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June Kenyan Woman of the Month

June Kenyan Woman of the Month

Name

Pauline Awino

Age

29

What Pangea Women’s Network Cooperative are you apart of?

Angaza Women Group

Tell us about yourself

I am 29 years old, a businesswoman, a wife and a mother of 3 boys. I sell fish (tilapia, Nile-perch, and ‘omena’ (small fish)) in Rongai town, Kajiado county. I also do crocheting when I get orders from clients.

What are you most proud of?

When I tried my hand at business back in 2012, I was unsure if it would succeed. Having been raised in Kisumu, I knew the fish business is marketable in major cities within Kenya. I moved to Nairobi and decided to bring the fish to Nairobi from Kisumu and sell it to the city dwellers. I was glad that my decision paid off since there was ready market for the product. Since then, I have been sourcing my fish from Kisumu every week. When I got the Pangea loan, I easily increased my stock as demand was high. In a good week, I can make a profit of between Ksh.5000-8000. I am proud that I can collaborate with my husband to meet the family’s needs sufficiently.

 

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned with The Pangea Network?

The most important lesson from the Pangea training was Basic Nutrition and how to deal with competition in business. On nutrition, I learned the importance of having a balanced diet and not just eating food to get full. I also learned the importance of different feeding habits based on the age factor. With this knowledge, I cater to my family’s nutritional needs the best way I know how. Initially, competition was a major challenge when I started out. From the training, I learned the various ways to deal with it. As a result, I decided to start doing door-to-door deliveries so as to increase sales. This called for me to be a good time-keeper hence becoming a reliable supplier of the fish to my customers. This strategy has paid off in the long run.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your business?

The pandemic has affected me, my family, and business in many ways. To begin with, I have to strike a balance between business time and family time because the children are at home with the schools closed. My business has fewer hours to operate due to the government-imposed curfew whereby by 7:00 pm, we have to be indoors. Most customers used to buy fish as they got back from their workplaces, but sales have reduced as some don’t get to work hence don’t pass by. Additionally, my supply of the big fish (tilapia and Nile-perch) has been interfered with due to the Nairobi lockdown. It is a challenge getting the supply to enter Nairobi on time due to delays in security checks and the fish are highly perishable.
As a result, I have resorted to selling just Omena (small fish), which I can source easily from big Nairobi markets. Income has greatly declined as I can now make a profit of between Ksh.1000-2000 in a week. It is my hope that everyone takes personal responsibility by following the guidelines given by the health authorities to prevent the spread of the virus so that many don’t get sick. I ensure that my family and I follow them and hope that the virus is contained so our businesses can flourish once more.

By |2020-06-08T16:13:21-05:00June 8th, 2020|Monthly Feature, News|1 Comment

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One Comment

  1. Kathleen Minor June 13, 2020 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    Congratulations to you, Pauline. You are an excellent woman to be emulated and you and your family have become stronger because of your drive and participation in Pangea. We all hope the Virus will soon disappear and life and finances return to normal for you and the world. Very best regards to you.

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