In life, when you do something that influences at least a person, then you can lead, however, when you influence people to the extent that the people themselves want you to inspire and influence more people, then you are not only a leader but also an inspiration. Daniel Kimani the CEO of KEEF and a partner with MYC4 has scaled to such height. February 18th 2014 KEEF’s story was retold to many Kenyans in one of Kenyans leading newspaper; The Standard. KEEF, had a good year, (2013) on MYC4 and also good business in general and Daniel wanted Kenyans and anyone who basically would read his story to be innovator. Kenya being a developing country still has grounds for people to come up with new ideas and implement them, earning wealth and enabling others in the process.
I had a dream
Daniel Kimani first had a idea of starting a micro finance when he was a third year student at a local university in 1999. He first was thinking of himself as he was not sure of getting employment as the rate of unemployment in Kenya was high. This dream grew on him and he found was not only thinking of himself but also the youths back in his village some of whom were his friends, unemployed and without any means of getting financial assistance. Later after campus, even though he was lucky enough to be employed, many of the youth back home were not and this made him even more determined.
The dream actualized
Later on, Daniel Kimani quit his job, sold his idea to three other like minded people, who together contributed around €3000
and the dream hatched into a micro finance in 2004. Nine year down the line and KEEF is a financial institution that has enabled so many young people in Kiambu and the surrounding neighborhoods e.g. Rift valley province, Eastern and Nairobi provinces. Today KEEF can boast of being able to enable so many people by giving them loans, without straining as they have their activities well planned out.
How to beat competitors
“You simply have to be innovative… ” Daniel says of dealing with competitors, one has to be on top of the innovation game because there are many micro finances in the area, for KEEF, Daniel has introduced mobile banking, (client receives a loan through the phone and makes repayments through the phone), to his clients so that they can transact without necessarily visiting the office. He also is able to send money to them in the comfort of the office and he doesn’t have to travel with a lot of money to remote area. This has not only made business easier to do but it has also made it safer and quicker. By the time other competitors start using this method, KEEF will have come up with other better ways of reaching, satisfying and enabling its borrowers. Make hay while the sun shines, that is for everybody…