Nahashon Kiplagat’s seed for entrepreneurship was ingrained in him at an early age. The 29-year-old stepped into entrepreneurship eleven years ago when he was a student at Bartolimo Boys High School.
After completing secondary school in 2011, Kiplagat, who hails from Kabarnet in Baringo County, started his first business with Sh10,000, which he had saved from his high school allowance.
He started a small business selling charcoal to his neighbors in Kabarnet. Within a few months, he managed to save Sh20,000, which he used to expand his business.
His business acumen saw him purchase two motorbikes within six months, which he depended on as his only source of income after joining Mount Kenya University in 2012 to pursue a Degree in Education.
From the two boda bodas, Kiplagat would earn Sh600 per day. While in third year, a friend informed him about a business space that was being leased for Sh400,000 near the institution.
He recalls how he met the landlord and told her he had Sh200,000 and would complete the payment in the next three months. However, he had no idea of which business to put up and didn’t know where to get the balance for the house.
After plans to source money from his friends and relatives were futile, Kiplagat decided to use his school fees as he anticipated the business space would earn him a fortune.
“My elder brother told me to stop dreaming and focus on my studies. I knew they would never understand my passion for business. I had a feeling that the house would yield me good fortunes,” he recalled.
He took a big gamble and used his college fees of Sh50, 000 to pay the balance. Without any business idea, he realized many students would loiter around after classes and thought of putting up something that would keep them busy.
He settled on starting a pool table business, a decision that changed his life forever. Kiplagat, however, didn’t have enough money to purchase the pool table as the cheapest costs about Sh150,000.
He opted to sell his two motorbikes for Sh155,000 and took a bank loan of Sh50,000 which he used to purchase a new pool table for Sh150,000 and a secondhand one for Sh50,000.
“The first month was full of frustrations, but as much as I wanted to give up, I thought of how far I had come. I made Sh20,000 in the first month, which was too little as I could not afford to pay my rent of Sh30,000 per month, leave alone paying my worker his salary,” said Kiplagat.
The business started picking up in the second month, earning him an average of Sh900 per day from each pool table. He later started earning up to Sh2,000 from each pool table, amounting to Sh120,000 per month.
Kiplagat expanded the business and opened another branch at Komora Centre, where his main customers are students from the University of Nairobi and colleges in the area.
“I make at least Sh240,000 per month from my business. I have employed four people, some of whom are alumni of Mount Kenya University,” says Kiplagat.
Through dedication and prudent financial management, he has transformed his earnings into tangible dreams. Notably, he has fulfilled his dream of owning a car and land and is now a proud owner of a white Toyota Noah and a plot in the prestigious Annex estate.