271 installments • 40%
My names are Stephen Karanja Mwai and I am 29 years old. I was brought up in a humble background in a remote village in Ndia Constituency in Kirinyaga County. As the last born in a family of ten, I was fortunate to have elder brothers and sisters who supported me in my education. Nevertheless, I was not lucky enough to enjoy the warmth and soothing words of my mother who died of hypertensive stroke when I was only three years old. I attended a local primary school where I studied for 9 years. Waking up at the crack of dawn and walking 2 kilometers to school every day on bare foot for 9 years is an experience that will always linger in my mind. Despite lack of school fees on a number of occasions, my persistence enabled me to score good grades that landed me in a reputable high school in 2001. Six years later, I joined Kenyatta University where I pursued a Bsc. degree in Biotechnology for four years. After graduating in Dec 2010, my expectations and hopes of securing a good job were high. Moreover, people at my place always have a lot of hope in the few individuals who are lucky to acquire university education. After looking for a job for four months without success, I consulted my friends who offered to train me as a freelance writer. Since I did not have a personal computer, I had to learn typing and writing research papers in the cyber. At first, it was challenging because of my slow typing speed and lack of money to settle my bills. After one year of hard work, I managed to buy my own laptop which made my work much easier and convenient. In the meantime, my relatives and friends at home were constantly asking me whether I got a well-paying job. I felt bad to disappoint them when I told them that I was still hustling for one. Once I became proficient as freelance writer, I decided to save some money with the aim of starting a small business. Given that freelance writing is a seasonal job, I saw it prudent to invest $940 of my savings in a retail shop. Before I managed to save this money, I had struggled with the problem of unwise spending of my money. After realizing that I needed help to overcome this problem, I took the initiative to attend various seminars where I gained useful tips on how to inculcate a culture of saving. With the help of my niece, the business has picked up well. When I am not in my shop, I am writing research papers while my niece operates the business. Moreover, the business is young and therefore requires more investment so that it can reach a stage where it can sustain itself. As such, a certain percentage of the money that I earn from freelance writing is channeled towards expanding the range of products available in my shop. Before making the decision to invest my hard-earned savings in the shop business, I took time to locate the best location that had the potential for doing the business. With the help of my brother who have many years of experience in business, I was able to locate a good place in Kayole Nairobi. My hope is to grow the business gradually with the goal of having my own supermarket. My hobbies include playing guitar, swimming, writing academic papers, and posting comments on social media.
My business is a retail shop that deals with selling food items such as rice, maize flour, wheat flour, sugar, cooking oil, baked products such as cakes and bread, milk, eggs, and juices. Recently, I have added hair gels and lotions to the stock. The shop is located in the outskirts of Nairobi City in a town called Kayole. I started the business about one year ago with a capital of $940. The shop serves a fairly large number of customers since it is strategically located at a junction along a busy street with many residents and passersby. The goods that I sell at my shop have a high demand since the area is residential with many low and middle income earners who need to do frequent shopping of food items to feed their families. The name of my business is "Nafuu Budget Shop." The reason I chose this name is because I wanted to catch the attention of potential customers in an area where some shop owners have even posted the prices of their items on the windows of their shops just to enable customers compare prices. The term "Nafuu" means better. As such, customers have been flocking at my shop, curious of doing their shopping at better prices. Moreover, the area is dominated by middle and low income earners who are often keen to compare prices before they make their purchasing decisions. My typical costs include the cost of buying stock to re-stock the shop and also introduce new items. On a weekly basis, approximately $300 may be spent on stock and transport of the goods from the wholesalers' premises to the shop. In terms of revenue, the business generates about $550 every month. Out of this, the net profit is about $330. Part of the profit is used to pay for the rented space while some is used to pay the salary of my assistant. Nevertheless, the largest percentage of the profit is reinvested into the business to expand the range of products available as per customers' demands.
If I am lucky to get this loan, I shall invest it in the following ways:
I will use $30 to increase the stock of cooking oil whose demand at my shop seems to increase by the day. I shall use $15 to buy stock of one type of maize flour that has been lacking in my shop for a while now due to shortage of funds. The remaining $26 will be used to purchase several products that I have not been able to stock for sometime now. These include food color, tomato paste, lemon seasoning, and certain types of bathing soaps. By increasing the range and the amount of products available in my shop, I hope to increase the weekly and monthly profit margin in a significant way. This is because the sales will be better given that customers who previously lacked certain items in my shop will now have all their needs met in one place. With enhanced customer loyalty, more profits will be ploughed back into the business thus enhancing its sustainability. At the same time, I shall be able to service the loan and also pay rent more conveniently. With this allocation, I expect the monthly profit margin to increase by 30% which translates to a gross profit of about $280.
Mar 11, 2015