How My Plumbing Workshop Earns Me 3 Times What I Used To Earn When I Was Employed.

Have you ever thought of starting your own business and solving the unemployment crisis facing most of African countries? Find out how  Charles Gathungu leveraged on the KCB 2jiajiri Programme to rise up that ladder .He narrates to our writer Abel Muhatia, on his journey from a Job seeker to a Job creator.

Twenty six years old Charles Gathungu is proof of the African vibe that states if one needs to go fast then they should do it Alone and if they need to go far then they should definitely get a team to walk with.

A student in the little known Eastlands College of Technology, Gathungu is an Entrepreneur who does not shy away from partnerships and new ideas as long as it propels his plumbing and electrical business a notch higher.  It is in this regard that when the KCB Foundation 2jiajiri programme visited his institution, he found it fit to expound on the opportunity presented to them.

Designed to bridge the unemployment gap that exists among the youth caused by lack of skills and limited access to business capital, the 2jiajiri programme has so far seen 2,234 students enrolled and trained in 140 vocational centers spread across 20 counties. Out of these, 518 have established successful businesses that have qualified for financing from KCB. 270 of them have secured paid internships while the remaining 1,446 are in the process of founding and registering new enterprises that will later be considered for financing and enterprise growth.

The Turn-Around

Mr. Gathungu is one of the lucky 518 beneficiaries who have so far received financial assistance in terms of receiving new materials and tools of work and in his case, secured a full scholarship to study plumbing at the Eastland’s based institution

“ Before I met KCB, I used to work in a friends workshop along Jogoo road, not so far from my school, while at this place,  I earned as little as Ksh.400 on a lucky day depending on business availability. I could hardly meet my basic needs. Today, I am proud to say that I own my workshop where I have employed 3 workers and I earn at least Ksh.35, 000 on a monthly basis” notes the soft spoken plumber.

Charles Gathungu at his Temporaly Workshop During the Commissioning of the 2016 2jiajiri beneficiaries

To verify this, Gathungu says that with the 2jiajiri funding he was able to get new and latest machines, which attracted more clients. He also invested in manpower to avoid loss of business. This has greatly increased his profit.

A call to Action

This is not just a story but a call to action to over 800,000 youths released into the Kenyan job market every year .That it’s time to think beyond getting employed, buying a good car, a house and getting a beautiful wife or husband, birth children and fly to Miami every holiday to sip juice beside a swimming pool in a beach hotel. It’s time to embrace self-employment and creating opportunities for the thousands of unemployed others. Be part of the solution.

When KCB 2jiajiri programme met ambitious Gathungu, they saw an opportunity to boost the dignity of the informal sector as a key driver of economic growth and the largest source of employment opportunities for our young people. They provided tools of work and ensured that he will be in school to get all necessary skills to boost his business.

“To my fellow youths it’s time to stop choosing jobs; Kazi ni Kazi .Today am earning 70 times more than I used to just 12 months ago, and am more professional than I was. Then, I was employed, today I am self-employed.  We all have this one thing we like doing. There is absolutely something we are passionate about at an individual level. Let’s turn it into our profession. Let’s stop being job seekers and blaming the government, and let’s turn to becoming job creators” advices Gathungu

To benefit from the 2017 2jiajiri scholarship click here: APPLY 

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About the Author

Trust is my currency, biscuits are my best snacks. A business story by me that has sparked change, informed and made a positive difference is what makes me going. I yearn to achieve more through writing Reach me via