How I’d Invest Ksh100,000 To Build A Profitable Small Business – Opinion

SME tool-kit in Kenya

We always encourage the youth to inculcate a strong saving and investment culture so that they can get the capital and will-power to innovate and launch  new businesses. In this article, we asked Mr. Karanja (one of our team members here at Kuza Biashara) to expound on how they'd invest a starting capital of Ksh100,000. And although his strategy is not 100% fool-proof, we believe there is a lot in it for you to LEARN, CONNECT & GROW.

Invest In A SACCO
Piggy Bank
If I had 100K today, I would first join a SACCO (e.g. Waumini Sacco or Unaitas) where I’d save half of that amount split into small installments over a period of 10 months. This would ensure that before the year ends I have enough capital back-up somewhere to power my business. My decision to invest in a SACCO is informed by the fact that most such organizations are willing to lend one up to 6 times their savings provided you have saved for at least 6 months with them.
Do A Feasibility Study
Given that I’d still have the other Ksh50,000 with me, I would spend at least 2 months doing a feasibility study. I would compare many different ideas and go to the ground to ascertain their practicality. Most importantly, I would do market research and even initiate a professional relationship with potential buyers of my products so that I have a reliable foundation by the time I set foot into the waters.
Start Investing
kenyan currency
Given that I know one or two things about farming, I would certainly think about venturing into agri-business. My focus would be on land around a major city such as Nairobi or Thika. There are many rural areas in places like Murang’a, Fly Over, Kijabe, Isinya, Narok, Naivasha or even Githunguri where one can lease a small piece of land for a short period of time.
Particularly I would look for a place where they lease a half an acre or quarter acre at Ksh10,000 or thereabout per year. This should preferably not be too far from the road (or at least accessible on a motorbike).
I would also spend another Ksh10,000 to for expert advice, travel and other related expenses.
For now I am yet to choose between strawberry farming, red onion farming, garlic farming and tomato farming but I am sure a feasibility study would help me make an informed decision. For now, let’s say I would choose red onion farming.
Get Moving
Now that I have leased land, paid for expert advice and done a feasibility study I would go ahead and start preparing to start. This involves tilling the land, acquiring seedlings, fertilizer and other requirements. This would also be the ideal time to request for a loan from my SACCO which hopefully will be Ksh50,000×6 = Ksh300,000.
This would be enough to maximize on the productivity of the farm. For instance, I would think of investing in a green-house, aquaponics system and a water tank to ensure steady supply of water to my farm.
Image of Strawberry Aquaponics. Credit:aquaponicsplan
Still, I would invest in a small motorbike which costs Ksh100,000. Not to forget marketing and branding which I estimate would could cost me around Ksh20,000 minimum.
It is also prudent to prepare for a rainy day so I would set aside Ksh80,000 as backup capital.
Most of the crops that I would focus on take 3 to 5 months to mature. But to be realistic the first harvesting season is always a learning experience. It’s normal to make mistakes in business so for starters I would work to achieve stability by re-investing whatever returns I get. Hopefully, within a year after starting the farm I will have repaid the SACCO loan and the beautiful farm will be 100% mine.
What are your thoughts about Mr. Karanja’s investment strategy? In your opinion which strategy would you use to invest your Ksh100,000?

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