Eric Wango has been operating his kiosk for the past 3 years. Selling paraffin and sugar provided enough for his stomach and his daily needs. He was comfortable. He thought he had enough until he was inducted into Connecting the Dots project last year.
The Entrepreneurship Training that was undertaken late last year at Tripple A hotel was his debut into the Deepening Democracy Program funded by UKAID that aims at effective engagement of youth with disabilities in governance processes and economic opportunities in the 6 sub-counties; Alego Usonga, Ugenya, Ugunja, Gem, Bondo and Rarieda sub-counties of Siaya County.
During the training, Mr. Wango was equipped with essential Business and Entrepreneurship skills that are very vital in his career as a business man. “Being a business man, the training factored in all my needs. I was enlightened on how I could expand my business by accessing loans from financial institutions as well as tenders,” he added.
The 26-year-old man embarked on a journey of self- resurgence. He took loan from a Merry-Go-Round (a form of table banking) that he is a member to expand his kiosk business that is operational at Wagai village in Gem sub-county. From retailing sugar and kerosene only, he added salt, soap, washing bars, tea leaves, cooking oil etc. to cater for the diverse needs of his clients.
“Customer care was one of the units emphasized during the training. Providing satisfactory customer care services entails meeting the different needs of your clients. Having restocked my shop recently, I can now comfortably meet most of their needs,” added Wango.
Mr. Wango, who is virtually impaired operates the kiosk with the help of his mother. The mother assists him to shop, package things and sells in his absentia. She also assists him with record keeping. “I also incorporated record keeping in my business, one of the units that I learnt from the training in my business and the results are tremendous. With record keeping, I am able to monitor which items are in demand so that I can replenish them on time,” noted Wango.
Mr. Wango said that proper record keeping has also enabled him to calculate his return on investment. “I never knew how much I was making from my business, most small businessmen don’t. From the beginning of the year I have been monitoring keenly my sales against the capital thus I know my profit from the month of January and February. I will continue tracking to come up with an average figure by the end of the year,” Said a determined Wango.
The young man noted that he is now servicing his loan faithfully and hopes to repay it fully by mid-year and take another one in order to expand his Kiosk into a one-stop shop and a Wholesale in the future.
Mr. Wango who is also a talented musician also hopes to get funding to improve and nurture his comedy and musical aptitudes. “I am still pursuing the Talanta Loan by Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) meant to support talented youth to develop and fully exploit their talents so that I can uplift my talent in comedy and keyboard playing especially the latter which I am more passionate about,” said an optimistic Wango.