Page 28 - SACCO STAR ISSUE 37
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ENTREPRENEURSHIP

KENYANS IN THE DIASPORA
TURNED MILLIONARES VIA
ONLINE MARKETING

                                                           By SACCO STAR Correspondent

                                                                   On the Left; James Karanja, on the right-Sidney Karanja

6 years ago, James Kabue and Sidney Karanja were mere              and photo equipment that were at his disposal. He noticed a
university students in the United States of America (USA).         gap in the Kenyan market that was yet to embrace the digital
Like their peers, they lived on a shoe-string budget, until they   equipment.
decided to try their luck on online marketing. Today, they are
contracted to import to East Africa, items worth over Ksh 30       Fascinated by the prowess of a new high quality camera he
Million. Their main clients are top NGO’s like USAID, UNDP and     had just purchased, Karanja posted it on his Facebook page.
ILRI and other high flying corporate companies in Kenya.           His friends in Kenya were all impressed by the gadget and
                                                                   constantly urged him to ship it for them in Kenya.
At 24 years of age, Karanja had just transferred his credits from
the United States International University (USIU) to Wichita       “Purchasing items from US online stores while in Kenya was
University, USA to stay close to some of his family members.       hectic and expensive. Online stores decline foreign credit cards
Whilst in his new school, the journalism and marketing             or charge exorbitant freight fees to ship in Kenya. I started
undergraduate student was intrigued by the high end film           formulating a viable business plan to bridge this gap,” Karanja
                                                                   says.

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