Sheer grit and hope keeps Timothy Mbaluka energised for his business that pays him a tidy Sh3 million a month.

Mr Mbaluka, 35, had been dreaming of “doing serious business,” since he was a teenager, a dream that gave him the courage to take a pay cut when he switched jobs and further gave him the will to quit employment altogether and go it alone.

The young entrepreneur, who is the proprietor of Mwisaf Limited, a stationery and document-binding firm, said he started the business with Sh10,000.

As a result, he has ready answer for restless young people who are, however, not sure when and how to start.

“Never underestimate small beginnings and never give up on your dream. With hard work and support from people who believe in your potential, the reward is inevitable,’’ says Mr Mbaluka.

He started selling stationery to schools in his home county of Machakos and in Nairobi during his free time while still an employee of Spinknit Dairy where he earned Sh18,000 a month.

He says this money was inadequate, forcing him look for other avenues of earning money.

He now boasts corporate clients, with his services ranging from branding corporate uniforms, selling stationery and document binding, which he says earn him not less than Sh3 million a month. He specialises in corporate logo embroidery on a wide variety of clothing.

“I started selling stationery to schools as a part time job in 2003 with only Sh10, 000 as capital’ ’ he told the Business Daily in an interview at his office in Nairobi.

This side job was earning him Sh5,000 a month. “This was a pointer that all was not lost. It was a humbling experience with hard industry lessons,’’ he says with nostalgia.

In 2005, his venture proved worth pursuing and he registered Mwisaf Stationery and Book Binding Company with the hope of getting corporate clients.

But success did not come easily. Customers were hard to get and the challenges were inevitable if not insurmountable.

The same year, he quit Spinknit to take up a job as bus driver at a local primary school. The pay was Sh15, 000 per month, which was lower than what he used to earn as a salesman at Spinknit.

“But I loved my new job since I was only assigned to take the children on trips which came once a term, leaving me with a lot of free time to sell my stationery and market my new company,’’ he said.

A year later he also quit this job and moved to Nairobi where he rented a small office to start full time operations. He employed a secretary as he embarked on vigorous marketing

The Communications Commission of Kenya has been set up to co-ordinate policies in this area and awarding the 4G licence will help to improve last-mile connectivity,” the report noted.

Kenya will also need to increase the number of secure Internet servers, since a shortage constrains the volume of reliable transactions that can take place online.


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