Did you know that you can turn your debt around into riches? That debt can actually turn out to be a ray of hope? This is what the story of Raymond Cheruiyot, popularly known as Ray of Hope, shows. The story was written by Simon Ciuri:
Raymond Cheruiyot considers himself a successful entrepreneur about a decade after resigning from his job to run own business. However, the proprietor of Accounts and Financial East Africa Limited says he had a baptism of fire along the way.
He was passionate about setting up and tried partnerships that did not work. Mr Cheruiyot opted for debt to register a company, egged on by the picture of success, therefore ignoring possible risks, storms, and stories of gloom and doom.
“I was 28 when I resigned as a software technologist having studied for Bachelor of Science degree from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) where I graduated in 2003,’’ Mr Cheruiyot says.
He used his savings to buy a laptop “and was sure one computer, one man attitude and one million dollar ideas could unlock my success.”
“I have always wanted to venture into self-employment through technology business but I was not aware that there is a big difference between reality and wishful thinking,’’ he said.
In a small office at Railway Station in Nairobi, he established and paid a rent of Sh22,000, which was the remainder of his savings.
“The office was meant to give me a corporate touch as I did freelance consultancy jobs waiting to register my business. The opportunities were not forthcoming and I had to seek Sh15,000 from a friend as a soft loan to register the company.’’
This did not work, the banks asked for a guarantor for a loan, he had none and was forced to ask for a private consultancy position from former employer.
“A friend who lent me Sh15,000 to register my firm saw me as a joker who had quit a job where I was earning Sh55,000. I convinced myself that I had to breathe again,’’ explained Mr Cheruiyoit, hardly audible.