Every entrepreneur’s biggest headache is seed capital with thousands of businesses in Africa still stuck at the idea stage and for the lucky to take off, hurdles like high cost of doing business and navigating in uncharted waters have turned out to be their Achilles’ heel. Makindu Motors’ story is no different, but a will of steel has seen scales tip in its favour. Having started from scratch in 1992 as an informal sector venture commonly referred to as Jua Kali in Kenya, swahili for hot sun denoting the working conditions that traders in the sector grapple with, the company began with just three employees, selling ordinary scrap items and old bicycles mainly to teachers in rural areas.
According to the firm’s Managing Director, Joshua Kamonzo, their idea was to reach out to rural people especially teachers who are better placed on terms of loan acquisition and repayment.
“We wanted to help teachers reduce the cost of travelling to their schools and so we opted to sell them old bicycles. And because they could get loans from their Savings cooperatives, we found working with them very conducive,” says Kamonzo.
The company witnessed high demand for bicycles by teachers and other clients and after carrying out market research, the idea to expand the enterprise was born.
According to Kamonzo, they started selling old motorcycles at affordable prices to clients before venturing into Dubai in 2002 to ship in new motorcycles to potential buyers, most of them teachers.
|How the Differential Gear Works|
|Taking Kid’s Inventions to the ‘Next Level’|
|Romanian Salt MineThat Became a Tourist Attraction|
|How Simple Ideas Lead to Scientific Discoveries|
|A Day in the Life of a Mortician|
|50 Years, 50 Toys|
|Chicago Shuts Down Innovative Business|
|They Harvest Christmas Trees By Helicopter?|
|UnBrella: Turning the Umbrella Upside Down|
|How to Embed Your Online Store Directly Inside Your Viral Videos|