Tuesday, April 16, 2024

I almost lost my business to inflation, salvaged it with Sh. 200,000 capital funding

Joe Muchina is a businessman in Gikomba market who specializes in the wholesale trade of second-hand clothes popularly known as Mitumba.

The businessman opened up about how he struggled to keep his business afloat amid the high cost of living. His woes started in January 2023 when a fire burnt his residential home in Joska leaving him homeless.

Muchina revealed he built the three-bedroom house as his retirement home six years ago when he was working in one of the NGOs in the country.

”I was informed by my neighbours that my house had been set ablaze by unknown people. At the time I was living in Umoja Estate with my three sons so no one was living in that house,’’ recalled Muchina.

”All my life was there. When the entire building went up in flames, I was left with nowhere to call home,” he added.

Determined to start afresh, the single father of three started to save again to refurbish the remains of his house. The journey however became challenging given the mitumba business was his only source of income.

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”Money from this business couldn’t cater to all my needs. First I needed another house, second, my three sons were in secondary schools so you can imagine the amount of money I was required to pay for school fees.”

”Inflation had also made everything expensive including household and business items. Life had become tough for me. So when things got out of hand I started using my business money to sort some needs.’’ He added.

The more he used business funds, the more his business revenues plummeted. At one point, he started to consider shutting down and seeking employment.

“It is good to sometimes open up on your problems to your close circle of friends. I was on the verge of collapse when I opened up to my friend about the tribulations I was going through,” he says.

His friend informed him that he could get a loan from a commercial bank for stock purchase, an advice that indeed saved Muchina’s business.

”He was in the tyre business. We had opened our businesses almost at the same time and had been banking with Co-op Bank,” says Muchina. He adds that his friend informed him that he had taken a loan that was restructured without additional interests or charges in 2020.

“He also told me that after repaying that loan last year, he had been given fresh funding to shore up his business,” says Muchina. “He told me that the bank was running a financing product called MSME Term Loan for business expansion. I decided to approach the bank and successfully got funding of Sh. 200,000 under the bronze package.”

The businessman revealed that after taking this fresh facility, he was also invited to MasterClass seminars for the bank’s SME clients.

“It has been a learning process on how to maximize on the financing as well as optimize on proper business systems such as bookkeeping and revenue management,” says Muchina.

Within two months, his business began to break even. Muchina has since diversified his goods to include ladies’ wear, which says has added an additional customer stream.

After sitting down with Muchina, we wanted to find out more about the MSME loan from Co-op Bank and how other small business owners can benefit.

The Co-op Bank MSME Term Loan is money you can borrow for your business for a period of time to help your business expand or to raise business supply capabilities.

One can apply for a loan either under the Bronze, Silver, or Gold packages. The Bronze package allows customers to access unsecured business loans ranging from Sh. 50,000 to Sh. 600,000 with a repayment period of between 6 Months – 24 Months.

To qualify for the loan, one is required to bank with Co-op Bank for at least six months and the business should have at least 12 months operation period.

Other requirements include a Business License for the current year, Certified Bank statements for 6 months, a Copy of KRA, and a National ID.

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