The winners of this year’s Chase Bank Enablis Business LaunchPad Competition were announced at a gala event held at Michael Joseph Centre, Safaricom Headquarters. Here are the profiles of the winners
PAULINE-STELLA ANYANGO OPONDO
Stellar Gym & Fitness Centre
Overall BPC winner
Winner – Tourism and Logistics Category
For the last one year, Pauline-Stella Anyango Opondo has been providing Kisumu residents with affordable and reliable gym, fitness and nutrition services. This year, she entered the Chase Bank Enablis Business Plan Competition and emerged the overall winner besides bagging a second award in the Tourism and Logistics category. Her firm, Stellar Gym and Fitness Centre is situated in Kisumu and has been operational since November last year. The 34 year old single mother of two set up the business inspired by her sporting background, passion for active and healthy lifestyles and business acumen. At a time when she was struggling with her weight and fitness coupled with a gap in the gym and fitness industry in the Lake-side city, Pauline decided to venture into this field by opening the business. An avid basketball player since her high school and college days, the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology graduate from the University of Nairobi is fully involved in the running of the business which has five staff members and indirectly employs between 10 to 15 people. She plans to hire more employees in future as the business grows. Income from the business is generated from gym & aerobics, massage, a health bar and karate lessons for kids. Sales revenue projections for the business this year are KSh1.2million and are expected to rise to KSh1.7 million next year and Ksh2.3million in 2012. She plans to open three more branches within Kisumu and its environs and in the next three to five years, set up regional and national franchises. An Enablis member even before participating in the competition, Pauline says she has surpassed all her expectations from the organization in terms of training, mentorship and financing and is encouraging other budding entrepreneurs to follow and actualize their business dreams and also join the organization to benefit from the immense services it offers its members.
Old Gold Solutions
Ist runners up – Best Overall Business Plan
Winner – Business and Professional Services Category
Production and supplying of plastic identification cards for students and staff is Kinyanjui Kombani’s business speciality. The 29 year old Bachelor of Education graduate in English/Literature beat his other competitors to take the award in the Business and Professional Services category in the recently concluded Chase Bank Enablis Business Plan Competition. His firm, Old Gold Solutions that has been in existence for the last 10 months, produces and supplies plastic ID cards for student and staff among other clientele. The company, of which he is a partner in, has nine employees in total on permanent and temporary basis. Its projected turnover at the end of this year is about KShs2 million with an expected profit of KShs300,000. Despite being operational for only 10 months, the firm has supplied over 20,000 cards so far. It recently scooped a major deal after winning a competitive tender to supply 19,000 member cards to a dairy farmers’ cooperative society in Githunguri. Kombani and his partners were inspired to start the business owing to what he says was a deficiency in production and availability of student and staff ID cards. Other than entrepreneurship, Kombani who is in charge of branch sales in Standard Chartered Bank’s SME banking also does creative writing and event organization. Participating in the BPC for him and his partners was to seek an opportunity to get further financing to fund their business expansion besides other expected benefits.
EcoPost Recycling Company
2nd runners up – Best Overall Business Plan
Winner – Green and Ecological Category
Ever since she was young, Lorna Rutto has had a soft spot for the environment. The 26 year old proud winner of this year’s Chase Bank Enablis Business Plan Competition in the Green and Ecological category has been involved in environment related issues from her youth. In high school, her project on making ornaments from recycled plastic waste emerged top in a national science congress she took part in. The Bachelor of Commerce – Accounting graduate from Africa Nazarene University has over the years maintained her passion for environmental conservation integrating it with a business-wide approach to sustainability. Her company, which has been operational since May last year, recycles plastic waste from dump sites and converts it into durable and weather resistant decking boards and fencing posts. Besides reducing the quantity of plastic waste, Lorna’s firm offers an alternative to timber. The business is located in Nairobi’s Industrial Area, an appropriate location owing to its proximity to suppliers, labour, access to technical expertise as well as a ready market in Nairobi and its environs. True to the entrepreneurial spirit of wealth and job creation, Lorna’s company has eight employees in total on permanent and temporary basis and provides income for over 100 individuals indirectly who collect and supply it with plastic waste. Estimated annual turnover is over KShs6 million and KShs1.5 million in profit. She projects that by the end of the second and third year, the firm will realize KShs12 million in turnover and Sh4.5 million in profits and Sh20 million in turnover and Sh7 million in profits respectively. From June this year, the company has produced and sold over 5,000 posts with a total mass of over 40 tonnes and plans to expand its capacity to recycle about 154 tonnes per month producing about 300 posts per day. Lorna’s decision to participate in this year’s Enablis Business Plan Competition was to enable her get partnerships, increase the business network, get business advice and training and access to potential funding. She plans to invest the half a million shillings awarded by Safaricom Foundation in her category back to her business. Her advice to other potential entrepreneurs; ‘the impossible is possible, pursue your dreams and interests passionately, work hard, be patient and never give up and God will make a way’.
CLIFFORD KIMANI MWENJA
Limuru Rabbit Farm
Winner – Agribusiness category
Youngest Entrepreneur Award
The youngest winner in this year’s Chase Bank Enablis Business Plan Competition is 22 year old Clifford Kimani Mwenja. Besides scooping the young entrepreneur award, Kimani’s rabbit farming business also came first in the Agribusiness category that had the largest number of entrants. The Diploma in IT graduate, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Science at Kimathi University is comfortable with breeding and rearing rabbits and processing their meat for sale as he is with his studies. His is a solely owned, start up business which he hopes to turn into a Limited Company within a year. Based in Rironi, Limuru, his goal is to assist the community make a living from rearing, breeding and processing rabbits. Currently, he has one employee and in the next four months, he plans to hire five permanent and 10 casual labourers as the business grows. His plan is to enable an estimated 200 families within his home area generate income from rabbit farming in the next 12 months with each family earning about KShs5,000 per month. He projects to post an annual turnover of Sh1.6 million per year from the business. His target is to generate Sh240,000 per month in income besides uplifting as many households economically as possible. His main ambition is to make a difference to the community through economic empowerment. Besides rabbit farming, Kimani has a printing business, does green-house farming and is also a web-designer. He took part in this year’s business plan competition hoping to win cash to boost his business and had his prayers answered as he scooped half a million shillings in his category sponsored by Safaricom Foundation.
RICHARD N. KIMANI
Virtual Examinations Centre
Winner – ICT Category
This winner in the ICT category in this year’s Chase Bank Enablis Business Plan Competition is seeking to overhaul the traditional school, in particular, examinations system. Through his Virtual Examinations Centre business venture, Richard Kimani offers an online based examination system, evaluation of school assignments and daily homework based on local content. A former teacher and a diploma in education graduate; the 45 year old married father of three is the Director of Content Development at Virtual Essence, the IT firm behind the popular MsingiPack e-Learning Solution for Kenyan primary schools under the 8-4-4 syllabus. Over the years, he has been involved in e-learning activities thus his decision to venture into a business related to this field. His organization is still in the early stages of operation but he hopes to grow and expand it into a thriving business venture. His plan is to facilitate unlimited access to standardized and quality learning and evaluation process to all Kenyan children, regardless of socio-economic or geographical impediments.
VICTOR OOROH RASUGU
Melbreeze Kenya Limited
Winner – Manufacturing and Construction Category
Victor Ooroh Rasugu’s Melbreeze Kenya Limited manufactures and distributes Back2Nature hand and body lotion; high quality, low cost beauty products in Kenya. The company offers a healthy alternative to consumers who are prone to products with harmful chemicals. It targets middle and low income consumers who are the most affected by such products. The company’s products are manufactured from internationally accepted materials and natural extracts, applying good manufacturing practice. It specializes in three main fragrants. One, Aloe Vera which contains essential oils, allantoin and proteins which provides anti-inflammatory, softening, hydrating and soothing of the skin. Two, Sunflower extract which conditions the skin by providing natural vitamin E, which serves as a good antioxidant for ultra-violet radiation and finally, Avocado extract for fast penetrating, moisturizing and nourishing dry skin due to its natural vitamins A, B and D. The firm’s target market is mainly small and medium fast moving consumer goods businesses. This includes salons, cosmetic shops, wholesales, cosmetic distributors and mini-supermarkets that have a consistent flow of between 100 to 300 customers per outlet. Rasugu is a seasoned accountant and runs the business with a team of committed individuals with experience and technical expertise in Cosmetic Science, Product Development, Quality Management, Accounting, Purchasing & Supplies management, Sales and Marketing.