From Hawker to Boss

For a home with eighteen children to be catered for, Pastor Joseph Simiyu works as hard as possible. He wants to ensure they eat, are clothed and attend school as other children in the neighborhood. “I began as a hawker selling households items at a very cheap price. This was not enough considering that my home had become a home to fourteen other children. With little savings from that business, Pastor Simiyu opened a music shop. He had just joined DOVE Springs Sacco and business was growing. “I saved for a while since the Sacco requires a member to save for six months before applying for a loan.” Eleven months later, Pastor Simiyu approached the Sacco and was given loan of one hundred thousand shillings.

“My shop was filling up fast due to the many sales items I was bringing in to sell. I expanded the shop and transformed the music shop to a general shop with almost all household items.” Once a movie and music shop, Pastor Simiyu now also sells second hand electronics, cosmetics shop and vitenge. “It takes courage and willingness to take risks to make it in business. These businesses have changed our lives tremendously.” Pastor Simiyu says. “My children including our foster children are in school, they get a meal every day, my fare to wholesale shops is paid for and I started a chicken-business for my wife. Indeed God has blessed us.”

Reaching this point, however, has not been easy. “I have experienced theft from my employees. This has cost me a great deal as I lost trust in employing people. Every time I travel, my shop remains closed rendering sales stagnant. Sales depends on seasons too. During holidays, I sell more especially movies and music. People also want to dress well and women would come for the vitenge materials. I also experience dry days where I do not sell anything. These are the days I do not go home because I do not even earn enough to fuel my motorbike.

Pastor Simiyu encourages anyone wanting to grow in business to be part of the Sacco. “It is in the Sacco that I gained knowledge and I will be a lasting member. In the near future, I want to own a motorbike and a pick-up to transport goods to my shop,” he concludes.



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