How A Former Street Hawker Built A $100,000 Business From Just $6
Great spectacles are built on strong foundations. This doesn’t just apply to architectural structures, but to all aspects of life. When the right values are put together in an equation, the chances of success becomes increasingly higher.
Success in any area of life can only truly be attained when the right foundations are laid. This largely encompasses preparation, identifying opportunities, a continuos will for self development, and an undying perseverance to succeed no matter what setbacks you face.
While these values seem unattainable by many, they’re keys to success, are laid deep in the life of Geoffrey Kago, and have helped him grow a business from just $6 to well over $100,000.
Here’s how he did it:
The Early Life And Education Of Geoffrey Kago
Geoffrey was born In a Kenyan village deep in Nairobi, in the year 1975. At the young age of 10, he bought his first hen from his mother, which was a largely motivated move from his role model, Nelson Muguku; one of Kenya’s first poultry billionaires.
The purchase of his hen occurred when he was in primary four. It was a Transylvania Naked Neck, which had no feathers on its back. This purchase was entirely made from his own savings, and was done because the hen was a fast breeder.
Within a year from his purchase, he had bred nearly 200 chickens, which were all sold within his neighbourhood.
From his fast growing poultry business, he was able to raise substantial sums to fund his high school education. He loved a sense of ownership, and his poultry business taught him the rudiments of independence and entrepreneurship, which would end up helping him to go far enough many years down the line.
His Innovative Spirit
Beyond just raising and selling chickens, Geoffrey Kago had a knack for finding solutions to problems. While in high school, he identified an obvious problem surrounding the traditional hatching of eggs. This made him develop a solution for it that could be used in his local community, by building an electric incubator. His local innovation ended up winning the first place position in the 1985 high school science congress at the district level and came second in the whole of Kenya.
Irrespective of these little successes, he still faced some setbacks; like when a neighbour poisoned all his chickens, leaving him broke and devastated.
While this motion was geared to frustrate him, he remained relentless and pushed harder on his ambitions.
Some Life Challenges
Around 1997, he moved from his village and settled around the Kiserian area of Kenya. With little to no cash in hand, Geoffrey Kago decided to work as a casual stone-mason and labourer to make ends meet. Later on, he worked as a carpenter and also at a funeral home for two straight years.
Having a knack for innovation since childhood, his carpentry skill gave him a chance to make things, and so, he started building various wooden items; including a snooker board.
From his carpentry work, he moved on to start hawking cigarettes on the streets from the late 90’s to the early 2000’s. The tough times they say, never last, but his was one that greatly challenged every aspect of his being.
Now more determined than ever to carve out something great for his life, Geoffrey Kago managed to save up about $6 (then Sh600) from the sale of his cigarettes. This tiny sum that seemed utterly irrelevant, went on to be the startup capital that formed the foundation of his company today.
The Beginning Of A Great Journey
In the year 2002, the then president of Kenya, Kibaki, made a public call to all Kenyans to embrace entrepreneurship and use their knowledge to improve their lives.
This nationwide call triggered a spark in Geoffrey Kago and motivated him to create his first commercially viable electric incubator. He proceeded to register his business name called, Kaki Village Enterprise, and from the manufacture of his first commercial electric incubator, he diversified his investment to manufacturing candlers for checking the fertility of eggs.
He further expanded his business to include a training facility situated on 5 acres of land, to help farmers gain a better understanding of the poultry and hatching business.
His Business Today
Over the years, Geoffrey Kago has succeeded in building a business worth over $100,000; spanning from poultry farming which includes the raising of chickens, turkeys, ostriches, quails, ducks, and guinea fowls to manufacturing electric incubators, and also the manufacturing of animal feed mixture machines that farmers can use.
To Sum It All Up
Geoffrey Kago’s success story is one that shows that anyone with beliefs of a better tomorrow and works hard to attain it, can always be ready whenever an opportunity comes your way. While $100,000 may be equal to 47 million Naira at the current exchange rate of 470 Naira to the dollar, building it up from just $6 (2,820 Naira) is a remarkable feat for anyone to achieve in the 2000s.
What are your thoughts on this success story of Geoffrey Kago? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Image Source: bizna.co.ke