Staying near a student’s hostel? This is how to make money


14 Aug 2015 | by
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Staying near a student’s hostel?  This is how to make money

When Grace Kimani moved into her boyfriend’s little house in Kitale thirteen years ago, she was not sure how she would help in managing the house needs................

When Grace Kimani moved into her boyfriend’s little house in Kitale thirteen years ago, she was not sure how she would help in managing the house needs. She had just completed her secondary education and knew her family’s financial needs and her grades did not allow her to move to the next level. James, her boyfriend asked her to look for something she can do close to their house since she was expecting their first child.

Grace better known as Mama Mimo to her customers chose to sell vegetables. She began her business with KShs. 700 that James had given her. After doing this for two years, she took notice that many schools were coming around the locality. Most of the students, she says went home for lunch. This made her get interested in starting to sell chips; which she knew most young people could not resist. She started by buying half a sack of potatoes which she cleared in two days. “When dealing with young people, always have small things that you know will entice them. For me I slowly introduced smokies, soda and  when I noticed increase in demand, I went to coca cola deport and requested for a fridge ”

She says in business whether big or small, you need to have a plan. For her, after seeing that the chips could sell, she decided to stop the vegetable selling and focus on selling cooked food. Grace woke up in the morning and made maandazi and chapattis that she sold to her neighbors and by 11AM she was done with that. She now had to get ready for chips before children were released for lunch. She invested in a big hot pot that ensured that her customers always got hot food.  Two years later when a university opened a satellite campus close to her house, she understood that her market had just grown. James decided to quit his job and with the couples combined savings of Kshs. 30,000 they decided to open a small restaurant; Mtaa Café.

They employed someone who could assist them both in the cooking and washing the utensils. On their new expansion they rented a small room that they fitted with tables and a sitting area. They now grew their menu to include Ugali, Meat, Beans, Rice, Vegetables and other meals.Due to the university students she has been forced to run late into the night.

Grace tells us that you should be disciplined in business. For her and family, this small business has seen them buy an 1/8th piece of land where they have build their family home, rentals and the café is set. The 33 year old mother of two prays that her and husband can get contracts to supply food into offices. She says that currently the café bought a motorbike that goes to do deliveries within the town.“Start with what you have, look around and see how you can benefit from people around” she tells us.

When starting up, do not think anyone else can start it but you.  She insist that people want to see you in a good suit to know that you are doing well, for her being able to afford good education for her children and having her beautiful home is all she hoped for and her dreams are growing as her business grows. Prayer has been key in her quest for success. 

 

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