She quit her job, became a stay at home mom then started a business.
The last time I interviewed a businesswoman I wasn’t too inspired, so I wasn’t that excited to meet Asenath Chebet Tulus, a mother of two, wife to Dickson Kurgat and businesswoman. To me, most businesses seem too complicated to even start. But Chebet looked calm, happy and very familiar with Jumia offices as she walked in. She said hi to everyone and I knew that I was in for a good conversation, maybe even a lesson or two.
If stability was a look, she had it.
You can always tell an empowered woman from her walk: bold and confident, her bubbling energy. But I kept counting the digits on my left hand – one, two…five thousand bob? That’s all it took to break the cycle of poverty? I could hardly wait to ask my first question: “why did you quit?” I mean, who quits a job in this economy? Her laugh was infectious, and she began to recount the events of the last year, from August 2018 to this October. She started with the story of her first pregnancy, a difficult one, which forced her to quit as she needed more leave days than the job allowed.
First: The wholesale business.
Chebet’s first foray into entrepreneurship was a wholesale business she started while she was pregnant with her second born. “I decided to let my house help run it as she was really good at managing my home,” Chebet recounted. Although she was trying to empower another woman, she learned that it’s better to work with people who know your business. Since her house help lacked that knowledge, the wholesale business collapsed almost as soon as it started. For a while, Chebet deliberated returning to the corporate world. That’s when her brother referred her toJumia:
“I remember he referred me to a vendor on Jumia. The vendor apparently sold her products on Jumia and got paid weekly.”
Chebet’s brother mentioned that the vendor earned money weekly and he thought it was a good place to start for her as a stay-at-home mom. Chebet felt she could risk 5k on the idea, and that became her starting capital.
The beginning of freedom
Chebet decided to try selling beauty products. She started selling them on Jumia and slowly but surely she developed a working strategy for her online shop, Tatulis Enterprises. It turns out it’s quite simple to become a vendor on Jumia. All you need is capital to buy products and then Jumia acts as a host for your products. You manage your shop, updating prices and delivery to Jumia and then you get your weekly payout based on what you have sold. In just two months Chebet had started making 40k! I guess dreams come true.
Today, Chebet is her own boss
Chebet loves that she’s able to control how much money she makes by moderating the amount of work she puts in. She’s also able to work from home, meaning she can afford to be a more present parent, better control her finances, while also managing her home. I asked Chebet what she is looking forward to and you could see her excitement as she said “Black Friday”. Black Friday is the best time for both vendors like Chebet, and regular consumers like you and me. During the Black Friday sale period, Jumia has a massive sale on many products, so if you’ve been eyeing any electronics, beauty products, or household appliances or products then you need to be there on Black Friday and stock up! It’s basically the best sale of the year.
So how is Asenath planning on making money on Black Friday?
“Luckily for me Jumia is giving me a loan based on the fact that I perform quite well and have a good track record. I’m planning to use the loan to stock up and hopefully make a huge sale during Black Friday.”
We wrapped up with Asenath’s encouraging words to anyone who is facing unemployment or looking for extra income. “No one should be jobless when you have the digital and online space. “You can make something out of yourself. For me, Jumia is the platform and they give you the market.”