The growth of online opportunities has seen a notable development in the local scene, where people from all walks of life, especially the youth, have tapped into the opportunities offered by the Internet. It is a known avenue that is popular in the private sector based on multiple programs that are tailor-made to benefit young people who have taken advantage of such programs to put food on their table and pay bills. In line with this landscape is the need to mentor and guide that demographic to catapult their goals to higher heights.
The manifestation of that guidance gave birth to E-Prenuers Sacco, which, in essence, is an initiative that primarily focuses on networking, training and mentoring entrepreneurs to leverage online opportunities.
We managed to have a talk with the sacco’s Chairman Mr. Sam Mugweru who shed a lot of light of what the institution does, its motivations and long-term plans.
The idea of the Sacco, which has since been fully registered, was conceptualized in 2017. Mr. Sam says that he has been in the Internet business for almost a decade, and in that time, most of his clients were based outside the country. With his group, he realized that his services could be more helpful to locals working online as freelancers, as well as providing opportunities to the jobless and start-up entrepreneurs that have an idea of making an income but have no access to funds or knowledge to actualize their trade, particularly in Internet-based ventures.
The Sacco launched its full-registered operations in February 2018, and as of July 2018, it has managed to register more than 150 members who receive training, mentorship and can make savings (the spirit of saving is echoed in groups such as 52-Week Savings Challenge – 2018! that is quite popular in Facebook) or have access to loans to pursue their goals.
According to Sam, the idea to come up with the Sacco was handy since the institution has the capabilities of offering support to entrepreneurs in an efficient and organized manner while significantly cutting the cost of running physical stores.
The Uniqueness of E-Preneurs
Admittedly, the operation of any Sacco has been limited to motivating clients to make savings and secure loans. Not to be as generic as such businesses, E-Preneurs takes it a step further by training young people, mentoring and giving them financial support to pursue their idea. By doing so, E-Preneurs believes it stands a better chance of being the only initiative that provides the mentioned services. Furthermore, the Sacco argues that it has made the process of starting an online business easier than traditional models that could be complicated.
E-Preneurs Potential and Signing Up
To recap, E-Preneurs Sacco purposes to benefit members by offering savings, loans, networking, training, imports and e-commerce services. This is a comprehensive list of services that has been put in place as the Sacco understands the challenges faced by modern-day entrepreneurs.
To become a member, one is required to pay a registration fee of Kes 2,000, plus an addition Kes 4,000 for share capital. Members will then earn dividends and interest from the cooperative society, hence they will recoup their funds back.
Progressively, the Sacco plans to launch other customer-friendly products for upcoming entrepreneurs. Some of the products in the pipeline include an e-commerce platform where members will list their products and services.
E-Preneurs will be launching an online campaign dubbed #MtandaoNdioNoti, which loosely translates to ‘the best opportunities today lie online.’ By doing so, the cooperative society looks forward to netting more members who believe in its offerings, and by extension, leverage the power of the internet to broadcast its services to more ears.
In the next one year, E-Preneurs aims to register between 700 to 1000 members. It also looks forward to making partnerships with internet-based companies to raise product consumption by driving more people online; ISPs by adding value to internet usage and increasing uptake, hence, a partnership with such companies would be beneficial.
Also, E-Preneurs hopes to digitize its loan application process for members, which still relies on traditional banking services for the time being.
Further details can be accessed on the Sacco’s website, or you can pay them a visit at Ruiru’s Spur Mall.