GRACE NJERI SUCCESS STORY
Building a company from the ground up and successfully running it requires hard work and no one knows about this better than Grace Njeri Kabaya who now runs the biggest supermarket in Njoro town, Nakuru County. In a sector where the many customers still come through word-of-mouth recommendations, Kabaya is quite alert to the need to create loyal relationships with customers to make sure they spread the word. Her lively chat with customers, at times interrupted with smiles and laughter has ensured this.
She has mastered the art of customer care services for over 15 years she has been in business. “The way you handle a customer is of great significance to the business. They want the best services and you never lose them,” she says.
From a small beginning when she started, she now runs the biggest supermarket in Njoro, a town of rich history. For years, Grace recalls her business had a stagnant
growth almost crippling her ambitions. However, focused and ambitious, she never gave up but soldiered on with hopes that one day she would break even.
In 2012, her breakthrough came knocking when a friend informed her of the existence of Egerton University Sacco. Having had her frustrations with banks she reluctantly joined the Sacco and started saving. Now about five years since she joined the Sacco, Grace is happy she made the decision. “I have been able to accomplish much
in the short time I have been a Sacco member that I wonder why I didn’t join it long time ago,” she says.
She regrets why she spent years pursuing a seemingly elusive ambition through banks. To her, a Sacco is the place to be. When she joined the Sacco, she says, she had a clear purpose in mind: to save and get money for her business expansion. “I have been able to achieve all these,” she says confidently. One thing she loves about her Sacco is low interest rates and effective and efficient services. “If I have met all the requirements I will get money within hours besides they don’t need collateral,” Grace adds.
Her first loan from the Sacco was Sh3 million which she invested in expanding her business. The returns were amazing as the business tremendously grew demanding for further expansion.
Determined to take her business to even a higher level, Grace never saw impossibilities for as she knew Egerton University Sacco was a reliable financial partner in the journey to realize her ambitions. Indeed when she approached the Sacco for her second loan of Sh6.7 million the society never disappointed. She used the money for stocking and expansion of business. “My business is now more advanced and attracting more clients,” she says with a broad smile. Her business, SumKam Supermarket is housed in a three-storey building having started from a small rented room. “Once the finishing of the first and second ﬂoors is completed, we will introduce more items such as furniture which we could not sell before due to space constraint,” says Grace.
Grace says she has also bought a bakery as she aims to make her business the leader in Njoro and surrounding areas. She also operates a petrol station in Njoro town.
The married mother of three has 25 members of staff. “I have introduced them to the Sacco, and some have benefited a lot. One has been able to build rental houses and her own home through the support of the Sacco,” she says.
Despite all the success, Grace is not done yet. She sees a brighter future. A shrewd business lady who has the support of her husband and family, she is dreaming big in a way that most people will not. “I am planning in future to open branches. This is very possible!” she states. Grace urges other business people in Njoro to try Egerton University Sacco, as they would have no regrets. “My aim now is to grow with the Sacco. Had I joined the Sacco earlier I would now be very far,” she avers.
- EMMA PREPARATORY SCHOOL – NAKURU
Major (Rtd) Martin Wandahwa and Mrs Mary Wangare Wandahwa also retired major, proprietors of Emmah School shares the success of Emmah School attributed to the loans from Egerton University SACCO. As the Proprietors of St. Emma school, we approached Egerton SACCO for a loan to complete various projects that had been difficult for us some time. Egerton SACCO processed the loan within 3 weeks and we were able to complete the school projects within a month. Emmah School, with a population of 300 pupils, now enjoy the facilities including ablution blocks. As technology becomes a household in primary education, we are in a process of seeking for more loans from Egerton SACCO, at least 0.5Million to finance the school computer lab facility, and other modern facilities that comes with digital world. The government looks forward to issuing laptops to every pupil in public schools using tax payers’ money which is also contributed by the private school owners and we want to provide the same services to the learners in our school.
Egerton University SACCO loans flexibility with friendly rates is what has kept our projects going and our school growing.
EGERTON UNIVERSITY TRANSPORT WELFARE
Egerton University Transport Welfare Buses is a celebrated success by Egerton University staff in Transport department. The transport welfare venture started with an initial membership of 58.
Members thought it wise to increase the transport availability for students and staff travelling between Nakuru Town and the University and also for Egerton University Students’ trips. Being members of the Egerton University SACCO, the welfare approached the SACCO for a total of 3.8 Million to purchase a 61 seater bus. From the members’ savings of 730,000, the welfare was able to access more funds to finance the procurement of the first bus and with the increasing demand; the welfare approached the Sacco for more funds which they used to purchase a second bus within a period of 1 year.
The welfare now runs a fleet of three buses while repaying a loan of over 10 Million. Welfare transport Buses offers a subsidized cost of transport compared to Public Service
Transport vehicles (Matatus) in the same root charging only a fare of Kshs 50 between the Nakuru town and the University. The buses are also hired to local community for transport services as well as students and staff. It is an effort that has been appreciated by Egerton University management due to its wide outreach.
NJOKERIO EGERTON GATE SELF HELP GROUP
Njokerio Egerton Self Help Group is happy with Egerton University SACCO loans for its growth and success. Each individual member from the 22 member association currently enjoys a share capital of Kshs 60,000 with projections to raise them to Kshs 200,000.Njokerio Self Help Group started in 2011 with a membership of 7 and a total savings of Kshs 20,000 only in its SACCO account.
The group approached Egerton SACCO loan officers for advice on how to make a profit from their savings which had risen to 300,000. They were given a Kshs 1.5 Million loan to purchase a parcel of Land (100m by 50m) near Egerton University at a cost of Kshs 500,000 and construct building with several rental rooms which currently provides accommodation to the increasing Egerton University students. The hostel currently fetches over Kshs 70,000 per semester and the group looks forward to investing in real estates by utilizing its membership and low interest loans from Egerton University SACCO. The group’s strategic plan is to raise Kshs 4 Million to expand the hostels targeted at the increasing number of University students.