By Prudence Minayo
Winjoy Kananu’s story is one that inspires young people to start with the little they have and build on it. She started small and is now a successful mitumba bale business owner in Gikomba.
Here is her inspiring story as told by WoK.
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Winjoy’s entrepreneurial journey started in the streets of Meru where she hawked boiled eggs in 2013. At first, she would make Sh300 profit daily but as time went by her profits tripled. She attributed the growth of her business to cleanliness and advised that just because one is selling eggs does not mean they have to look like they’re carrying the world’s weight on their shoulders. She was always presentable, prompting people to stop their cars to buy her eggs.
Through the business, she was able to save Sh100,000 and began looking for alternative business ventures. Winjoy started buying bananas from Meru and selling in Timau after being advised that it was a profitable business. The enterprising lady did this every Saturday and was making at the time Sh10,000 on every successful sale.
With the money made from her business, she was now ready to try her hand in mitumba business. The businesslady would buy a bale from Gikomba and sell the clothes in Meru. Thankfully, she lived in a very populated area and dealt in fast moving clothes, such as, baby clothes. According to her, one can’t go wrong with baby clothes since children are born every day and also outgrow clothes very fast. The business grew and in a week’s time, she started opening up to three bales. Every Saturday, she would calculate profits and realize she had made between Sh30,000 to Sh40,000.
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By 2020, when the country was going into lockdown, she was still in the business. At the time, it became very difficult to find someone selling bales since they were stuck at the port. With her savings, the businesswoman vowed to start stocking bales. When the economy was opened, she bought stacks of bales and began selling them. Unlike before when she would open a bale and sell the clothes, the profits for selling one whole bale was much less. She makes about Sh2000 from the sale of one bale to other re-sellers. Still, she says the business is good since if she sells 10 bales, she pockets about Sh20,000.
For those who cannot afford to buy a whole bale, she shows them where they can buy pieces at an affordable price and sell them to raise capital. For her, employment is not an option and neither is giving up. Like any other business, there are times she does not get to sell even one bale. Even if she fails to sell for two days straight, she stills wake up to open her stall in Gikomba unwilling to give up and thankful for the days when she can make a sale.
Social media has really helped her get clients. Most of her customers have been able to locate her through Facebook.
This story first appeared as a video on Slyke Media Kenya YouTube Channel.