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My name is Stephen Kimani, but my friends call me Steve. I was born in Kiambu County in the central highlands of Kenya twenty three years ago. I was born in a farming community where most people are involved in food farming as well as livestock keeping. My parents are such farmers and I spent my childhood years in our farm helping them in their farming activities.
I went for primary school and later joined secondary school for my basic education. I did a course in electronics maintenance later and I am a qualified technician in mobile phone repair. However, I did not pursue that career because the I found the work too demanding and with very low income.
It is then that I decided to relocate to Mombasa town to live with a relative who had a business of selling motor vehicle spare parts. I worked for him for two years as a shop attendant and then decided to start my own business of selling second hand books. This is what I am still doing to date.
I deal with selling of second hand school books. I normally get the old books from parents whose children graduate to the next classes. This is a common practice in Kenya where old books are passed on to those who are in lower classes instead of buying new books which are more expensive.
I also sell new books when I run out old books stocks but this is very rare. The business is quite profitable since my profit margin is about 40%. The main challenge of this business is that it is seasonal and it normally peaks when a new school term begins usually in the months of January, May and September.
My business gives me a net income of about $200 per month. I spend this money to buy more stock and for my upkeep.
I run my business from a roadside structure but my dream is to have a secure store where the books will be safe from thieves and the elements.
I mostly want to buy new books for learners who will be doing their final exams this year, both at primary and secondary level. From my experience, I have observed that such books tend to be in high demand during this time.
I hope to spend the entire amount to buy the books and make a tidy profit which will propel even further in terms to growth. Ultimately, I want to move to a permanent building since I am currently operating on a temporary makeshift structure.
Thank you very much.
Apr 20, 2017
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