Akirachix Entrepreneurs:Where Vision Meets Enterprise-Jecinta Wanjiru and Agnes Maseah

There’s is a story of how two people’s lives intertwine with each other as fate would have it to birth something much bigger than they had ever perceived.

Jecinta Wanjiru, 24 years and Agnes Maseah, 19 years met at Akirachix and had no idea that they would become such good friends. A chance meeting in the salon at their home area made them realize that they lived not so far from each other. That began the onset of a beautiful friendship that would blossom into a business partnership.

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Agnes Maseah (left) and Jecinta Wanjiru (right)

In the process of growing their friendship, they realized that they both had an affinity for business. With the lessons on entrepreneurship that they learnt from their instructor at Akirachix, they sought not only to make money but to fulfill a social need. Jecinta’s mom is diabetic and she needs a very special diet that consisted of fresh fruits and vegetables in order to keep her glucose levels in check and also to allow her to live a healthier lifestyle. It is from this concern that the fresh fruits business was born.

“We decided to begin with making fresh fruit salad which we sold to people around where we lived. It was hard to start because we did not have capital so we had to save for a long time the little pocket money we would receive from the Akirachix fund we began to notice that we were making more losses than profit due to the materials that were needed to make the salad.”

That is when they decided to venture into making juice instead of fruit salads.

One of the challenges we face is not being able to have steady customers especially due to the cold weather that makes some customers not want to have cold juice. To this challenge we decided to also venture into selling peanuts alongside the fresh fruit juice.”

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Large juice- Ksh.100 Small juice-Ksh.50 Large peanuts- Ksh. 20 Small peanuts-Ksh. 10

 

“Another issue is our lack of a fridge. Sometimes we do not sell all the juice and it becomes hard to store the juice in order to prevent it from getting spoilt. We always have to ask neighbours to store the juice in their fridges for us.”

 

The sacrifices that they have to go through include, losing their sleep in order to be at the market before six o’clock to get their fresh fruits and blend them to make juice in order to be in school on time.

 

“ Even when we make profit, we do not have the luxury to spend it on frivolities. We are always future minded so we plough back our profits into the business.

Its great when we get to see our business grow. The pride that fills our hearts when customers compliment our juice is immeasurable. We always have our goals in mind in order to keep us on track on what is most important to us.”

 

From being discouraged by some of their family members from getting into Akirachix due to the perception that it was not a genuine organisation to being told that they could not get into business for it was a preserve of those who were “born with the business gene”, they each had their fair share of naysayers attacking their vision in life but it did not stop them from pursuing their dreams once the opportunity presented itself.

 

Their ability to remain together as both business partners and friends is due to their desire to be self reliant and independent. Jecinta is of the belief that their previous circumstances could not be helped.

But whatever the case, we all hold our own destinies in our hands. You should never look down on yourself”

Aside from being passionate about business, Agnes loves to write and in her writings she hopes to one day inspire and mentor others who may be going through or may have gone through what she has. On the other hand, Jecinta loves music and would one day hope to record her songs.

They definitely have big dreams and there is no limit to the things that they can achieve. They have set their eyes on opening a CBD based business of selling fresh fruit juice, fruit salad, pudding and vegetable juice too. With such yearning for success, I have no doubt their dreams will be realized.

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…bosom buddies and business partners…

Comments

  1. David Cartwright :

    I am Australian and first visited Kenya in mid-2011. I have now visited a total of seven times and have a local team of ten young Kenyan women and men involved in various technical and marketing activities.

    I came in contact with Agnes Maseah through Linkedin and have found her to be an amazingly talented young woman. Her can-do attitude and drive to push things forward is an example of the wonderful potential of the Kenyan people. Agnes and Jecinta are leading by example, and are great teachers for what can be done by Kenyan women.

    Congratulations, you are doing a great service to your country and giving a fine example for others to follow.

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