In the midst of economic hardships and limited opportunities, there are individuals who defy the odds. One such inspiring story is that of Joel Wekesa, an Alumni at St. Paul’s University.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
In 2018, Joel decided to embark on a journey into entrepreneurship, driven by the need to raise funds for his school fees.
His journey began with a humble yet ingenious idea – selling beaded jewelry.
What sets his story apart is that most of his customers were his fellow students, creating a thriving market right within his university community.
The burden of financing his education and covering his living expenses weighed heavily on him, but his decision to take matters into his own hands provided him with a lifeline.
Over the course of four years, Wekesa’s jewelry business flourished.
As his products gained popularity, demand soared, leading to an influx of daily orders.
The success, however, was not without its challenges. Wekesa faced the dual pressures of maintaining his academic commitments and managing his growing business.
The profits he earned were hard-fought, and the business demanded a significant investment of his time.
This journey wasn’t Wekesa’s first attempt at entrepreneurship.
Prior to his jewelry business, he had ventured into various other business ideas, all met with different degrees of success.
He began with a clothing business, which proved to be financially unsustainable due to the high cost of stocking inventory.
He then tried his hand at selling mandazi by the roadside in Kibera. Although this endeavor was more financially feasible, it consumed a substantial amount of his time, impacting his studies.
Wekesa’s entrepreneurial spirit didn’t waver, and he ventured into a perfume business next.
Unfortunately, issues with the quality of products from suppliers forced him to cease this operation.
Running out of capital and in search of a more stable business idea, he took a step back to evaluate his options.
During this period, he decided to explore employment opportunities. Wekesa took a job at a construction site and worked for approximately four months.
His monthly earnings of around Ksh20,000 provided him with the necessary capital to jumpstart his beaded jewelry business.
Through his relentless efforts and business acumen, Wekesa managed to pay 40% of his annual school fees
The University student alumni also said that he send some contribution from his business back to his parents in Eldoret.
“Since i had a vision in mind, I decided to do calculations to fit all my needs and ease the burden on my guardian’s shoulders. I even sent them a reasonable amount from my savings since they were at a bad place at the time,” he said.