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It’s my enterprise to assist startups discover their footing

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It’s my job to help startups find their booth

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

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Kaberia Bariu. PHOTO | COURTESY

BY SYLVANIA AMBANI
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Summary

  • At the age of 27, Kaberia Bariu was ready to quit his job as regional manager at the KCB Foundation and start his own company.
  • His family and friends thought he was crazy to leave a good job with a secure income and venture into the unpredictable world of business.
  • SetPace Consultancy Services include business training, business consulting, which may include business registration, assistance in formulating a business plan or strategy, or tax issues.

At the age of 27, Kaberia Bariu was ready to quit his job as regional manager at the KCB Foundation and start his own company.

His family and friends thought he was crazy to leave a good job with a secure income and venture into the unpredictable world of business.

However, Mr. Bariu was not deterred and founded SetPace Consultancy Limited, which advises micro and small businesses on various issues. The decision to found the company was underpinned by the experiences he made during his business trip to KCB.

“After completing my Bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University, I was immediately employed by the KCB Foundation. They started a program called 2jiajiri to help young people become self-employed, ”says Bariu.

“I was the regional manager for 2jiajiri on the business development services aspect. I was responsible for five counties. “

He adds: Basically, we’ve been helping young people acquire skills and then helping them build businesses. “

While working in these different countries and interacting with the young people, he was able to identify the gaps or challenges that companies face.

He met three types of entrepreneurs. The first is the one who has a brilliant idea but has no finances or capital, he says. The second type of entrepreneur, he notes, is the one who has the money but doesn’t have a good business idea.

“The third type is the one who has both the money and good business,” he says.

The way they run and run the business “is like they don’t know how to make a profit”.

“The third entrepreneur is in a poorer condition than the other two. Because sometimes they can make a profit, but you find that the helmsman is at your door – you have VAT obligations and you pay as you earn (PAYE). There are some laws that are sometimes ignored. For example, if you have employees for whom you automatically pay more than 13,486 Shillings, you should pay PAYE for them, ”he notes.

“So you see that someone has a very nice business that is fine on the outside, but internally the business is on his deathbed.”

Here Mr. Bariu saw a business opportunity. Although he knew the market was already saturated with consulting firms, most other companies, he says, were mostly opting for the “big fish” in the industry. He chose middle- and low-income companies, despite working with a number of established companies.

“Before I made this decision, I had done my market research very well. This is very important for anyone thinking of quitting formal employment to start their own business, ”says Bariu.

SetPace Consultancy Services include business training, business consulting, which may include business registration, assistance in formulating a business plan or strategy, or tax issues. They also have mentoring programs that are conducted through conversations with entrepreneurs, including one-on-one interviews.

“We consulted over 50 Chamas and Mama Mbogas, including some Boda Boda Saccos and the village’s savings and loan groups,” he says.

“We have trained employees from various companies such as Willstone Homes, Tana Folks, Green Agriventures, Noble Hotel, Elegant Hotel and KCB Group.”

He started the business with a capital of Sh 100,000.

“The money went towards registering advice, buying a laptop, and branding my company,” he says.

He first turned to Mboga’s mother, who makes a profit of Sh 1,000 or less, but they don’t know what to do with the money to increase the profit. It also targeted the Chamas in the village, where members contribute a certain amount of money and at the end of the year the money is divided among members.

“Most of them don’t usually know what to do with the money. You buy a cow or a goat and that is the end of the Chama. So I reached out to some of them and advised them what to do with the money, ”he says.

“What if they take a small percentage, buy chairs, tents, or utensils and rent them out for events. This is an investment in income generation and the Chama continues to grow. “

Mr Bariu says it was difficult to start even though he might have a smooth sail right now.

“The company was just me and my notebook, no office, no staff,” he recalls, adding that he currently earns between Sh 150,000 and 500,000 a month.

The company currently has three full-time employees and four part-time employees.

“I know, when I say I advise Mama Mbogas, people might think I lost it because they wonder where the money is. But one thing you should know is that Mama Mbogas have a lot of money because the cost and expense there is very low. The problem they have is keeping records. “

“I also saw that there is a lot of informality, or what we call the Kienyeji business. For example, they are unable to keep track of their inventory or what they have sold. Neither are you able to handle the low ongoing cost of buying a tote bag for a client, or a Uji mug for yourself, or some of the damaged products found. This causes them to stagnate in the same place in the store, ”explains Bariu.

The fact that some Mama Mbogas are organized groups was another benefit.

Mr. Bariu has set himself an ambitious goal for his business:

“Setpace Consultancy’s vision is to help thousands of small businesses grow into businesses by providing them with affordable and tailored training and consulting services for businesses that they rarely access,” explains Bariu.

“The growth of small businesses means growth in employment and therefore in the economy.”

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