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Enterprise

Startup thrives on mentoring new businesses

Ms Frida Owinga
Ms Frida Owinga, Founder and CEO PassionProfit Ltd. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Frida Owinga knew that she would be a businesswoman from an early age and hit the ground running. After studying Organisational Leadership and Management for two years at Regent University in the US, she dropped out due to lack of funds.

She started doing business aged 20 without a penny to her name. This saw her later set up PassionProfit in 2010, a business growth mentorship and coaching organisation that she launched when she came back after living abroad for 10 years.

“I grew up in a home where father worked and mother engaged in small businesses to supplement his income, which made me decide from a very early age that I was going to do business instead of being employed,” she said.

When she started PassionProfit about nine years ago, the 53-year-old mother of three said, all she had was an agreement with her supplier that she would honour payment of goods once her customers paid up.

“The people I wanted to serve were not able to pay me, at least not immediately,” she said.

Today the organisation has grown to offer capacity building programmes to startups, established enterprises, women and youth groups. It has helped train, coached and mentored about 30,000 entrepreneurs directly and indirectly through partnerships with NGOs and financial institutions such as KCB, Barclays Bank, Chase Bank , Co-op Bank, Root Capital, SOS and World Vision.

Membership in the profit accelerator mentorship programme is Sh12,000 a month. A training session lasting a week at the organisation costs Sh10,000. Business can also access information through an online platform which covers various topics including financial literacy, market solutions, product development and expansion strategies.

Last year PassionProfit made one of its biggest milestones when it launched an online mentoring programme designed to support business owners to drive profitability using business portal Founders Profit Academy.

With this, small business owners who are often constrained of resources like time and talent can get personalised lessons and access to live business coaching for about Sh1,000 a day.

However, just like any other business, the organisation faces challenges. For instance, many entrepreneurs do not understand what PassionProfit offers and why they should be members. "Many Kenyans start a business to generate income hence professional development is not always a top priority," she said.

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