Julie Benz says that by applying yourself and working hard and being diligent, you can achieve success.
This month’s story is one of struggle followed by victory and progress, and we are so glad to be part of this turn around.
James Kibaki is a 32-year-old man and a beneficiary of the Micro Lending Program. He is married to Caroline Kendi Gitonga and blessed with one child.
James was born in a family of five and fortunate to be among the three who the parents afforded to educate. He was passionate about pursuing education to the highest level but had to drop out after completing his secondary education.
He was employed at a spare part resale shop for two and half years. At this point his Monthly income was at KES 6000(USD 60). He decided that this income wasn’t sustainable and deep down he had a desire to own his own business.
He went back home to become a farmer where he planted maize, beans, Napier grass and Green Bananas. In a one year, he was able to save enough money to start a butchery business. He soon assessed and realized he wasn’t making enough money so he started a resale business. Here he faced numerous challenges especially with theft as his shop was constantly broken into.
He decided to change locations and it was during this time that he Joined Iruma B Self-Help Group. Here he found like-minded individuals who were determined to make it in life. The group became formally registered with HopeCore in 13th October 2016. The group participated in a merry-go-round savings scheme which involved the members supporting each other using a strategy of economic empowerment that is anchored in teamwork for building self-reliance and self- sufficiency. This savings scheme worked to demonstrate the group’s cohesiveness and contributed to their individual livelihoods by giving them access to a pool of funds from which to draw upon.
The group was funded with their first soft loan of 30,000 KSH(300USD) to boost their table banking and help them improve their businesses. During this period, the group members demonstrated a very high level of group cohesion, active participation in activities and strong desire to progress in their businesses and they soon qualified for the normal loan.
The training provided basic education on various topics of interest, including agriculture, financial management, credit and risk management, business planning, crop production, livestock management, saving advice, networking and public health. The training is meant to strengthen the clients’/entrepreneurs business skills so that they are better equipped to sustain and expand their businesses.
In April 2017, the group was funded with the normal loan where each client’s business was awarded a specific loan award as per the business plans drafted during the business training. James received KES 60,000(USD 600) which he used to open an MPESA business which he had identified as a gap in the locality he operates in; M-Pesa is a mobile banking service that allows users to store and transfer money through their mobile phones. He also expanded his resale business and ran the two business concurrently.
In a few months, he was able to start an animal feeds business along-side his resale business. He was also able to purchase three dairy cows hence increasing his source of income.
Recently, he has purchased a power-saw which he rents out as an income generating activity.
From his dairy farming business, he makes a monthly income of KES 29,400(USD 294), expenses total to around KES 10,000(USD 100) leaving him with a monthly profit of KES 19400(USD 194)
From the small goods and animal feeds resale and M-PESA business, he makes approximately KES 98,600(USD 986), his expenses are approximately KES 49500(USD 495) leaving him with a monthly profit of KES 49100(USD 491).
His total monthly income currently is at KES 128,000(USD 1280), Monthly expenses at KES 59,500(USD 595) leaving him with a profit of KES 68,500(USD 685)
In addition to him starting other enterprises with the profits from the initial business, James has been able to install electricity and water at his home.
He dreams of owning a piece of land where he can construct rental houses as an income generating activity.
We are so proud of the incredible milestones he has taken and we are honoured to have been part of this amazing journey.