The evolving tech space has become a goldmine for budding entrepreneurs.
From software, to websites, to mobile applications, young people are making a killing from the industry.
24-year-old Wilfred Chege is one such entrepreneur who can attest to the sweet fruits of the tech space.
He has developed a mobile app called Shulemall Limited, which is an online shopping e-commerce platform that allows learners to access learning materials directly from producers.
Be it textbooks, uniforms, supermarket products, bus tickets, and any other school-related materials, learners can find everything on the app.
But how did he start?
This is his journey as told by WoK:
Winfred Chege’s tech foray began several years ago when he was a form three student at Nakuru High School.
There, while participating in a young achievers’ program sponsored by a bank, he developed an online shopping platform in partnership with other learners.
However, the program was discontinued when the school emerged second in the contest.
After sitting his KCSE in 2018, Winfred decided to modernize the application and monetize it.
He defied the wishes of his grandfather, who wanted him to pursue a ‘lucrative’ career path such as a doctor or a banker like himself.
He instead decided to focus on his tech business before joining university.
Although the going has been far from smooth, Chege’s efforts have paid off and he has been able to develop the Shulemall app to the extent of hiring four employees.
Also, his company offers internship opportunities to college and university students.
To fund the project, Chege partnered with an investor who helped him raise sh 1 million to develop the app and a further sh 3 million to market it.
Currently, the app has over 11 000 downloads from IOS and Android users and over 3 500 active monthly users, with orders ranging between 1000 to 1 500 per month.
In an interview with Standard, Chege said the company collects between sh 2 million to 3 million monthly.
As the CEO, he earns about 12% of the company’s revenue, which amounts to between sh 240 000 and sh 360 000.
He is also a co-founder of Zendawa online pharmacy, which delivers medicine to remote villages.
According to Chege, tech startups grow 100 times faster than other SMES, exposing the huge potential in the industry.
This is because technology is a global thing and therefore enjoys a wider customer base.
Nowadays, venturing into the industry has become easy because multinationals like Microsoft help local innovators by offering funding and technical assistance.
When starting his business, Chege says his team had to put in place the right systems and policies to ensure they comply with the law, especially considering their audience is school children and their parents.
The young CEO is also a mentor who visits schools to motivate and empower earners.
His achievements have earned him an appointment as a jury member for Africa Global Starters, which enables young innovators to get funding.
He emphasizes that teamwork is key to the success of projects like his.
Many innovators, he says, focus on the vision rather than investing in quality relationships with other team members who share their dream.
His call is for the government to put in place enabling measures like tax exemption to encourage more youths to venture into the tech business.