Youth and Entrepreneurship: Daisy’s Flourishing Fresh Life Business
Daisy is a savvy entrepreneur and a young mother of two – Joy and Roy, who are 4 and 1 years old respectively. She runs a successful Fresh Life business that is located in Muthurwa market in Nairobi.
In this market, traders set up their stalls at dawn and retire way late into the evening after their customers have bought everything they need for their households. It is this customer demand that Daisy wanted to tap into. “I really wanted to set up my Fresh Life business here. I knew I would get many customers who always pass through here on their way to work and back.”
Daisy opened her Fresh Life Toilets in February 2014. The toilets cater to more than 350 customers per day and earn her an income of 1,750 Kshs ($20) every day. The income accrued allows her to take her young daughter to a good school and to provide food for the family.
Daisy, who also sells groceries in the same market, has employed 33-year-old Veronicah Mbula as an attendant in her business. Veronicah, who is a mother of four, ensures that the toilets are always cleaned after every use. Her weekly wage allows her to buy food and household necessities for her family. She explains why the Fresh Life Toilets are popular, “The traders value that they don’t have to walk a long distance from their businesses, the Fresh Life Toilets are located at strategic places all over the market and everyone can easily access them. They are also very clean.”
Before the introduction of Fresh Life Toilets, Veronicah said that the market was full of solid waste and that there was an overwhelming stench. A few of the small cafes had to close shop because of the unhygienic conditions. With the entry of the Fresh Life units, most of these establishments have since re-opened.
Setting up of her business did not come without its own challenge for Daisy – land. Acquiring land in an urban setting like Nairobi can be a daunting task. It is also very expensive to acquire. Most of the young people do not have any source of employment and so do not have the money required. The Forward Foundation’s support for youth helped defray the cost of the Fresh Life Toilets.
Aided by Sanergy’s government relations team, Daisy was also able to navigate the hurdles that come with getting the right documentation. “The youth are not land owners and this is one thing that sometimes sets us back when setting up a business. The Fresh Life training however equips one with the necessary skills to overcome such challenges by finding creative solutions.”
Daisy hopes to save enough money to build better house for her young family and expand her business. We wish her very best as she forges on!