Saturday, June 3, 2023

Daniel Kipkoech: From fruit hawker on wheelchair to TukTuk business owner

Daniel Kipkoech is a 29-year-old Kenyan man who has overcome physical challenges to become a successful entrepreneur.

Born physically lame, he refused to let his disability define him, instead choosing to focus on what he could do instead of what he couldn’t.

Kipkoech grew up in Longisa area, Bomet county, and after completing his studies, he moved to Narok town to pursue better opportunities. He studied fashion and design at Kisii Polytechnic but was unable to start his own business due to a lack of funds to purchase a sewing machine.

Determined to succeed, Kipkoech turned to fruit hawking.

“I was so determined to start my own business and after shifting to Narok town, I started hawking fruits from the wheel chair. I used to purchase the fruits like bananas, oranges, avocados and mangoes, on wholesale and I would go round the town in my wheelchair looking for customers,” Kipkoech told the Star newspaper.

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Despite his hard work, the business still didn’t bring in the returns he needed to support himself, so Kipkoech transitioned into the “mali mali” business, selling a variety of household items to retail customers.

He was strict with himself, saving Sh. 1,000 every day and using the rest of his earnings to pay for his daily expenses. On a good day, he got a profit of as much as Sh. 2,000 and on a bad day, he got only Sh. 200 per day.

Eventually, Kipkoech saved enough money to purchase a tuk-tuk, which he uses as a taxi, transporting business people from one market to another to sell their goods.

With his business finally taking off, Kipkoech is now making more money than ever before, and he is grateful for the support of his friends who gifted him with items to celebrate his success.

“On many occasions, I am hired by business people who move from one market to another to sell goods. I am happy because the business is giving me more returns than my previous ventures,” he said.

Kipkoech mentioned that upon purchasing the tuk-tuk, his friends were delighted and gifted him without any solicitation as they acknowledged that he did not seek assistance from anyone.

Despite his newfound success, Kipkoech has no plans to rest on his laurels. He is determined to accumulate more wealth and establish a home before getting married so that his future children can have a better life.

He also hopes to inspire other people with disabilities to start their own businesses and be independent instead of begging for help.

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