My Hustle: I make Sh500 profit a day hawking porridge

Leah Wanjiku, 31
Six years ago, I invested Sh150 in a porridge hawking business. It was tough at the beginning with hardly any customer base to write home about, let alone engaging in something I was barely known for. However, the hustle managed to weather the initial hurdles.

Although it may not seem like a capital intensive venture, it requires effort to do marketing. And here is where the sole meets the road; walking up and down, serving the usual customers and targeting new ones through the art of persuasive speaking.

Porridge in a calabash. [Courtesy]
I do most selling in the evening when it is cool as this is the time preferred by many of my customers.

Other than competition, I have to deal with the challenge of bad debts. Some customers, say at timber yards or casuals at construction sites, take porridge on credit with the promise to pay at the end of the week when they receive their wages only to default.

Rainy days also slow down movement and this is not good for business.

Also, county officials can catch me unawares and demand for hawking ticket.

When sales returns are good, I make about Sh500 in profit. On slow days, I get Sh200 profit.

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In an area where one seems to have dominance or monopoly of sorts, copycats will crop up.

The secret is not throwing in the towel; some competitors will fall by wayside when the going gets tough.  

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