Varcity: Who is Mercy? School, faculty, concentration
Mercy: My full names are Mercy Mukami am the second born in a family of three girls. Am a community Development major at Daystar University currently in my last semester.
Varcity: Tell us about your business, what do you sell?
Mercy: My business deals with ladies inner wear; panties and bras.
Varcity: Have you always had the business acumen or is it something you stumbled upon?
Mercy: I can’t really say that I stumbled into business. When I was in high school I used to sell full scups and envelopes. When I finished high school I started making cards; birthday, success, valentine, Christmas among others and would go look for orders from the local supermarkets. It was a very successful business however because I was unable to access the relevant materials I stopped then a year and a half later I began selling lady wear.
Varcity: What inspired you to choose that line of business?
Mercy: This is funny. The desire to sell came when I realized I need to replace my collection of panties and bras. When I saw the need to replace my own collection I thought that there may be other girls like me who need to replace“ old stock” When I went home my mother encouraged me to sell them and because no one else had tried this line of business I Daystar I thought it was a good idea. The returns were great and I have continued since.
Varcity: How did you raise the money you used to start your business?
Mercy: I had always been saving some of my pocket money, cutting down all unnecessary expenses and my mother topped up a little.
Varcity: What would you say are some of the greatest hurdles you have faced thus far?
Mercy: Competition from other entrepreneurs in the school. A number of students have begun a similar business. Payments from those take the items on credit sometimes delay with payments even after you have agreed on the deadlines. Sometimes when I go buy merchandise I find that they do not have what has been ordered or they are too expensive to be acquired. Also balancing School and business is not easy.
Varcity: If there is one person who inspires you it has got to be?
Mercy: My mother she really encourages me to continue with my businesses even after campus. She was once in business when we were young. Her prayers and words of encouragement have really kept me going. She has also be one of my greatest investor and customer.
Varcity: Quite a number of guys get into business and say to hell with the books, what’s your take on that?
Mercy: Never quite school. Its true money is sweet and yes a little extra off can create the illusion that school is not important. However education is a backbone of business and your plan A or B. Since were selling to the outside world it is important to have a background of what we’re getting ourselves into before we got there blindly. We can only find that in education even a little of it will go a long way.
Varcity: What piece of advice would you give to someone starting out?
Mercy: Start small and grow into your business. You also need to be very disciplined, focus and a good time manager.
Varcity: The most awesome moment for you in terms of business has to be when…
Mercy: This question has gotten me smiling. When am buying new stock seeing a variety to choose from gets me smiling, when collecting money from my customers am and when am calculating seeing the extra money profits makes me very happy.
Varcity: How much is your business worth?
Mercy: I think its Between 10,000-15,000
Varcity: What do you think of the Uwezo fund, is it something you’d be interested in?
Mercy: I think it a good initiative the president has come up with. But personally I would not be interested in the Uwezo fund.
Varcity: Parting shot
Mercy: Not everyone is cut out for business. Many people start businesses which end up failing simply because they did not examine themselves and realize what is good for them. You should know what works for you and focus on it.