It started with only fifteen clients served by 2 people, and now a year later, Econeve has more than 200 clients and counting with more than 10 employees. While the already established garbage collection companies were expanding to high income families with the intention of making more profits, they left un-catered for market for Nemuel to start a garbage collection company in Tasia, Nairobi that targeted low income families and provided the service at an affordable fee.
How it started it all begun in 2011 when Nemuel finished high school. He spent a year at home with no job to do before joining campus. Upon traveling from Eldoret to Nairobi he met Steve Odhiambo, after minutes of chatting they both realized they had same ambitions and goals to impact their communities in terms of environmental conservation. A few weeks later, Nemuel decided to start Econeve with Steve.
Nemuel had made some observation in his neighborhood (he stays among the middle class, there is allot of dirt that city council does not collect) and concluded that it was the best place to start from. At the beginning of 2012 Nemuel was busy doing business planning, marketing the company by telling people about it, got the license from NEEMA and also joined campus. At around December 2012, the company got the first bunch of 15 clients.
How it grew by the beginning of 2013, Econeve started expanding within Tasia estate rapidly raising the number of clients from 15 to 150. The company exploited the resources of city council at some point, they collected the garbage and dumped it in the city council trucks for disposal. They further used the “Mkokoteni” people to dump the garbage at the city council collection points. To date Econeve has 200+ clients and plans to acquire trucks for collecting garbage.
Challenges the company faced/still facing allot of challenges. At the start, Nemuel and Steve had to fund the company themselves since they did not have investors. Funding the business themselves was easier than a bank loan or the business fund the government provides because the requirements, time and the process it took to get the money was not worth it.
There was and still is the challenge of clients failing to pay. Econeve charges on a monthly basis (after service), at end month, some clients do not have the money to pay and this inconveniences the operations of the company. There is also the issue of tight schedule, trying to juggle between school and the company, luck of enough resources like trucks to collect the garbage, trusting employees not to commit a crime while collecting garbage and pricing.
Why this business one of the reasons is that the competitors focus on high income families which leaves room for Econeve to serve the low income families. Secondly, both founders are neat people, they love a clean environment and hence, they want to expand that to different people at the same time exploiting it as a business opportunity.
Don’t do it many people discouraged them from getting into this type of business because according to them, there was no money in it and that it was a dirty business. Besides that Nemuel and Steve went on and started the company. Nemuel says he used the negative critics as a motivation work harder, he never gave up and always reminds himself that he is not looking for employment but expanding knowledge.
Advice from Nemuel
Creativity is the drive of success, stop asking parents to “M-pesa” you and start making your own money. This generation should realize that riches come with SMART working, not while sleeping. Always have a farmers approach to life, if there is no rain, dig a trench and let water in. when people cry there is no food, you have it. Most times friends are the dream destroyers, have the right company and stay soba and start taking responsibility. Bathsheba is not yet from Egypt.
Quotable quotes from Nemuel
M-pesa has become the order of the day. The youth do not want to work.
If there is no rain, dig a trench and let water in.
You rather wear 1 shoe and a year later you look back and see an empire than having 10 pairs of shoes and look back a year later and see nothing.
Bathsheba is not yet from Egypt
Originally posted 2015-05-10 20:29:19.