How I built my business straight out of high school – Dennis Kibet

When Dennis Kibet sat his Form Four exit exam in 2012, starting a business was not the first thing on his high school leaver’s checklist. 

Fresh out of school and unfettered, Kibet was eager to explore the freedoms that come with adulthood, so he attended his first concert. 

“I’d never gone for an event before, so I decided attend one.  I paid Ksh.1500 for entry, and while I was there I noticed that over one thousand people had attended the event,” the 24-year-old recounts.

Kibet crunched the numbers and realised that events targeted and young people like him could be more than just a source of entertainment – they could earn him big bucks. 

At 18, he started his first business, Imagine-nation agency. 

To carve a niche for himself in Nairobi’s crowded events space, the budding entrepreneur expanded his service offering to include creative concepts, digital marketing and video production.   

Five years later, he’s worked in various capacities for key clients like Urban creations, Kenyan Nights, Jameson. 

As he proudly highlights his achievements, he pauses and admits that business is not a walk in the park – especially when you are young and you have limited access to quick credit. 

“One time we were scheduled to host and event, and we were Ksh.50,000 short,” he recounts. Cancelling the fete was not an option as other non-refundable expenses had already been incurred, so he decided to take a mobile loan. 

“We eventually borrowed the cash form KCB M-Pesa, and we were able to pay for a few things. Along the way, we cleared the debt and we had a successful function – I actually have an after-movie to show for it,” he remembers, smiling.

For KCB’s the Head of Digital Financial Services , Alex Siboe, stories like these are proof that the bank’s mobile-driven fintech strategy works. 

“The beauty about it is that you do not have to be a KBC customer to access the product; you just need to have an M-Pesa account. We use data from Safaricom to vet you, rate you and give you a limit,” he explained, adding that approved users get loans instantly.

Customers can grow their loan limits to Ksh.1,000,000, Siboe says, adding that the Central Bank interest regulations rates apply to all loans.

Kibet, who is winding up his Computer Science degree at Multimedia University, says that the product has been a lifeline for him and other young businesspeople when emergency strikes.