Nurturing a small business in Kibera is no mean feat. Kiosk space is limited, in high demand and rentals are only just affordable. Add night security, an informal power supply and an avalanche of other consequential intangibles and the Kibera entrepreneur is presented with a near vertical learning gradient and a rope free safety harness.
Determination and grit are essential ingredients as are a USP, a healthy sense of competition and an awareness of business trends and local demands. It would be easy to trample on fellow traders and to move ahead and score success. Singing better together; a group of traders have taken to meeting to discuss tactics and learn from each other. Supporting competitors during down times seems counter intuitive but has created a sense of unity, purpose and security. A modest meeting attendance fee has been banked to provide financial assistance and the possibility of short term loans at non-Shylock rates.
An accidental Kibera Credit Union is a laudable consequence on its own. However the fledgling Umoja business group is cementing relationships between the Muslim and Christian communities and that is just plain life giving.
Shylock:- Loan shark
USP:- Unique selling point