How a High school skills training opened my path in business
“When you guide the youth, they will not only appreciate it but will go ahead and actually do it.” These are the words of Janet Gathuki ,20, who has applied the skills she was taught from a training while in her final year in high school to start her own business.
Janet deals in mats, bracelets and scarf making business; skills she learnt from Madini Youth Foundation which sponsored her in high school. The main objective of the training was to equip students with skills they can implement to earn a living. This is what Janet is doing. For her, it was more than that. “I wanted to be self reliant and not to depend on my parent for everything.
With a startup capital of Sh10,000 given to her by the organization, Janet purchased the raw materials for her business. “I first purchased the material needed for making the bracelets and mats before incorporating the scarfs into the business later,” she says.
Although Janet has found passion in her work, she acknowledges the challenges that face startups like hers. “At first, some of my customers complained of my high pricing of products, comparing them with other vendors. But I later learnt how to adjust to this challenge,” she narrated.
While many Kenyans stayed home at the peak of covid-19, Janet says she made good profits early in the country’s lockdown. The profits, she says, enabled her to restock while catering for her personal needs.
The quest for independence Janet says, keeps her going. “Am motivated because of this business promotes a sense of independence in me despite the fact that some days I rarely get any customers. But that does not discourage me. I also came to realize that a lot of the young people are interesting in learning the skills I have. Janet is optimistic that her business will grow and that she will become an inspiration to her peers.
“I encourage my fellow young people to find something to do so as not to be idle and find motivation from youth that are doing positive things in the society. I also encourage them to walk with people who have positive influence on them ,”she adds.
Janet is currently a Film Production students at Multi Media University. But this has not stopped her from continuing with her crafts business.