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Rewarding small businesses you can start with less than Sh10,000

Although some businesses cannot be started without having large sums of capital, it is still very possible to set up a profitable one with very little money.

However, any type of business you may want to venture whether large or small, it is advisable to not to be faint-hearted kind of an individual.

Instead, you have to be patient, consistent, and ready to make losses. Below are some great business ideas that you can try out for a good profit margin.

Smokies and eggs business

Cook hands prepares smoky meat on grill oven, burger cooking. Hamburger preparation process, fast food, bbq

Cook hands prepares smoky meat on grill oven, burger cooking. Hamburger preparation process, fast food, bbq

In this business, you just need less than Sh10,000. If you are a beginner, you need a smokie grilling equipment that goes for around Sh5,000, a supply of smokies and eggs, and some charcoal. 

For smokies, you can get them at the nearest Farmer’s choice shop at Sh330 per packet which contains 22 pieces. 

Eggs, you can get supplies from your nearest shop or source from friends, where normally a tray goes for Sh300 or even as low as Sh280 during peak seasons.

You need a strategic location for this kind of business such as near bus stops and stages, areas around learning institutions, around bars and clubs, near hospitals and industrial areas, junctions, market places, especially in town.

At Sh330, it means every piece goes at Sh15 each which you can sell at Sh25 to get a profit of Sh10. And if you are in a highly-populated area where you can sell like five or more packets, you get very high returns.

If you manage to sell five packets a day, with each packet containing 22 pieces, you will have sold 110 pieces and if you sell each at Sh25, you will make Sh2,750. 

Your expenses for the day can run into Sh1650, averagely. This comprises of kachumbari cost which is averagely Sh100 for tomatoes, onions, and dhania.  That adds up to Sh1750. Total profits from that sale will then total up to Sh2750-1750=Sh1,000 a day.

Plus eggs, your profit will be elevated. Take for instance you sell averagely two trays of eggs per day. That is Sh60, with every egg going at Sh20 translating to Sh1,200 a day. 

The expenses involved for eggs per day are Sh600 for two trays of eggs.  That means, the profit you will make in a day for eggs is Sh600.

Making beaded handbags and sandals

graceful shoes of the bride, studded with shiny beads, stand on the beige floor next to a small white clutch decorated with beads

graceful shoes of the bride, studded with shiny beads, stand on the beige floor next to a small white clutch decorated with beads

This is another business that is unique and female-dominated, though, if you are a man and interested, you are not cut out.

Just a kilogram of beads will cost you Sh370 in Nairobi. For a handbag and sandals, one kilogram of beads is enough.

The selling cost of those sandals and handbag will range from Sh3,500 to Sh4,000.

For a starter, training and equipment costs such as needles and string can be about Sh3,000 and Sh600 respectively.

Wallpaper selling

wallpaper in a flea market

wallpaper in a flea market

 

Selling wallpapers is one of the viable business ideas in Kenya since most of the people in Kenya live in houses with dull painting and they will be willing to spend to make the inside of their houses shine.

As a businessman, you will be dealing with handy wallpapers. You can get this kind of wallpapers from the local wholesalers or get them by importing from other countries.

The cost of ten meters of wallpaper roll can be around Sh1,600. Including other expenses, the total expense of the business might be approximately Sh1,800 to Sh2,000.

After getting the material you can sell that wallpaper roll for Sh3,600 including installation charge for Sh1,500. It can generate double profit and more revenue.

 

 


Blog

Great business opportunities to ride on amid the rising online purchases in Kenya

happy girl with colorful shopping bags sitting with laptop and credit card isolated over yellow

Generally, the idea of starting a business is really exciting for most entrepreneurs.
However, even as many ideas require time, money, and risk, there are actually many ways to start a business that lets you focus less on the logistics and upfront costs and more on getting started.

Currently, due to the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the country and people limiting social contact, online purchases have risen.
According to the latest report dubbed COVID-19 CEMEA Impact Tracker by Visa on commerce for consumers and small merchants in Kenya, there will be 88 percent growth in contactless business transactions post-COVID-19.

Already there is an increase of first-time online buyers in various sectors with grocery reporting 39 percent new consumers while new purchasers of pharmaceutical products stand at 43 percent.

With these rising online purchases in the country during and post coronavirus pandemic, these low-investment small-business opportunities can make a great entry point for you as a beginner or even anyone with a busy schedule as a side hustle without having to drop everything else.

Creating an online boutique

Flat lay of woman clothing and accessories in pastel colors. Modern classic style concept

Flat lay of woman clothing and accessories in pastel colors. Modern classic style concept

This calls for your love for fashion and being ready to share your sense of style online.
In this, you will have to come up with your own online fashion boutique.
Interestingly enough, you do not need to become a fashion designer either but you can simply curate items from other vendors into your own online store.
These items could include shoes, dresses, accessories, swimwear, and more which you can use to build your own fashion brand using one of the several product sourcing apps that you can find online.

You can then model them in your own product photos and create social media posts to enable you to build an online following and become a trendsetter.

This will further enable you to source and sell the products to your various followers or even an affiliate marketer with several brands.

Building a great online audience that you can monetize

Vlogger streaming a live video live

Vlogger streaming a live video live

Great marketers have predicted that going forward, online influencers are going to be one great means through which brands are going to market their products.
There are already such influencers earning good money and maybe you are wondering how to become one.

No capital. You just need to have the skills and the ability to capture and keep the attention of others and turn it to an asset. Yes, many businesses today are willing to pay for this and you will be able to convert it into a business with multiple revenue streams.

You can decide to grow your following on Instagram, YouTube, or a blog or even a combination of different channels and you will have many avenues for monetizing your audience spanning from sponsored posts on behalf of brands to becoming an affiliate marketer selling physical or digital products.

Creating digital products or courses


This is another unique idea in this line of business as you will not incur manufacturing or shipping costs hence your profit margins will always remain high.
Here, you can engage in digital products such as music, courses, and templates by figuring out what makes a good digital product which is useful enough that people are willing to pay to download.

The templates should be of help to people keen to level up their skills in a particular field while the music and photos should be original to allow licensing to other creators.
In fact, if you have a talent that can easily be made into a digital product or content, you can start thinking about packaging it into a new stream of income.

Becoming a drop shipper

This is one of the cheapest and quickest businesses to get up and running as you do not have to handle any product but just to make the sales and pass orders on to your supplier.
It is actually is an easy business to start as it is where a third-party supplier stores and ships inventory to customers on your behalf hence it is scalable, hands-off and low overhead.
You can curate products from your multiple suppliers into your own online store and when a customer buys a product from you, the order is sent to your supplier, who then fulfills it on your behalf.
The store can, for example, be named water bowls for dog owners or gear for yoga enthusiasts because you will still need to market the products and up your consumer relations.
Today, there are both local and overseas suppliers you can start working with and build your trust on.
You can start by ordering your own product and gauge the reliability of the supplier and test how the product sells before fully engaging in the business.


Blog

Porridge making and selling, a rare business that can earn you Sh60,000 a month

114. customers enjoying porridge

It is very rare to find food kiosks or someone hawking porridge in town as compared to tea business which very popular. This is because selling porridge is regarded by many as a business that is socially out of the norm but which can see you walk home with up to Sh60,000 a month if done well.

Depending on the scale at which you may want to operate it, porridge business does not require much capital to begin. At Sh20,000 you can lead a thriving venture.

For such an engagement, you need to be on the safe side by acquiring food and hygiene business license which comes with the peace of mind.

Here, a public health officer will have to inspect your business premises to ascertain that it is safe and clean to prepare food. Once you are approved which may cost you Sh5,000, you will be issued a license to operate the business.

114. porridge and githeri

As you grow your business, you will also be required to obtain a food handlers certificate and a fire certificate especially when you increase the number of employees and more customers.

These certificates and licenses will help you avoid any issues with the county askaris.

from here, you will have to move to looking for equipment, strategic location and marketing your product which can be tedious but once the business picks, even your usual customers will be your business ambassadors.

For a start, you will need to balance the remaining Sh15,000 to buy equipment such as some sufuria which can accommodate 10 liters, a jiko, some measuring cups and a thermos flask of about five litres and which can keep the porridge worm for some time.

You will also need some finger millet flour which goes at Sh100 per kilo wholesale price or Sh120 a kilo retail price. On the other hand, you can also buy the grains and take to a posho mill for grinding.

Be careful to start fermenting or adding lemon to make it sour because some customers may not like it so but with time and as the number of your customers increase you may introduce the various flavours to meet their varied needs.

With time you can also start serving your porridge with other foods such as githeri, madazi, chapati, rice/beans and even fried groundnuts which will also increase your income.

The best location for this business is near garages, construction sites and congested areas such as bus stages.

Karen as popularly known by her customers has been making and selling porridge at cross road of Charles Rubia and Acra Road in Nairobi CBD. 

114. porridge

At this point, there is a stage of long-distance buses to Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and DR Congo. There is also some religious activity where the Muslims and Christians engage in religious discussions (muhathara) almost on a daily basis and some garages around as the place is close to Kirinyaga Road.

According to Karen, this has been giving her a good customer base and just from serving porridge (uji) alone, she has nowadays introduced mahamri and githeri.

“I started this business two years ago with Sh4,000. By then, I was making porridge from my house and bringing it here to hawk using some thermos flasks but when the demand increased, I had to sweet-talk the city askaris to let me operate from this base,” said Karen.

She says when she introduces the other products, she had to bring in another person to help her especially in serving customers as she focuses in making porridge and the ‘escorts’.

She sells a tea-sized cup of porridge at Sh20, a plate of githeri goes at Sh40 while mahamris sells at Sh5 each. She has since been making about 40 litres of porridge using two sufurias which accommodate 20 litres each.

In a good month the mother of two says she can walk home with about Sh60,000 gross incomes which after deducting her expenses she remains with Sh40,000 net income.

“The advantage I have is that many restaurants around only sell tea and there are also some hawkers who sell tea around but not many are in the business of porridge hence less competition,” said Karen.

She says that the business is unique and any serious entrepreneur can venture in to make a living.


Blog

How you can walk home with Sh100,000 a month by just being an errand boy in town

Errand boy carrying package box of grocery food and drink from store

You just found yourself in town jobless and clueless of what you can do to at least have an income, well, here is a good idea that can get you going.

Talk of errand boys in the busy Nairobi central business district (CBD), for example, all you need is to develop trust among your clients, no capital, no nothing and you shall have kick-started a thriving business that can see you walk home with Sh100,000 per month.

Of course, you must have seen posts on social media of these kind of people busy making themselves know not necessarily marketing themselves but having such a free online presence where they can easily be spotted.

‘Are you in NAIROBI, are you looking for a person who can run errands for you….do shopping, pick a child from school, post mails, any home or office errand of between 30 min to 1hour’ is one of the posts on a social media page indicating that it is actually a real business that puts food on the table and settle other bills for a number of people in town.

Peak time for this kind of business is between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm which means if you are interested in this kind of business you must train yourself to be an ‘early bird’.

One key and thriving part of this business is actually to spot a parking space for your clients given the fact that most of the people especially the working class always find it difficult locating a parking lot within the busy streets hence a good opportunity to help and earn something.

In this, you need to know the city well to be able to identify which roads most of these people enter the CBD and which areas they would like to park their cars. 

Do not start staging yourself at Commercial Bus Stage or Railways Bus Station, for example, and expect to make a kill in this business. Around Kenyatta Avenue, Mama Ngina and Koinange Streets are just but some good examples of places you can spot your clients.

When they want to leave their parking spaces, it is also good to help them out as most of the time it is about reversing and there is fear of knocking other vehicles or structures.

Other services that you can also offer include purchasing items and doing banking transactions on behalf of your client and with time and increased trust, more other duties that they may ask of you will come along increasing your income opportunities.

In this, you can start by charging each client Sh50 only and you can serve as many as 100 people per day translating to Sh5,000 a day.

Assuming you work for 20 days for the four weeks in a month, this figure will go up to Sh100,000.

Now you know what to do in the city when you find yourself jobless instead of being a pick-pocketer or a con which are unprofitable and very disastrous.


Blog

Starting a photocopy business in Kenya, all you need to know

Photocopier

You may confuse it with a cyber cafe business which is in another league all together. For a photocopy business, the main equipment you need to start is a photocopier and a computer.

It is one of the businesses that was feared could be wiped out by the emergence of the digital era which was poised to do away with paper work but a walk in busy streets of Nairobi, for example, you will realise that the centuries old business is still viable.

Leave alone the busy Nairobi CBD where the business can be spotted in multiple numbers in almost every building, it has also continued to pop up in every area countrywide due to its easy-to-start nature and limited barrier to set up.

111. Printer

However, its simplicity to start should not lead you to invest blindly. Always strive to know some few basics that will lead you to running a thriving business as listed below.

Acquiring a license

License is one of the most important things to think of before any other step in starting a business as it keeps you at peace with authorities.

Here, you need the local authority license which is a requirement for all businesses. The cost varies from county to county with the average cost being Sh3,000 for a standard business.

There is also a kopiken license from the copyright body which costs Sh1,500 for a 3 in 1 small office printer, Sh3,500 for 1 to 2 normal size copiers, 3 to 5 normal size copiers Sh5,000, and Sh7,000 for 6 to 10 normal size copiers.

Remember not having the required license attracts penalties hence it is better to be safe than sorry.

Location

Just like in every other business, photocopy business needs strategic positioning.

Places experiencing high human traffic such as in buildings and highways can be ideal. You should also consider surrounding facilities such as campus or technical institution targeting students who are the most consumers in this area of business.

Equipment

As mentioned earlier, the main equipment needed in this business is a photocopier and a computer.

Being one of the basic equipment, you should be very careful when choosing a photocopier to work with and in this case, you need to factor in factors such as:

-scale of your business, 

-the ease of maintenance and repair. Do not buy a photocopier whose spare parts cannot be easily found.

-printing speed

-finishing

-versatility

-user friendliness, etc

Photocopiers come in different types namely, 3 in 1 with a printer which comes with a copier and scanner, HP Deskjet 2050A which is an all in one printer costing between Sh5,000-8,000, and HP 2515 going for Sh16,000.

You can also get the machines at a reduced cost when you buy second hands but ensure you source from a trusted dealer to avoid any inconveniences.

For the computer, any standard one should be able to connect with your photocopier and do the job. It is advisable to go for good processing powers, depending on the other services you may offer.

Your photocopy business may be in a cyber, which means you need a computer that connects easily to the internet.

Luckily for you, the prices of computers have greatly decreased yet all the computers have basic functions.

You will also need a scanner of which a good one will cost you roughly Sh7,000-14,000 but is you have a 3 in 1 printer, this won’t be necessary as you do no need a scanner.

A laminator is another required thing. Most people will come to laminate A4 papers but if you can buy a laminator which can do A3s the better. A standard laminator in Kenya costs Sh4,000 -7,000

You also need a binding machine which is purchased based on how many pages it can bind at go. Most colleges only need to bind 50 to 70 pages at a go.

And finnally on the equipment, you need supporting tools that include stationery, staplers, spiral binders, flash drives, etc.

Possible returns

Like any other business, the goal when starting a photocopy business is to make a profit.

The price of photocopying a single page in black and white usually ranges from 1 shilling to 5 shillings.

When it comes to printing, the cost ranges from 3 shillings to 5 shillings.

If the page is colored, it goes up to 20 shillings per page.

For glossy pages, the prices vary from 5 shillings to 50 shillings per page. If you still want to make more, try a bigger paper size and you can charge more.

Remember, the factors that will influence your pricing include the quality of printing, location, market demand, and demographic.

Finally, it is always important to find your niche in your business and extra services such as offering public services such as KRA pin registration, having a typist to type documents, etc will give you an edge over your competitors.

 


Blog

Bookkeeping services for small businesses, a great opportunity for young professionals

Bookkeeping services for small businesses in Kenya

You are an accounting graduate or have skills in bookkeeping and you want to get serious about starting a business then this is for you.

According to a 2018 report published by (Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) on Drivers of Change and Future Skills in Kenya, accountancy profession and skills are and will be the most needed by businesses and institutions in the future.

Indeed, Kenya has the largest economy in East Africa, and the accountancy profession in the country has played a key role in supporting the country’s economic growth.

However, of concern are small businesses which are held back by a failure to exploit fully the skills of accountants. 

Here is where a business opportunity lies for you because some of these small businesses are side hustles mostly managed by entrepreneurs who are engaged in some full-time employment and do not have enough time to record their financial status.

At the same time, they are shy of sourcing a well-established audit firms to do bookkeeping for them as the business is still small and hiring an audit firm can even be more expensive.

In fact, they consider hiring bookkeeping freelancers in Kenya as quite affordable as compared to a full-time employee as they believe they can save up to 50 per cent in business cost by hiring bookkeeping freelancer.

This has made bookkeeping and accounting perhaps one of the most in-demand services in town that small businesses will farm out to part-time freelancers and you can be one.

All you need is your skills in bookkeeping and the ability to work with various software. Sometimes these skills might not be found in school but career experience where you get to learn on the job can serve better.

And because these days getting an internship, whether paid or unpaid, is not easy, this is why you need to start with the small businesses where you can gather the experience and get some income to improve your skills in future maybe by registering for computerized accounting classes where you can learn the use sophisticated software such as Sun, Oracle, MC, Turnquest, Sage-Pastel and QuickBooks that bigger companies are now using.

While the best and cheapest way of making yourself known by those who need bookkeeping services is via social media where you may use some little cash to place an ad and also through friends, registering with some online space such as Truelancer.com can be of great help.

Though, in Kenya audit firms charge Sh430 per hour for their bookkeepers, you can charge Sh200 per hour since most of these small businesses do not much data to work on other than daily sales and stock.

At this rate, you only need about 10 individuals or businesses in town and you will be sure of Sh2,000 per day and Sh10,000 a week assuming you work for five days.

Bryan Kwena, is one of the renown bookkeepers in Nairobi. He says he has been, for over 10 years worked with small business entrepreneurs just for bookkeeping services.

“Most of these guys do not know how to keep their financial records and to make matters worse a good number of them are not in touch with their businesses on a daily basis, making bookkeeping a selling service in town,” said Bryan.

He has about five permamnet clients whom he services on a daily basis for about three hours each and he chargers Sh200-400 per hour depending on the scale of the business.

You can be like him, just be a go-getter.


Blog

Millennial entrepreneur builds a chain of luxury salon business in Nairobi from Sh7,500 capital

Georgina Kirungo

Salon business has been one of the most thriving business in Kenya following the willingness of most women to spend an extra coin to have their hairs look attractive.

According to a 2013 survey by the Kenya Women Money Habits Survey, on women’s spending, Kenya’s hair industry which is fast booming is worth Sh20 billion, thanks to women willing to spend their money on grooming & beauty.

Today, the African hair extension market is estimated to be worth Sh60.2 trillion making it a huge interest with nearly every lady wanting to contribute to this mega pie.

On average, many Nairobian entrepreneurs in the sector will tell you that a basic salon requires Sh150,000 to start. 

Assuming one already has a strategic location, this cash can be used to buy basic equipment such as a blowdryer, curling iron, dryer and combs, as well as styling products and cover a month’s rent for the small outlet.

However, for Georgina Kirungo, the Founder of Nywele Creative company, only Sh7,500 from her personal savings was enough for her to start her, now thriving business small in 2011.

110. Georgina Kirungo

Indeed, it has become one of the leading chains of luxury hair with three boutiques in Nairobi’s upmarket Krishna Center in Westlands, Green House Mall on Ngong Road, Two Rivers along Limuru Road and Garden City Mall on Thika Road.

The company deals in products, goods, merchandise, services and activities related to salons, manicure and pedicure, facial care, braiding and plaiting and spa services.

“I had to start small because one of the challenges I realised the sector has been facing is the fact that some clients do not understand why there is need to spend on quality services and there is need to carry them along. With time they come to appreciate the work and begin to start demanding for better services with increased willingness to spend,” said Georgina.

She says that this is why some of the salon owners face challenges and that it cuts across the industry in the Kenyan market include the counterfeit virgin hair distributed throughout the country.

The culture of bargaining stemming from the belief that cheap is better is actually fueling the business making it difficult to convince clients into the idea that genuine high-quality hair extensions are like most other high-priced investments.

A genuine virgin hair costs between Sh11,000 and Sh400,000 for a piece.

However, living up to their promise of consistency and providing the same standard of high-quality products and services in all their branches has been the company’s secret to success.

110. Georgina Kirungo2

“In this industry, offering the best is the only way to win. Today, some of my clients include entrepreneurs, senior Government officials, and TV presenters among other other celebrities,” said the 29 year-old entrepreneur.

Kirungo says that it is the techniques her team employs in their complimentary hair salons to ensure that the natural hair is protected is what keeps their customers coming.

“This has aided us in our aim to create a network of women with a fine taste for artistry and a community where we can share our values and inform one another on similar interests.”

To form the best work-force that gives the desired outcome for their wide client base, the company from time to time does increase the number of the employees even as it continue to open up new branches and more business opportunities.

“Our team has grown over the years and we recruit individuals who have a strong passion for what we do and a strong ability to carry out professional services within this field,” said Kirugo.

110. Nywele Creative salon

Nywele Creative is now one of the leading virgin hair brand in East Africa saving a wide range of clients in the Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, UK, US, Sweden and UAE.

The firm boasts of over 15 staff and an annual turnover of over Sh50 million.

 


Blog

With Sh300,000 you can start mineral water distribution and net over Sh20,000 a week

water

With an estimated 50,000 graduates that Kenyan universities produce every year not to mention other graduates from vocational training institutions, unemployment is becoming a real disaster.

It follows therefore that there is need for business ideas that can help, especially the youth to get engaged in and make a living and the traditional bottled water distribution is one.

In Kenya, traditional bottled water market continues to thrive with sales estimated at Sh12 billion per year and over 100 brands available can provide a niche market for distributors.

Being one of the essential commodities in every society, water actually falls under fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) that sales quickly and at a relatively low cost.

With Sh300,000 you can venture in the distribution of bottled mineral water and be sure of making cool cash on a weekly basis.

First, you can start by buying some two second hand motorcycles which are relatively cheaper as compared to tuktuks or band new ones.

There are several online sites in Kenya where you can find people selling secondhand motorcycles at between Sh35,000 and Sh55,000.

For instance, a Tornado of 125cc and still in high performance can be found at Sh35,000 on pigiame.co.ke while a Boxer Bajaj of 150cc goes at Sh40,000 on the same site.

Let us assume you settle on two that costs Sh40,000 each of which you can operate one as you employ another person to help you with the other, you will still remain with Sh220,000 that can enable you to go for some bottles of water.

At Sh15 each (wholesale price), you can actually buy 14,666 bottles of 300ml which you can distribute at Sh17 per bottle and make an extra Sh2 per bottle.

This will arrive you at Sh249,322 translating to Sh29,322 gross profit a week.

If you minus about Sh5,000, your operation costs which include fuel, labour and other expenses, you will remain with Sh24,322 in a single week, Sh97,288 net income in a month and further Sh1,167,456 net in a year‬.

That is how simple you can become a millionaire in a year. However, this will depend on the effort put to realise daily goals as with business you need to be timely and consistent to match or even outdo your competitors.

Even if the wholesale price of the 300ml mineral water bottles can be increased to Sh25 from Sh15 given the fluctuation nature of the Kenyan market, you can still make some profit just at a distribution rate of Sh2 up per bottle.

In business, it is that small margin that will make your service be sought-after by your clients and hence have an edge over your competitors.

Remember, in every business there are risks but it takes a leap of faith to invest in ideas which are well calculated, planned and implemented to realise good returns.

In fact, this idea that can also apply well with Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other soft drinks which are in the category of FMCGs.


Agripreneur Blog

Former Photographer Clicks Fortune with Agribusiness

How a former photograher clicked fortune with Agribusiness (2)

In the wake of the digital camera revolution and the entrance of smartphones with super quality picture taking abilities in Kenya, Noah Rono was among the worried lot as his life had depended on his analog photography.

The work he stated in 2005 was facing extinction as people started owning mobile phones which they could easily use to capture the moment.

“Others who did not have the phones started embracing modern cameras which gave them instant results. They preferred the new cameras to the old ones which they had to wait a bit longer to get their photographs,” said Rono.

Noah and his colleague

Noah and his colleague

This is how he gradually lost his over five years source of livelihood as he did not have enough money to buy expensive digital cameras. 

So, what was left for Rono? He was not going to sit there and give up on life while his peers were making a kill in maize production. It was those days the issue of the leading staple crop in the country had not been highly politicised as today.

He therefore in 2010 decided to try his hand in maize farming by investing the Sh5,000 part of his savings to grow the crop within an acre piece of the plot.

He would also grow some cabbages on another one acre just to ensure that his family had enough to eat.

On realising the potential of maize farming as one way he could also draw a good income from, in 2013 he decided to drop growing vegetables and focus on maize production.

Noah holding a record keeping book

Noah holding a record keeping book

“I increased the acreage under maize farming from two to three and to further make a good income, I decided that I would sell them green rather than grains which were the norm by any farmer in the area,” said Rono. 

Upon maturity, he harvested his crops from two acres while green for the market. He would preserve the remaining one acre for his family consumption.

To his surprise, the green maize he sold earned him Sh240,000 much more than he would have reaped from grains. That is how he got motivated.

In the subsequent season, he decided to spent Sh120,000 to lease two acres to add to his previous three acres totaling to five.

These, he also decided to do green maize on three while the remaining, to be harvested for grains and his earnings from the crop kept increasing.

But again, his fear was how long he was going to maintain his standards of earning going into the future. At some point the soil was going to start rejecting that one particular crop is grown in it over and over again.

“Luckily enough, in 2017 I chanced to attend a training by Cereal Growers Association (CGA) field officers who trained us on good agricultural practices such as planting certified seeds, crop rotation, minimum soil tillage, and mulching among others,” said the Mesibei, Njoro Sub-county farmer.

Rono then decided to shift to commercial production of potatoes which he from season to season rotated with maize and other indigenous vegetables.

Again, after two seasons of growing potatoes, he realised that there were storage and market challenges as many farmers in the area were into commercial potato production and prices were always dictated by middlemen.

“I, therefore, decided to source for certified potato seeds and major in multiplying the planting materials for the farmers while on the other hand aggregate their produce and sell to traders hence increasing their bargaining power.’’

He says that just within a quarter an acre he can harvest 50 bags of potato seeds weighing 50 kilos each which he sells at Sh2,000 a bag.

Noah and colleague ploughing

Noah and colleague ploughing

Towards the end of 2018, Rono was registered by CGA as an Agribusiness Advisor under the Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) program . As part of this program, he has attended a number of training programs and has also undergone six-months of intensive Business Development, Entrepreneurship & Coaching (BDEC program) and Mentoring sessions conducted by Kuza Biashara, which has shaped him as a sharper agripreneur.

Today, the former film photographer is clicking fortunes in agribusiness which earns him a minimum of Sh50,000 a season and Sh5,000 a month from an agro vet shop which also helps him to connect farmers with affordable farms inputs.

From just 23 farmers he started with, he now has 78 farmers whom he also trains. The least, he says, can harvest 36 bags of potatoes weighing 50kg each while the highest of the farmers can manage 60 bags of the same measure.

A bag goes at between Sh2,000 and Sh2,500 depending on the variety of the potato and the quality produced.


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How farmers and traders can move food and other essential goods during COVID 19 period

Transferring essential goods during COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID 19) has disorganized almost every sector of life in the world and Kenya is no exception.

One of the challenges governments are facing is how to reach people in partial lockdown city estates and counties with essential goods that include foods produced by farmers and vital services as well.

In Kenya, the latest areas that the government has imposed a partial lockdowns to contain the deadly virus include Eastleigh Estate in Nairobi and Mombasa’s Old Town which have huge population and key markets for various food products.

Prior, the government had also partially locked down Nairobi Metropolitan area and the counties of Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale and Mandera restricting the movement of people in and out of the areas.

At the same time the government had to ensure that people in those areas are not cut off from essential goods and services and that farmers and manufacturers of the goods do not incur heavy losses because of the restrictions.

In this light, the authority has put down measures to ensure farmers and traders can ferry their goods to the designated areas to reach the locked-in population without any hindrance by the police. These legal measures are as below:

Farmers, for instance, are first required to send an email to the Horticulture Crop Directorate (HCD) via hcdtechnical@gmail.com.

The email should specify the purpose which is ‘Request for vehicle stickers and driver pass’.

Other details that the email must address include producer’s name (producer here can be an individual farmer or a company), farm location, type of crop, date of transport, origin and destination of the cargo, name and quantity of the produce on board, name of the driver and his or her assistants (must not exceed three), and finally the vehicle registration number.

HCD will in turn verify the details and issue pass almost immediately in an email that is accompanied with a sticker to be placed on the vehicle.

These requirements also apply to exporters especially for moving their goods from the farm to the ports.

banana packed for market

On the day of transport

For the farmers or traders moving essential goods, they should ensure on the particular day of transporting the goods that the following are adhered to:

  1. The vehicle shall have a poster/sticker/notice pasted stating that the goods or farm produce being transported fall within the purview of essential goods in that particular area. Some of the wordings that can be seen on the stickers include “EXEMPTED GOODS AS PER ORDERS” or “ESSENTIAL MEDICAL SUPPLIES” and the likes.
  2. The driver and any other person accompanying the driver of the vehicle shall carry with them a valid Government identity proof and a letter from the company, to be presented when required by any authority.
  3. The driver shall keep a letter from the company stating that the company is engaged in the business of manufacturing, selling, procuring and transporting exempted essential goods as required by the government.
  4. The vehicle shall also be equipped with all other documents necessary in the normal course of transport of goods.
  5. Finally and most importantly, vehicles moving the essential goods shall be required to maintain hygiene, sanitation and strictly follow social distancing norms while on transit.

It is important that while both the county and national governments are trying all that is possible to keep the COVID 19 at bay, it is the responsibility of everyone to ensure that they play within the requirements by the Ministry of Health in order to keep safe by not further spreading the virus.


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TIPS ON HOW TO COPE DURING THE COVID19 PANDEMIC

www.kuza.one

There are many times that man faces challenges but none can compare to the pandemic that is coronavirus. The fear of not knowing what awaits you. Will you get infected at some point? If you do, will you recover? Will you be immune after recovering or will you develop permanent complications due to the virus? All these are questions that linger on people’s minds on top of other factors influenced by the presence of the virus in the world. The novel covid19 being a new virus means there is so much that we don’t know and we continue learning with time. Time many may not have at this moment.

Be informed

Governments and WHO have given all the information they have on Covid19 in an effort to create awareness on the virus. One can only protect themselves if they are armed with information. Knowing how it is spread, measures you can take to prevent the spread and what actions to take when you suspect you may have been infected are some of the important aspects that everyone needs to be familiar with.

Take care of your mental health

What are you doing about your mental status? This pandemic may just reveal to you that you are not mentally strong as you thought, That is ok, the first step is by acknowledging the feelings you experience, fear anxiety, paranoia, etc. and work towards getting yourself into a better mental space. How can you do that? Avoid watching any COVID-19 related news. Most of the important information about it you already know so don’t follow up on how many more have been infected and how many are dead. It will only serve to give you anxiety. Remember that before Covid19 there were other illnesses like the flu, malaria and even the common cold so don’t panic every time you sneeze or get a headache.

Follow directives

The good news about this virus is that you can determine if you get it or not! People are advised to stay at home, practice social distancing, frequently wash hands and wear a mask when visiting supermarkets. If you follow these directives it is highly likely that you will remain safe and as a nation, we may be able to flatten the curve. Though it is easier said than done, we have to make the right choice to stay safe.

Be a quick thinker

The effects of the pandemic on the economy could be catastrophic. Most employees have had to take pay cuts and others losing their jobs altogether. This is not a time to panic but rather look for viable solutions. Plan what you can do with the resources you have. Have a sewing machine in the house that you rarely use? How about you make and sell face masks. Work with what you have and don’t despair.

Final word

It is dusk before its dawn so brace yourself for a bumpy ride. Take solace in knowing there have been virus outbreaks in history that all came to pass and so shall the COVID 19. Do everything within your power to stay safe and this too you shall read about in the history books.


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A SMALL BUSINESS THAT YOU CAN START WITH LESS THAN KSH 2500 CAPITAL

Different beads for making women's jewelry.Bright colored beads

The Corona Pandemic has literally brought things to a standstill. Life has changed drastically with many people working from home and some businesses such as restaurants having to close down. There is no need to panic especially if you run a business, adapt to ways that will see you stay in business. If you lost your income generator one way or another there is no need to panic. Take a step back think things through and figure out what else you can do to put food on your table. One such business is making Jewelry from Beads

Raw Materials

Take advantage of the daylight to source for the beads. One of the places you can find beads include River Road in Nairobi. As you travel around sourcing for these beads remember about the curfew and make sure to be done in time. You wouldn’t want to create another problem when trying to solve one problem. Identify beads depending on the designs you intend to make. It’s better to have a variety of beads that way you are able to make a variety of jewelry. 

Design

Do your research and find out what kind of jewelry is trending. The fashion industry is dynamic and you wouldn’t want to spend hours working on a product that doesn’t sell. If you are a creative person great if not don’t panic there are fashion magazines and the internet, you don’t have to steal other peoples designs but you can get inspirations from there to work on your own designs.

Cost.

The capital you need here will not be so much because what you need more importantly is the skil and the creativity. 

Beads——————–ksh. 1000

Strings ———————ksh 400

Small Pliers——————–ksh. 200

Other accessories——Ksh. 600

These will make you about 50 Necklaces if you sell each necklace at ksh. 300 that is a profit of Ksh. 12800

Market.

If there is one thing that stands out in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic it’s the people’s presence online. Now more than ever people are online trying to get information out there since they are not able to go outside. Use this opportunity to post your product online. Be consistent in your post giving as much details as possible such as the price the design, mode of payment etc. Have a plan in place for delivering the jewelry to clients.

Final Word

People may be under quarantine but that does not mean that they have stopped living. For some, buying something such as jewelry is what they exactly need as it signifies hope, hope that all this shall pass and they will get to wear that piece of jewelry and it will remind them of a very difficult time that they survived. So go on try jewelry business and let us know how it goes.