Good riddance to the good old days.
It’s debatable if the past days indeed merit the ‘Good Old Days’ tag. If you flinch whenever you hear that line, you ain’t alone. Everything new is better.
Old days versus new days, which is better?
The progressive amongst us would fight tooth and nail for new times. Healthcare is better. Roads and rail systems are better. In the so-called ‘Good Old Days’, simple mail would take ages to reach the intended party. There’s been huge strides in human rights activism and community awareness on topical issues like gender equality, FGM or even cattle rustling.
New is certainly better.
In urban and rural landscapes, a shopping center would have an influential, family-run business. This business would occupy an imposing building middle of the settlement, or a major street. The major flaw with such family-ran businesses, is that they’d be named after the family patriarch, and tag the sons.
Like, Mungai & Sons Textiles. Or, Mutisya & Sons Enterprises.
It didn’t matter if that family had a single son and several daughters, they’d be ignored. In some cases, the sons in a family would be useless drunks in that society, they’d still be tagged beside the founding father in the business.
Luckily, thanks to a spirited gender equality campaign, things have changed. The feminine gender has proved to be better entrepreneurs and better business minds to not run generational investments to the ground.
Bang in the middle of Kericho Town’s business district, nestled in a behemoth of a glass building, runs a girl-run business that’s the envy of other family-owned businesses.
We celebrate Jebet & Daughters Bakers Ltd, in Kericho Town.
Jebet is a robust, brilliant lady – perhaps in her early 60’s – who founded and grew a baking business from a modest, cramped corridor-shop in the late 90’s. While it’s hard to picture her humble beginnings considering her current level, Rebecca intimates a difficult start. She’d dropped from school and found employment as a house girl, but quit after a few months to follow her passion. She’d rent a tiny shop off a corridor.
She’d bake tea cakes, then popularly known as Kaimati – and deliver to other businesses within her street.
Over the years, Jebet would grow from a tiny shop, rent bigger space, and hire staff. Besides, she’d juggle this motherhood as she was blessed with twin daughters one year into the business. However, the father to the twins passed away in a road crash. She’d chosen to remain strong and focused to keep her business afloat, and raise her daughters.
Those were the hard days. The business has grown to command a huge section of the bread industry in the Rift Valley. She’d incorporate her daughters, after college. Jebet and Daughters Ltd was born, and has since landed contracts to supply bread and confectionery to government establishments, NGO’s and learning institutions.
During this interview, the business mogul shuns formalities – insists to be addressed simply as ‘Jebet’. She’s quick to credit their success to a good working relationship with their banking partner, Co-op Bank.
Becky tells us that Coop has heavily invested in the convenient e-Commerce solution. It allows her to easily and safely make transactions with institutions, and receive instant updates on payments.
All payments are made to her business’s Co-op bank account, and the e-Commerce solution has an outstanding real-time processing speed. For NGO’s clients, the solution also allows payments in any currency – GBP, USD, EURO, or KES, which is convenient for both parties.
On her shop network in various streets, which used to run 24 hours before the Covid-19 pandemic, she insists on cashless payments. The Co-op Bank M-Pesa Paybill number 400200 is displayed conspicuously – allows direct payments to her Co-op Bank account. This is the same case with outlets in neighboring towns – the bank had assisted her get M-Pesa Till numbers for each outlet. All this is done free of charge.
It’s fascinating to learn how this business lady runs her business from a central office, and still find time for chit chat. Her business template would be a good starting point for other business owners with a desire to survive the harsh economic state in the country.
Visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch to learn about the e-Commerce solution for your business, or log into the online banking platform. The bank shall also assist you acquire M-Pesa till numbers to facilitate cashless payments.
Long live Jebet & Daughters Bakers Ltd, Kericho.