Many young people may not wish to venture into a business like theirs. It has often been stigmatized and associated with death. According to the chairman of the enterprise, Mr. Boniface Nyakina some people think that they wish for people to pass away so that they can make money. Yet this is not true, they believe that theirs is a business like any other and of great importance in the community. In addition it is a source of income for the young people who want to work hard and make a living.
Just like the name suggests, Masandukuni Youth Group is involved in making and selling coffins. In addition, they also sell flowers, and dig graves. The group started in the year 2010 with 13 members. The members were doing individual businesses which were not doing so well. They decided to come together to form a one stop shop that provides whole some funeral services to the bereaved.
According to Mr. Nyakina, they soon had plans to expand their business and were looking for a financial institution that would give them a loan. “Unfortunately we did not qualify for a loan in most Financial Institutions and were at loss on what to do” he says. Luckily, they heard through the media about the Youth Enterprise Development Fund which was offering loan products designed for young entrepreneurs. They visited the District Youth Officer who gave them more information about the Constituency based loan products and how to apply for the same. They were given the C-YES Rausha of KES. 50,000 which was used to buy more good quality raw materials for making coffins to meet the varied needs of their clients.
Business has since been doing well and they have started seeing the good returns. When they finish paying their first loan, they plan to take on another Youth Fund loan provided through Financial Intermediary so that they buy a hearse and indeed offer the entire package for funeral services.
Mr. Nyakina is encouraging young people to engage in business as a reliable way of making a living. “Sometimes white collar jobs may not come by but there is always a way to use your skills to earn a living in business” he says.