When she moved from Nairobi to Mombasa in 2017 ‘‘to hustle’’, Purity did not know the move would set her on the path of entrepreneurship. She met her co-founder and together, they set up Kuza Freezers.
The company seeks to bridge the cold chain gap in the food and fish value chain by manufacturing low-cost solar-powered coolers.
‘‘The kit comes as a package with a cooler, battery, and solar panel. Some of them come with an in-built battery and can be mounted on a three-wheel tricycle for transportation to the market,’’ she says,
" ‘‘Before, I used to hold onto money. I did not want to lose it. But now I let my money go, money that has been instead having more value than that which has been saved.’’"
‘‘We offer them on a pay-as-you-go model that is flexible for most smallholder fishermen. Today we have a portfolio of about 1,000 fishermen,’’ she says.
Purity studied hospitality and business management at the Nairobi Institute of Business Studies (NIBS) and the University of Nairobi respectively.
The growth of the business, she says, has coincided with her growth. ‘‘We started when I was very young. I have become more resilient. Organising my team has made me a better manager. I have also become more empathetic because I can relate more with the challenges of our clients,’’ Purity says.
She is an ardent reader who consumes all types of literature because she believes knowledge is transcendent.
Any initial fears that she has since addressed? ‘‘When we were starting, we did not have enough funds for a [manufacturing] business that is so intensive. We were also so green and were uncertain how things would turn out.’’
With experience and more money from investors, these fears have been dispatched.
‘‘We were able to persevere and to source for funds, which helped us to create the impact we have had so far.’’
There are money lessons too. ‘‘Before, I used to hold onto money. I did not want to lose it. But now I let my money go, money that has been instead having more value than that which has been saved.’’
Her vision for Kuza Freezers is to reach 3,500 small-scale fishers in sub-Saharan Africa.