Connect with us

Entrepreneurs

Kenya’s Radio and TV Host Who Triples up as an Entrepreneur

Inversk Review

Published

on

He is a Radio and TV Presenter, Producer, Social Media Influencer, Entrepreneur and a Mentor, Jeff Kuria is his name. He has been in entrepreneurship for the last 11 years doing what he loves the most, entertainment.

His journey into entrepreneurship started at a young age. Back in the days, he would help his grandparents run their businesses. His grandfather ran a small café near their home. His grandmother on the other hand was selling vegetables in both Gikomba and Kibera’s Toi market.

Unknown to him, he was already learning important lessons about profits and losses. It was during this period that he got to know how to handle customers both young and old. With time,Kuria began going to the market on his own, something that made him feel motivated.

One day, Kuria spoke to his grandmother about his intentions to plant some crops.

“Thankfully, she gave me a small piece of land where I planted sukuma wiki (kales), lettuce and kienyeji vegetables”

Before they could all mature, Kuria started selling fruits such as plums, guavas and pears near their home. This he did because these fruits did not need a lot of capital.

“I used the few hundreds of shillings I had saved to start my fruits business”

Launching Into Entrepreneurship

As a young boy doing his usual rounds, one day he sat next to a man who was reading a book. It was a small book titled ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’.

“I thought it was interesting after peeping and seeing some few lines.” He narrates.

At that moment, Kuria decided that he would buy that book. This  became his main goal as he formally got into entrepreneurship. He wanted to be a successful man like one of his neighbours then (Ithe wa Philip).

True to his words, he did buy the book on a Sunday at a place known as Nderi. His life did not remain the same; the book transformed him for the best.

Growing the young boss

Kuria would sell his commodities during weekends and school holidays. It was for him an amazing experience. Learning how to do things on his own and even purchasing ‘The Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ was an accomplishment.

“I forever remain thankful to my grandparents and my uncles for letting me learn this at a young age”

 

After college, Kuria or JK as others know him, ventured into so many businesses. He would sell second hand clothes (mitumbas), charcoal, paraffin, music and movies in River Road and even do farming and at one point, the matatu business.

Kuria always loved acting and he would go to the Kenya National Theatre to perform.

Establishment and Redefining

Kuria registered his first business in 2005 but the business did not excel. He discovered that he did not have enough exposure. He decided to abandon his myriads of businesses to pursue his Master of Ceremony (MC) talent and Radio Career.

“I would MC in events for free and sometimes for a small fee just to survive. This is something I was already doing in church and in school I was not struggling with it.”

He identified Magomano, Simba Centre, Abbey hotel and Emmacra as his main areas of interest. By the year 2006, Kuria had done his research and realized that there was need for MCs.

For him, there were so many events that availed an opportunity for him. These ranged from weddings, VCD launches, dowry negotiations (ruracios) yet there were not so many MCs.

“I wanted to be different and professional to take the industry to the next level.”

The milestone

One day the young man was invited for an event at Kiambu Municipal Grounds. It was a UNICEF event by a friend of his, Inspecta Polisar a gospel artist. The artist had big dreams of becoming a famous and respected in his area.

He was scheduled to meet the main event organizer. The organizer happened to be the late Big Kev. Meeting Big Kev opened his eyes wider.

“This gentleman was well learned, smartly dressed and was driving a black Mercedes Benz.”

The event was so big. Most of the main players in the entertainment industry were present; Deux Vultures, Alexx, Nonini, Amani, Wahu and Nameless.

“I sat with these guys at the VVIP Lounge and it was amazing. From everything I experienced, now more than ever I knew I wanted to be like Big Kev.”

After the event, Kuria spoke to Big Kev about the event. This interaction provided him with a few tips about running events.

The Hatch of Better Business

After the event, he got the motivation he needed . Kuria started talking to his potential clients. It is from these people that he began getting jobs here and there though people were a bit skeptical about him. Anyhow, he was already gaining confidence.

In 2007, he was invited for an event in Kiambu Town as an MC. The host told him that she already had her own sound system.

“I tried convincing her that I could bring the system that I could easily connect with as an MC, but she had already made up her mind.”

When the D-day came, the whole thing flopped. The attendants were really disappointed. The event did not go well as there was no chemistry between the MC and the DJ.

The sound was awful. Before the event ended an old lady approached him. She was around 70 years old. She expressed disappointment with the team.

According to her, Kuria and the team had made a bad choice of music. We had  performed below her expectations.

“There was no way I could have defended my actions or that of the team.”

The disappointment at the event was a wakeup call for our entrepreneur.

“I went home, sat down and wrote a list of things I needed for proper and quality sound. I bought 3 full range speakers, a powered mixer, microphones and a laptop and since then I have never looked back.”

Kuria’s company, Reel Time Entertainment was registered as a business in 2008. Later on, he did register 3 other companies; Beacon, Hafla Entertainment, Hafla Events and Hafla Company Limited.

Kuria has tried all kinds of things to make his business visible. This he does so as to make money so that he can buy his ultimate dream car, the Mercedes Benz.

He nourishes himself as an entrepreneur by attending seminars, conferences and workshops religiously just to learn how to sell and sharpen his skills.

“I have spoken to so many entrepreneurs and competitors just to learn the art of making it in business.”

Entrepreneurship Lessons

Kuria acknowledges that it has not been a smooth journey, especially with identifying a good team to work with. Marketing his services and customers paying for the services takes a lot of work.

“I have learnt to stop chasing money because I got very disappointed. I have learnt to do the job first to the fulfillment of my clients then money will follow.”

He advises the youth to follow their heart and guts .It is unwise to always execute everything you are told or read in books or journals.

“I have read a lot of books and listened to so many audio tapes to just try and see whether I will break even.”

He tells us that there is a time he could have given up since he felt there was no growth. Kuria has suffered losses due to improper book keeping to a point where his office was almost closed. His monthly salary from his employer saved him a great deal then.

“One thing I have learnt is to never give up because whatever it is, I always learn a thing or two.

Takeaways

Get a Mentor! Practice how to sell your business, solve people’s problem. Please note that in entrepreneurship you are the vision carrier. Plan, Pray and Wait.

Comment using Facebook

Inversk Live is Kenya's most incisive and informative platform to learn about business news, technology, markets, companies, startups, leadership advise, curated business and industry opinion, and affluent lifestyles.

Business

Eddy Njoroge Elected The First African Boss Of The International Organization For Standardization

Inversk Review

Published

on

Eddy Njoroge has become the first Africa’s president of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) after inauguration ceremony held on 21st Sept 2019 at International conference centre in Cape Town, South Africa. Eddy Njoroge was elected as president during ISO‘s general assembly in October 2018 held in Geneva, Switzerland.

ISO is an international standard setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. It was founded on 23rd February 1947 and it seeks to promote worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards.

Eddy Njoroge has served as Chief executive of Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KENGEN) and a board chair for Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE). Eddy Njoroge took over from Canadian John Walker.

“I am fully prepared to champion use of standards in our everyday lives.” Eddy Njoroge affirmed. Eddy Njoroge has promised to spearhead participation  of developing economies on global trade by championing standards formulation.

“Standard formulation should no longer be a preserve of a developed countries that are later forced in developing countries denying them global market access. We will adopt a participatory approach that ensures developing nations are involved in standard formulation activities ” Eddy Njoroge added.

Comment using Facebook

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs

24-Year-Old Hannie Maye Takes Fashion Design by Storm in Somalia

Kimani Patrick

Published

on

Born in the United Arab Emirates about 24 years ago, Hannie Maye moved to Kenya at an early age to pursue her studies.

“Fashion Design runs in my blood since young age,” she says. “I had an obsession with fashion, particularly when I saw Tom Ford and Sally Karago on tv I was inspired and I believe they are major part of me becoming fashion and designer during my upbringing before I started this business.”

The global citizen is now the founder, lead designer and namesake of the Somalia-based fashion design company – Hannie Maye (HM).

For Hannie, she never dived right from the beginning. After high school in 2011, she moved to Malaysia to further her studies where she studied Accounting and later flew to Mogadishu, Somalia to start her business in 2015.

Her entrepreneurial journey started out 4 years ago in Mogadishu. It was a bold move, she says, “a very tough time for a Somali youth to even think of designing clothes because of the war.” But this could not deter Hannie from stepping into her passion and turning it into a business, “and right there I made up my mind and decided to move to Somalia and took up on its development, changing the mindset of the youth, changing some young girls lifestyle while educating them the importance of the fashion world.

Becoming the first fashion designer in Somalia wasn’t just a road to success but it was truly tough journey for Hannie. However, she sees it as a dream come true and she is proud to inspire many youths in Somalia who are becoming more involved in fashion industry.

Her company which now dresses top Somali women business and political leaders is poised for the international market. Her vision is to go global and dress men and women from all walks of life. “I just want to reach my dreams and expand my company and my clothing line to compete with international fashion designing companies.” With this, she assures me that it will have to come from her hard word and dedication. “the future more is yet to come,” she expresses her faith.

It has not been a smooth ride though for Hannie, “One of my challenging moments was when I conceptualized the first fashion show in Somalia. I got rejected each time I approached to book a conference hall. Everyone feared extremism because in our community when someone hears the word “fashion show” they think of bikini or women getting naked. But that is not what I was up to, and no one could agree with me.”

To overcome this and many other hurdles, Hannie says loving what she does, holding herself accountable and constantly learning from her mistakes keeps her going.

Her passion is also a great motivation. “I’m on a mission and nothing is going to stop me.”

“Fear is what holds many entrepreneurs back,” she says, “and if you don’t learn to overcome your own fears then nothing will succeed. I don’t let my fears come my way because am promoting my passion  in a developing country where by extremist do not allow women to work let alone dressing stylish, so am taking huge risk for my business and I believe I can overcome all my fears as long as I believe in myself and with God beside me.”

To win the game of business, Hannie advises other entrepreneurs to have a strategic mindset, be creative and engage into constant learning while embracing failure in the process. For her, she engages in meeting new people through networking events, traveling, socializing outside her normal circles, and going online to see what’s new. Having a strong vision to where you want to go and what you want to achieve is something that she also advises as a must have for entrepreneurs.

To get in touch with Hannie Maye kindly send her a whatsApp message or follow her on Facebook.

Comment using Facebook

Continue Reading

Cover Story

From the Village to the World, There’s Not Stopping for Wanjuhi Njoroge

Kimani Patrick

Published

on

Being brought up in a small village at the foot of Mount Kenya didn’t prevent the 29 year old Wanjuhi Njoroge from being a successful entrepreneur. Today, Wanjuhi is the CEO of The Web Tekies LTD and RootEd Africa (both which have now been rebranded to Nelig Group).

Her father nurtured her entrepreneurial and leadership skills. She sold eggs and plums mostly after her KCPE. “It was my dad who discovered and nurtured leadership and the entrepreneurial skills in me. I was only 12 and without prior business experience, but my father’s great wisdom guided me through it all.” Says Wanjuhi.

Wanjuhi vividly remembers her first mistake in business while she was still young, “A kilo of sukumawiki (kales) was KES 7 by then, but this woman came and requested that I sell to her a kilo at KES 5 instead. She was poor and said that her children had been sent home for school fees. I knew she had been struggling and so I decided to sell the kales at KES 5. My father wasn’t amused when I narrated the story later that evening but he made me understand why I had to be firm in business.”

Wanjuhi says this early exposure is what motivated her to going into business and her father remains one of her greatest support.

Wanjuhi went into employment at 19 while she was still in college. “I didn’t like it, it was too rigid and constraining. I didn’t have the freedom to spread my wings,” says Wanjuhi.

This dissatisfaction in employment experience saw her go through a series of jobs in different companies. “The longest I stayed in a job was 6 months.” She says.

Her life changed when she went to work in a startup, founded by a young man in his 20’s. “At first I thought his parents were rich. But surprisingly his parents were not rich. This was my very first experience with a young person who was running their own business. I realized that it was very possible for one to quit and run their own business.”

“In 2011 I went to my parents and told them that I was quitting employment to start my own business. My mother didn’t take it lightly. She demanded to see my bank statements. She meant well. I decided to start my business as a side hustle while I worked full-time and took part time classes. My parents   eventually approved of my resignation and my    company opened its doors in January 2013.”

Today, the University of Nairobi graduate who pursued a double major in Sociology and  Communication is a full time entrepreneur. Wanjuhi, together her with her business partner, Eva Njoki, have founded two companies; The Web Tekies Ltd, which is a media conglomerate that assists startups, organizations, individuals as well as groups tell their stories online and offline while RootEd Africa is a social enterprise she founded out of her passion for ICT, mentorship and education.

RootEd Africa seeks to transform lives in rural and remote parts of Africa through ICT and non-curriculum activities such as sports and mentorship. RootEd Africa works with primary schools and the local communities around these schools with an aim of eradicating school dropout cases especially among teenage and adolescent girls who often dropout due to teenage pregnancies and early marriages.

Wanjuhi is also a Vital Voices Fellow 2015, a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum and the youngest member of the Nyeri County Affirmative Action Social Development Fund (AASDF) Committee. Ann is also a Board Member & School Patron at Kabaru Primary School.

Her advice to young people who want to venture into business is to have a passion, patience and be ready to invest time in learning that thing they want to do. “Start from where you are, from zero and learn your way up.” She advises.

When not courting her clients, Wanjuhi is on the road for adventure, reading a book, watching a documentary or writing on her blog  .

Did you like the article? Join Inversk Magazine whatsApp group or Telegram Channel to get daily article alerts.

Article first appeared at Inversk Magazine on June 20 2016

Comment using Facebook

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 INVERSK MAGAZINE. Developed by ITIPS