Time and Money. The two variables we consider as absolutes. But what can you do in 48 hours and Sh20,000? Can you create a business and make it profitable in two days? It’s a tough one, we know. But a team of young innovators and entrepreneurs just proved that 48 hours is a lot of time and Sh20,000 capital is not too little.
Team Alive & Young participated in Centum Foundation’s Create in 48 competition and they did not disappoint. After a rigorous application process, Felix Kioko, his brother, a cousin and a family friend, qualified to compete against three other teams in the entrepreneurship competition.
Their idea was simple though it was new. Make soap from goat milk, making it the only organic soap in the market, according to Kioko.
“I had been in the yoghurt business for some time and I was thinking of how to diversify the business. I researched on the uses of goat milk and that’s how the soap idea came about,” says Kioko, a third year UoN economics student.
It was not until the Create in 48 competition did Kioko decide to take the soap product from idea level to a real product.
In addition to goat milk, the Alive & Young team uses natural oils like avocado, coconut and sodium hydroxide.
Due to the limited time, the team had to work overtime on the first day (sleeping for 5 hours) in order to have the products ready for selling the following day. From the Sh20,000 they received as capital, they only used Sh9,000 to buy the components for the soap.
“Our biggest challenge was marketing the product we created. Although we were confident we had a good product we didn’t know how people would respond to the soap,” says Kioko.
Nevertheless, the team got selling; first to friends and family, then asking their network to refer the product to their contacts. The team was able to sell 200 bar soaps at Sh100 by the end of the competition, making a profit of Sh11,000 factoring in the start-up seed capital of Sh9,000.
Kioko is not stopping with the competition. He plans to expand his venture by acquiring a soap making machine, a stamp and set up a distribution channel. He has trademarked the product and is in the process of getting KEBS approval.
What are the main lessons team Young and Alive took home after Create in 48?
- If you have an idea, just start it.
- There is more that goes into a product i.e. packaging, marketing, branding
- Effective communication is very important in business