so that they keep you accountable.

If you want to fulfill your resolutions this year, do not keep your goals and resolutions to yourself, share them with someone, your family, friends. When the day comes when you slip up or get distracted, they will be there to encourage you and hold you accountable.

  1. You do not write down your resolutions

Writing down your goals may seem like a simple activity but it is vital in helping you fulfill your goals. It is one thing to have your goals listed in your mind where you can easily forget and another to write down your goals.

Making a physical list of the things you want to achieve helps make sense and plan on how to make your goals a reality. Carry a pen and notebook with you everywhere you go, you never know when you’ll get an idea of your next goal. Writing down your goal also helps you break it down into daily, weekly and monthly action steps to keep you accountable.

  1. You start Planning for your Resolutions late

The New Year always feels like the perfect time to set resolutions and make them work. Contrary to popular belief however, nothing magical happens on January 1st. If your goal is more dependent on a date rather than your attitude and readiness, you’re bound to fail.

The tip here is to start now. If you can start living healthy now, why wait to start next year?

The New Year should be more about taking stock of how far you have gone with your previous goals and creating a way forward on how to do better during the New Year.

  1. Lack of discipline in following up your resolutions

New Year Resolutions have the lowest success rates. In fact, research shows that only 8% of people achieve their New Year goals. This means that most New Year resolutions get ditched not so long after they are made, in fact, some never even take off. So what’s the point of setting New Year resolutions if you don’t follow through?

Lack of discipline is why. As you set your resolutions, it is important to not just do it for the sake of it but have a purpose behind it. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you need to have a why behind it. This will keep you focused and help you stop procrastinating.

Blog business Experiences

Developing Start-Up Strategies Poised for Success

Developing Start-Up Strategies Poised for Success

No astute definition of ‘start-up’ exists. It is broadly categorized as a new business venture. It could be based at home, a street-side stall or have hip presence on Internet. In brief, all new businesses are start-ups. Everything from a new neighbourhood sandwich cart to glitzy high-tech software companies are start-ups. Businesses less than five years old get included in this definition too.

A word of caution

Setting up a start-up is easy. Finding funds is hard. Keeping the business afloat is harder. Findings by British commercial insurer RSA indicates, 50 percent of all start-ups in UK failed within the first five years. Insufficient government support, lack of bank loans, regulatory issues, intense competition and high operational costs are cited as reasons. Venture capital experts claim that about 90 percent of all start-ups fail . This scenario indubitably requires strong strategies for launching any start-up.

Off the beaten track

Proverbial flock mentality plagues most start-ups. Entrepreneurs eye successful ventures to imitate. Pitted against established businesses, they stand little chance for success. Uniqueness or exclusivity is the first rule for success. Evolve concepts nobody dreamt of. Get a fair idea about target customers, suppliers and logistics. Discuss ideas with people from diverse industries but remain secretive of your own concept.

Putting it in words

Type the concept on a PC, laptop or simply write it down. Readable concepts can be further developed and refined. Amend any feature where required. Once you have a clear idea about the start-up, draft an excellent project report. Funds permitting, rope in services of a professional project report writer. Great project reports attract attention. Finer detail boosts prospects of the right person reading the project report- and taking action.

Incubators and Accelerators

Joining a renowned start-up incubator works wonders. Start-up incubators guide and instruct entrepreneurs. They refine a project while developing business models. Incubators focus on innovations and are industry specific.

Accelerators help businesses grow. They help by focusing resources of start-ups in most profitable directions. Accelerators look at putting start-ups on the fast track of growth.

Both are vital for a successful start-up strategy.

What’s in a name?

Everything and more, as history has proved. Catchy, easy-to-remember, innovative brands fare better in the market over those with boring, traditional identities. Stretch your imagination, get creative or seek help from relatives and friends. Great concepts with brand identities exhibit a penchant to flop. A good sounding brand requires great looking logo. Presentations for start-ups look better when made under a brand and logo. They lend a business look. Make branding a major part of your start-up strategy.

Money matters

The trickiest part comes here. Funding start-ups is extremely complex and tiresome. Angel investors and venture capitalists are spoilt for choice. Bank loans for start-ups are almost non-existent. Financial institutions do not lend to companies that live in fertile minds and a few scraps of paper- they require proof.  Thrift is key for start-ups. Launch the business with minimum budget, limiting operational expenses where possible. Common and not-so-common modes of staffing and operations combined help save costs while maximising profits during initial years. Successful start-up strategies do not include high costs.

Finding money

A great strategy for successful start-ups involves finding seed or initial capital. Knowing who can finance how much is key to successful funding. Start-up incubators and accelerators provide essential insights into the complex world of angel investments and venture capital.

  • Self finance: Investing your savings/ assets to seed a start-up.
  • Crowd funding: Collecting money from public for a start-up. These investors get stocks of your company, commensurate with amounts chipped in.
  • Bank/ Institutional credit: Money borrowed from banks/ financial institutions to fund start-ups. Most lenders are reluctant but with some collateral, you may get lucky to get bank loan.
  • Government funding: Almost inexistent. Yet, some ministries do offer soft loans and credit for ventures they believe may help the society at large. These include start-ups concerned with environment protection, animal welfare, alleviation of poverty, child and mother care, facilities for persons with special needs, prevention of HIV/ AIDS and other sensitive, global concerns.
  • Social organizations: Start-ups with obvious benefits for the society attract attention of social welfare organizations. Some consider chipping in with seed investment.
  • Family holding: Hailed as best way to fund start-ups. Getting family members interested in your start-up by encouraging them to invest in exchange of stocks. Ensures your successful start-up remains within the family.
  • Venture capital: Those who got strategies and presentations right attract venture capital. Such funding is limited to seeding the business and initial years of operation.
  • Conglomerate funding: Business conglomerates look for start-ups that can assist their trade. A good presentation to those in your field can help generate much needed funds.

Saving taxes

Taxes and government charges often wreak havoc on profitability. Acquaint yourself with local taxation regimes. Superb strategies for successful start-ups find ways and means to lower tax burden. This means operating from a section of your home, if merited. Avail tax benefits offered to new businesses.

Low cost employment

Students, fresh graduates and freelancers make excellent staff, once trained. Base your start-up strategy on employing these categories of manpower. They can be paid by the hour or for specific jobs only to help cut expenses on wages. Qualified professionals can be hired as consultants only, when required. Working online and getting staff to work from home reduces transportation expenses immensely.

Carpet bombing the market

An essential component of a successful strategy for start-ups is creating brand awareness before hitting the market. Teaser ads in local media, through stores and restaurants, clubs and community hang-outs, social circles help create excellent brand awareness. Those lucky may find investors and customers well before launch.

Splash in cyber world

Strong presence in cyber world is prerequisite to any successful strategy for start-ups. Register the domain of your company and post regular updates about the project. These should be sufficient to keep interest alive but insufficient to alert competitors. Blogging about your start-up, posting frequent press releases and ‘leaking’ insider news to websites works in favour. Email stakeholders frequently about latest developments and innovations, company news and other relevant information aimed at keeping them engaged.

Social media spans the world

A decade ago, nobody would have imagined Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to stand where they are. For start-ups, healthy social media presence works miracles. It helps disseminate information about your start-up to people across the world at fraction of a penny. Social media allows stakeholders, decision makers, investors and other entities to “feel” your start-up through pictures, videos, posts and comments. Social media offers essential tools for introspection and quick turnaround of offerings.

Health and wellness

The secret to successful start-up lies in your health and wellness strategies too. Setting up a business is indeed tiresome. Lack of sleep and skipped meals are common. These take severe toll on wellbeing of entrepreneurs. Lack of concentration combined with mood swings can destroy an enterprise before it gets off drawing board. Include health and wellness as part of your start-up strategy. It also helps foster a good impression among investors and other stakeholders.

Author Bio:
Pritam Nagrale is a blogger and running a digital marketing company in Mumbai. His blog MoneyConnexion writes about make money ideas & tips on Saving Money.

Blog Experiences Learning

Our top 10 blog articles from 2017

Our top 10 blog articles from 2017

2017 has been a tough year for small business owners in kenya mainly due to the political uncertainty that clouded the country for almost half the year. However, one thing stood out; the resilience shown by small business and sme owners in kenya through this tough times. Through the year however, the kuza biashara blog has remained consistent in sharing informative articles that empower budding entrepreneurs and small business owners to start or grow their businesses.

It’s that time of the year where we reviewed the articles that resonated most with our audience from inspiring life stories from entrepreneurs who had to overcome major struggles to build their business empires to creative business ideas you had no idea we’re viable and motivating articles to get you out of your comfort zone to go out and implement your business ideas.

Here is a roundup of our favorite articles from 2017;


You’ve probably gone through the best schools, gotten excellent grades all through your education which helped you secure a job quite fast and now you have a healthy paycheck every month. However, could the fact that you are smart also be a hindrance to your progress in life? This article definitely gives you something to sit down, analyze and rethink the decisions you make in your life moving forward.


The Kuza Biashara #SheGoesDigital Program was undoubtedly one of the most successful programs we conducted this year. The program attracted over 600 applicants from all over the country out of whom 50 young women were selected to go through the intense practical training free of charge. After 45 days, 42 young women successfully graduated from the training and were placed for paid internships at leading companies in the country.


When you think about starting a mabati factory business, you think big expensive machines and a lot of capital. However, this article gives insight into how you can break through into the mabati industry with about Ksh. 5 Million and make a healthy profit of about Ksh. 4 Million per month.


With a budget of as low as Ksh. 500,000 to as high as Ksh. 1, 000, 000, you could be well on your way to having your own Misumari Factory. This is a great business idea especially due to the booming construction industry in Kenya. This article clearly states all you need to know before venturing into the misumari business and make approximately Ksh. 210,000 profit per month.


Tycose Keeru is one of the few women who has climbed the ranks in the male dominated field of construction. A graduate of Kuza Biashara’s Mason’s program to equip masons with digital literacy, entrepreneurship and soft skills, the founder of Typca Contractors has had to overcome a lot of challenges to build the booming construction business empire she runs. Her inspirational story is one of our favorites;


Moses Ndura’s story is certainly an inspiration to young people, especially those keen to venture into entrepreneurship. At barely the age of 30, the founder of Container World Kenya proves that you do not need a bank account full of cash to build your business empire. If you have been notorious for procrastinating implementing your business idea, Moses’ story will challenge you to get off your comfort zone.


This is one of those articles that totally demystifies the mindset that you need hundreds of thousands to millions to start a business and make a healthy profit. With a little as Ksh. 1000, you can venture into any of these 10 businesses, start small and eventually grow into a full fledged business;


What comes to your mind when you think of Nakuru? The flamingoes, the sizzling Menengai crater or the friendly locals? Despite its calm exterior, Nakuru town is responsible for some of the most successful businesses in Kenya. Read all about it in the article below;


Most of us wake up early every morning to go to work so as to create a better future for ourselves and our families. However, does the comfort that employment provide also contribute to the costly misinformed decisions you are prone to make. This article is certainly an eye opener for us employed folks.


This article takes the crown of our favorite article from 2017 because of how the writer paints a clear picture of how the choices we make in life have long term implications that you may ignore especially if you are short sighted with your goals. If you haven’t read this article yet, you have no idea what you are missing out on.


Do you have any favorite articles from the Kuza Biashara Blog in 2017? Feel free to share with us in the comment box below.

Blog business Learning

How to Make Ksh. 30, 000 Monthly from Dhania Farming

How to Make Ksh. 30, 000 Monthly from Dhania Farming

Dhania is a popular spice in Kenya commonly used in stews and kachumbari. Universally known as coriander, dhania is loved because of its pleasant aroma and the delicious flavor that it adds to food.

Getting into dhania farming is a profitable venture due to its high demand both locally and internationally. A report by Farm Biz Africa stated that the international demand for dhania and similar herbs has gone up by 40% with farmers gaining more revenues of up to 25% compared to traditional crops. If you are interested in making money out of dhania farming, here is what you need to know:


You can get quality dhania seeds from Kenya Seed Company, Simlaw Seeds, Kenya Highlands Seed Co. Ltd and other seed companies for Ksh. 1000.
After tilling land, plant coriander seeds in drills 30cm apart at a sowing depth of 2.5cm – 3.5cm. You should expect germination to take place 10 days after sowing.

Dhania seeds

Dhania seeds


To control weeds, thin the plants when they get to 7-15cm.
Dhania also requires regular watering as the plant responds well to even distribution of moisture. Also ensure the soil is rich in manure. If not, apply well decomposed organic manure regularly.
Some of the challenges you’ll face are attacks from pests like aphids and diseases like bacterial leaf spot, soft rot and powdery mildew. However, these are easily controlled through maintaining field hygiene, crop rotation, seed dressing and using disease free seeds. Spraying with pesticides and fungicides is not recommended unless it is necessary.


Dhania matures for harvesting within 4-6 weeks after planting. Start by harvesting the largest ones first to allow the smaller plants to grow. It is advisable to harvest dhania immediately the leaves are ripe for harvesting lest they get feathery and turn yellow.
For storage, soak the roots of the harvested dhania in water to keep them fresh.

harvested dhania
harvested dhania


For an acre plot of land, dhania seeds will cost you Ksh. 1000 in order to obtain maximum yield. Dhania is a fairly easy crop to maintain and you do not need to spend so much on labor. You can expect to make a profit of Ksh. 30,000-35,000 monthly.


Dhania farming is a great side hustle if you wish to make extra cash. Planting dhania is also profitable, given it is not a labor intensive crop and does not require a lot of maintenance. Dhania also has ready market both locally and internationally. Coupled with the fact that dhania doesn’t take too long to mature, that makes it is an attractive hustle to venture into.

Blog business Experiences

7 Apps that Will Help transform your Sales

7 Apps that Will Help transform your Sales

If you are looking for different ways to ensure that your sales increase, you may need more than just an advertising team. You need to make maximum use of current resources and productivity. You might need a new approach to solve problems that may arise and to keep a closer look at your team’s work. You will also need proper analytics, data, and insights. There are some things that Salesforce cannot do but luckily, there are some apps that will help you get all that is missing.

There are very many apps you can use to help increase your sales but here are the best apps that you need:

  1. Inside View

This app’s main aim is to deliver the right messages at the right time and to the right person. It triggers events and analyzes your social network connections. If your sales force contact base is a bit lacking, Inside view will provide you with updating and import features. It also lets you monitor over 30,000 sources so as to get sales intelligence. Sales intelligence helps you to execute shifts, business mergers and release of new products. Those in your sales team can also look at valuable information from prospects and it lets you track activities from their profiles and also act at the right moment.

  1. Market analytics

This app helps you boost your marketing campaigns and improve the quality of your leads. It easily helps you create landing pages on your website. It also has an in-built lead scoring ability. The system handles lead scoring with a fresh approach and saves effort and time.

  1. Demand tools

Salesforce tools such as Salesforce DX can be time-consuming. This app (https://www.flosum.com/flosums-integration-with-salesforce-dx/) aims to provide you with an improved and more enhanced structure while also automating some tedious admin duties. It also removes duplicates and cleans up standardized data so as to sort it easily.

  1. Cirrus Insight

If you are using Google apps along with Salesforce, cirrus insights will help you integrate sales force with Office 365. You can also track emails and see when and where they have been opened and on which device. Integration is easy and fast. It makes managing effortless.

  1. Conga compose

This app will help take your sales force fields and objects and turn them into documents. It works very well with HTML-based emails and PDF forms to help you create more invoices, proposals, and quotes. It uses existing rules to distribute and craft reports automatically. The most valuable feature has to be its ability to integrate into your existing Salesforce workflow. You can also schedule solutions and use event triggers to increase productivity.

  1. Geopointe mapping Analytics

Many businesses or companies need to unlock customer data and Geopointe provides companies with systems that work in a similar way to Google maps. They help create boundaries and assign territories. This tool also helps improve the productivity of salespeople.

  1. Gravity Forms and WordPress

Gravity forms plugin will move data from your contact forms to your sales force. You may also use the built-in-web-lead system.


Author bio
Sujain Thomas is an app developer and business marketer who has worked with flosum.com for 6 years. She uses Salesforce tools to implement ideas and develop apps add-ons.


Blog business Learning

10 Tips for Finding a Workplace Dream Team

workplace dream team

In today’s world, working in line with a team of good employees is important if you want to attain success. Good employees will keep your business afloat in a variety of both predicted and unforeseen situations. Simply put, whether you are the CEO, manager, or undisputed company superstar, the future of your company does not depend on you. It’s all about your employees. For most companies, however, finding good employees has become hard and seems to be getting harder all the time. A recent study indicates that 68% of human resource departments report problems filling positions. This has gone up from 50% in 2015. If you can’t find good employees, here are ten tips to help you find a workplace dream team.

1. Use Social Media
Facebook, twitter, and other interactive platforms have not only changed how we do business but have also transformed how companies recruit employees now days. Hiring managers and recruiters are increasingly using social platforms to search for talent. You should also use these platforms to find employees as well. Use social media targeting features to reach people who match the talents, region, and even hobbies that you require.

2. Take Advantage of Recruitment Organizations
In-house recruiters are relying on recruitment agencies to fill vacancies. Recruitment organizations align their support with your goals and help you cut costs that you would otherwise spend on conventional methods of hiring and recruiting candidates. If you are looking for IT professional, for instance, you can partner with IT recruiting agencies to ensure you get exceptional IT experts.

3. Break Geographical Barriers
The world has evolved, and geographical limitations should not stop you from getting the employees you want. Technology lets you connect with people around the world. Use it to look for employees beyond your locality.

4. Use Your Current Team to Find New Talent
Your employees know everything about your company and can give potential candidates a real insight to your business. They understand your company’s values and expectations and will help you bring in people with the necessary experiences and expertise.

5. Figure out What Positions Job Seekers Are Looking For
When posting a job opening, you want to make sure what you post compliments job searchers needs and ambitions. A simple research online and offline will help you know what job searchers want and help you come up with titles and content that match what most job seekers are looking for.

6. Use Mutual Connections
Use your colleagues, former colleagues, and friends to get new talent. Those close to you know more about you and your company and will recommend the right type of candidate who would help you enhance productivity. Use mutual connections to learn more about a candidate. This will not only help you get competent employees but will also influence and motivate employees to live up to their reputation.

7. Use Emails to Hire Candidates
Email communication has become an integral part of the recruitment process, and more recruiters are embracing it. When it comes to emails, job seekers are incredibly responsive and are more likely to pay attention to what you are saying. Use emails to reach the candidates that you need.

8. Contact Previous Candidates
Don’t let the resumes and data of previous candidates collect dust in your desk drawer. Use them. Previous applicants can be turned into a talent gold mine. They know about your company and are interested in working for you. Contact them.

9. Target Your Rivals’ Employees
If you are in an industry where there is stiff competition, poaching for talent can help gain an edge. A recent study reveals that employees who are contracted to work for an organization that competes with a former employer come in with enhanced energy and motivation that translates to increased productivity.

10. Use Paid internships
Investing in paid internships will help you lure the brightest and most talented candidates available on the job market. Internships allow you test the waters and help you identify which of the interns suits your needs and wants.

Final Word – With these tips, you will certainly find a workplace dream team.

Blog business Learning



Starting your own business isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s stressful and pretty much demands your complete focus. On the plus side, it can also be a fulfilling experience professionally and personally.

Do a self-inventory:  Not everyone has what it takes to start a company. That’s not to say that your idea is not brilliant. It just means that you may not have the personality traits to handle launching a company of your own. Before investing any time or resources, evaluate yourself and see if you have some the typical traits of an entrepreneur. Are you motivated, able to adapt and confident? Are you resilient? Do you have personal integrity?

Develop an idea:  Don’t just start a business because something is in vogue and you think commercializing it will make money. Develop a business concept that you’re passionate about related to something that you have experience with. From there, come up with a product or service that you believe can enhance the people’s lives.

Test the plausibility: Once you’ve settled on an idea, figure out how you can make it become a reality. Is the product or service something that people want or need? Can you make a profit selling it? Does the product work?

Write a business plan:  A solid business plan will guide you going forward. It’s also needed for presenting your idea to potential investors. Your business plan should include a mission statement, a company summary, an executive summary, a service or product offerings, a description of a target market, financial projections and the cost of the operation.

Identify your market:  Even though you may have detected some interest in your business, you need to do more homework. Assess the market, targeting the customers most likely to make a purchase. Perform a competitive assessment.

Determine the costs: Do additional research and find out the standard cost factors within this industry. Not only will this help you manage your business more effectively, investors will want to know this.

Establish a budget:  Once you determine how much money you’ll have to work with, figure out how much it will take to develop your product or service and create a marketing plan.

Find the right investors:  You’re going to need some sort of funding to start off, whether from your savings, credit cards, loans, grants or venture capitalists. Find an investor who shares your passion, someone you believe you can work with.

Listen to investors: Whether you like it, investors do have a say in your company. And you need to listen to their advice or suggestion. But that doesn’t mean you have to do what they tell you.

Set up a great support system:  You’re going to be investing a lot of time and resources into your new business venture. Be certain that your family is on board. They must be aware that this process will be challenging financially and emotionally.

Determine the legal structure:  Settle on which form of ownership is best for you: a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation, an S corporation, a nonprofit or a cooperative.
Select a business name:  Decide on a name that best suits your business. Then check to see if the domain name is available online, as well as if it’s free to use in your county, state and in the country.

Register your business name:  If your proposed business name is available, register it with the government, have it trademarked and secure a domain name.
Take advantage of free resources: to enhance your business skills, numerous free resources can offer advice, training and assistance.e.g kuza biashara, mara mentor #askkirubi etc.

Determine tax obligations: Now it’s time to wrestle with the tax obligations.

Secure permits and licenses: Ensure you begin the application process for permits and licences early enough since some of these processes take quite some time.

Buy insurance:  Make sure that you arrange for the proper insurance for your business. This will vary according to the type of business. If you’re working from home be sure that your homeowner’s insurance covers theft or damage to business assets, as well as liability for any business- related injuries.

Set up the accounts books:  Figure out if you’re using a cash or accrual system, determine the fiscal year for the business and set up a recordkeeping system.

Choose a business location: Select a location that best fits the needs of your business, one that offers an opportunity for growth, the right level of competition and proximity to suppliers. It should also be accessible to customers.

Don’t worry about an office: If you’re not making any revenue, then don’t concern yourself with an office or warehouse just yet.

A patent can wait: Patents can cost thousands of dollars. Wait to pursue this route until you have a few customers paying the bills. A patent is less useful if you can’t enforce it or have the money to see it through.

Be flexible: Chances are that your original idea will have to be modified. Being able to pivot and adapt to create what customers want will determine if your business will fail or succeed.

Share your ideas with friends and family: Your nearest and dearest will most likely be the most honest with you about your business. Don’t hesitate to seek their advice and suggestions.

Ignore the naysayers: At the same time, there’s a difference between constructive criticism and someone’s quick jab projecting that your business will fail. Always ignore them.

Don’t become angry: If your idea is rejected by customers or investors, don’t just succumb to anger. Find out what they didn’t like, make adjustments and go back to them when you’ve made the changes. There’s the possibility that the timing was wrong as well.

Deliver the product or service fast: Your business is a work in progress and if you launch your product or service quickly, you will be able to build a community of customers who can provide valuable feedback that can help you improve the offerings.

Offer new products or services: If you already have customers, be sure to hold on to them by providing new products or services.

Be patient: Always keep in mind that success won’t happen overnight. It’s going to take some time before you make a profit.

Over deliver at first: Once you land a new client, be sure to go above and beyond the call of duty for at least the first month. You’ll have this customer hooked from then on.

Blog all the time: Don’t be ashamed to share both your triumphs and struggles. Customers will enjoy your honesty.

Avoid fights with partners: If you have disagreements with partners, then sever ties as soon as possible. In-house bickering will prevent you from focusing on growing the business.

Don’t worry about dilution: So an investor has required a stake in the company. Recognize the fact that eventually at one point or another you’ll have to give up some control of the business. Accept it and move on.

Hire a copywriter/secretary:  Unless you’re an excellent writer, hire a copywriter to compose emails for highly targeted customers. A copywriter will also prove handy for press releases and other pieces to spread brand awareness or provide business updates.

Prepare for meetings: When preparing for a meeting with a client, read up on everything that’s available, steeping yourself in information about the industry, that firm’s employees and its competition.

Don’t fear the competition: Don’t bad-mouth the competition when talking to investors or customers. There’s no need to become an object of pity. In fact, talking in this manner might even point customers to a competitor who may offer a product or service that you don’t. Remember, when competition exists, there’s a market for your business. Use that knowledge as inspiration to outperform a rival.

Benefit from word-of-mouth: Nothing beats some good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing. Let friends, family members and influencers in your field spread the word about your product or service.
Network: Don’t be afraid to get out there and show your face to the public, whether at a conference or just being out and about with friend on a Friday night. But try to stay local because travel can dwindle your budget.

Provide outstanding customer service: Interacting with people is a big part of the job. Your business may gain new customers because you made them feel important.

 Be sure your website functions: Potential customers want to know as much about your business as possible and they should be able to quickly access that kind of information on your website.
Don’t be overly concerned by the economy: Some of the best businesses have launched during a recession.

Make sure clients pay their bills on time: Always be certain to receive payment for your products or services. Instead of being taken advantage of, establish a time frame for payment. It also wouldn’t hurt to accept credit cards and have an online payment system set up.

Find the right employees: Hire the right people for the job. Even though it’s your business, you won’t be skilled at every task, which is why you need qualified people to complete the work.

Assign responsibilities: Delegate attainable tasks to employees. This is all about effective management.
Know that honesty is the best policy: If any issues with employees emerge, be sure that they are addressed. No one enjoys being talked about behind their back.

Remember that opposites attract: Hire people with skills and personalities that are the opposite to yours. They’ll challenge you and will bring different skills and talents to the business that you don’t.

Say goodbye to your social life: You’re going to spend a lot of time devoted to the business. Even if you plan a night out, you may leave early because a light bulb just went off. Hopefully those closest in your life will understand.

Recognize that you’ll be the final person to be paid: As the CEO, you’re the last to collect a cheque. That’s just how it works until there’s adequate revenue.

Arrive at a useful definition of success: Just because your business hasn’t made you a millionaire (yet) doesn’t mean that your enterprise is a failure. If you’re able to make some sort of profit doing something that you’re passionate about, isn’t that a success story?

Realize when it’s time to move on:  Failure is inevitable. If things aren’t working out and you’ve done all you can, then put aside your pride and close up shop. Something like this is not easy to accept. But it’s for the best.

Don’t just rely on the advice of others: Despite my offering up all of these tips for you, perhaps the most important piece of advice is something learned the hard way: While many people may offer a startup assistance, recognize that in the end you’re the person running the show and the one responsible for the company’s success and failure. If you understand what worked and what didn’t, you’ll burnish the skills and knowledge to run your business.


Blog business

Why Is It Difficult For Female Entrepreneurs to Get Investors?

Image Courtesy | Odyssey Online

For some reason, many investors prefer investing in men compared to women. Access to funding is one of the biggest challenges for women entrepreneurs. Female Entrepreneurs, regularly ought to make greater effort to show their credibility compared to male entrepreneurs, especially when dealing with Venture Capitalists who are a male-dominated group.

This may be due to the predetermined notion that women are not as competent as men as far as Entrepreneurship is concerned.

In this article, we look at some predictable reasons for why female entrepreneurs find it more difficult to get funding.

1. Entrepreneurship Experience

The lack of practical entrepreneurial experience is one of the reasons why women fail to get proper funding. Many women lack entrepreneurial aptitude because of lack of practical experience.

Aspiring women entrepreneurs have to first get practical experience in the field they hope to venture into before they begin implementation of their business ideas. This will help them get some exposure and help them to better handle challenges they face in entrepreneurship. Practical experience in entrepreneurship greatly compliments the knowledge we get from books and studies.

2. Mobility

Due to having to juggle between family commitments and professional life, many women entrepreneurs are not able to give their 100% to entrepreneurial ventures. Cultural restrictions imposed on women in certain places also serve as a challenge since women don’t have freedom to travel to business meetings and move around to fulfill their commitments.

However, the hassle lies within the perception of every individual. To overcome this, women should ensure they have support of their close circle of relatives and friends when they decide to venture into business. Whether you are a married woman or a single woman, the support and the encouragement of family is vital. Women also need to establish a balance between household commitments and business pressures.

3. Venture Capitalists

Venture capitalists prefer to invest in startups run by people they know directly or indirectly since they trust them more. However, the gender gap between men and women in entrepreneurship highly favors men posing a challenge to female entrepreneurs who often have to work twice as hard to secure funding from venture capitalists.

Female and male entrepreneurs may have similar qualifications, however, the minor gender-based variations pose a challenge but then, hope and possibility remains. Women should not only be encouraged to get into entrepreneurship but also to become venture capitalists so that they can help other women to come up.

4. Profile

Many people think that the profile of a successful entrepreneur is that of a man. If you try to think about it, you’ll understand how true that is. Whenever it comes to giving an example of successful entrepreneurs, we take into account Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Dhirubhai Ambani etc.

That is the same image in the thoughts of financial establishments too. They have an opinion that men could be extra reliable than their female counterparts.

To overcome this, we need to change our mindset to embrace and celebrate women in business. As much as we also appreciate the contribution made by reputable men in the entrepreneurship world, we shouldn’t forget the women who have conquered the world.

5. Networks

Having lesser networks is also a reason for female entrepreneurs not getting funding. That’s due to the fact that networking uncovers possibilities where they may not be apparent, giving entrepreneur’s access to capital and management when they require it. A person with contacts of 100 members is much less probable to know someone who is powerful than a person with 300 contacts in their network.

A recent study found that women have smaller networks than men, spend less face time with their seniors, and are much more likely to have a network made up of different women. All of that adds up to fewer opportunities and the notion that Women founders lack network contacts.

Women are hindered in building networks due to the fact that they have a tendency to be worried about their work-life stability.  All the studies about networking display that men generally tend to spend extra time with men, while women frequently have very balanced networks.

Final Word

Over the past years, female entrepreneurs had to prove themselves in the male dominated world of entrepreneurship where for a long time, they haven’t received the same treatment when it comes to opportunities. However, this trend has been changing. Women have proved their worth in all fields.

There have been several trials made my social activists to offer girls equal opportunities in all areas, which helped to enhance the situation. But still, there is still more work that needs to be done. Few investment corporations have been initiated with women entrepreneurs who made it big. Considering the gender bias in Venture Capitalist funding, there should be a change. When more women get into entrepreneurship, then more Venture Capitalists can see successful women entrepreneurs. And women entrepreneurs should change their approach towards networking in order to secure Venture Capital.

Even though many entrepreneurs face gender discrimination yet there is a hope that there are as many experienced successful women venture capitalists that started their own enterprises, and they keep inspiring the other Women to succeed.

Author Bio:

Pritam Nagrale is a blogger and running a digital marketing company in Mumbai. His blog SureJob writes about make money ideas & tips on career development.