The story of Kendi Kimathi is one that resonates with the power of determination, resilience, and the pursuit of one’s true passion.
A graduate in Nutrition and Dietetics from Kenya Methodist University, Kendi’s journey is a testament to the transformative potential of embracing one’s interests and channeling them into a thriving business.
After experiencing the exhausting grind of a call centre job, Kendi found herself yearning for more. The repetitive routine and the lure of a monthly paycheck no longer held the appeal they once did.
She longed for the excitement of waking up each morning with a sense of purpose, ready to pursue a career aligned with her academic background.
Yet, the search for a suitable job in her field proved to be a daunting challenge. Frustration began to mount as she encountered barriers on her path to finding fulfilling work. In this period of uncertainty, a hobby from her past came to her rescue.
Brewing porridge was more than just a simple activity for Kendi; it was a passion she had inherited from her mother.
Often finding solace in brewing porridge, she realized that this seemingly routine act brought her immense joy and satisfaction. It was during this time that the idea to turn her hobby into a business began to take root.
With no concrete plans, Kendi decided to take a leap of faith. Armed with Ksh20,000 in savings, she set out to establish her own venture.
Using her mother’s kitchen as her base of operations, she began to brew her signature fermented porridge. Combining two types of millet – pearl and finger millet – in perfect proportions, Kendi meticulously ground and mixed the grains. The next step was fermentation, a critical process that imparted a unique flavor to her product.
Uji Benda Enterprises, founded in 2015, was not just a business venture; it was a manifestation of Kendi’s determination to craft a path of her own.
As the sole proprietor and employee, she embarked on a journey of discovery, both as an entrepreneur and as a creator of a product she deeply believed in. Starting small, her initial clients were friends and family, but her journey was destined for more.
In a world increasingly connected by social media, Kendi leveraged these platforms to expand her reach. Through referrals and online visibility, her customer base began to grow.
What started as a modest enterprise soon blossomed into something more significant. As demand increased, Kendi’s product line diversified to include milk, catering to the nutritional needs of her expanding clientele.
Today, Uji Benda Enterprises boasts around 500 loyal customers and a dedicated team of eight employees. Kendi’s passion for providing quality, nutritious products shines through as she sells 80 to 100 liters of porridge weekly, priced competitively to ensure sustainability and customer satisfaction.
The journey hasn’t been without its challenges, but Kendi’s unwavering commitment has led to recognition and success. Awards and accolades have followed, validating her dedication to her craft.
Beyond the business, Kendi’s story serves as an inspiration, especially for women and young entrepreneurs. Her story challenges societal norms, proving that with passion and determination, one can carve their own path and create a meaningful impact.
From a call centre to a flourishing porridge enterprise, Kendi Kimathi’s story encapsulates