234 installments • 99%
My name is Michael Kinaro but most of my friends call me Mike. Mike was born in Central Kenya where almost everybody is a farmer. The area is known for potato and tomatoes production which is normally consumed in the capital city Nairobi.
My parents like everyone else in the area are farmers and it is this early exposure to farming that would shape my future. I did my primary and secondary education and then proceeded to Mombasa to join my uncle who was well established in business. He was a wholesaler in arguably the largest market in East Africa called Kongowea in Mombasa. This is a market where many food produce from the country and even from neighboring countries are sold.
He trained me for one year and then I started my own business within the market. This is what I am doing to date.
I am very sound spiritually and I serve as a deacon in my church. I joined a theological college a few years ago and did a diploma course in theology; in an effort to get to know the word of God better. I harbor desire to do a degree course, in the same field - time and resources allowing.
I deal with selling of fresh tomatoes and onions at the Kongowea market. I source the produce from upcountry where these crops grow abundantly. This is a business that calls for speed delivery due to its perishable nature. For this reason, my day starts quite early at 4.00 a.m when I arrive at the market to receive the produce which is transported overnight for a distance of about 600km. My day of work ends at 2.00 p.m when I sell my last tomato.
I normally sell tomatoes in boxes. My main clients are retailers and hotel owners. I am proud of this business because it is the one that supports my family 100%. I am able to make a modest profit of about $200 per month but this can go higher during the peak tourism season when big hotels buy these products in large quantities.
I am hoping to diversify my range of products to include fruits like mangoes and oranges which do quite well in the market.
I have been selling my vegetables in an open air place. Luckily, our government constructed stalls within the market with cooling facilities. I have already booked one such store and I am required to pay USD 500 as deposit and another USD 250 as quarterly rent payment.
This loan will be enough for me to make this important transition which will be a major milestone in my business. The stall will provide a more hygienic environment for the vegetables and the cooler will add the shelf life of this perishable produce. This in turn will increase my profitability since there will be less wastage.
Thank you for your continued support.
Jul 25, 2017
Cost to entrepreneur
Service fee: $34.22