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Kaberia Bariu: Entrepreneur Who Quit His Banking Job to Start a Business Training Consultancy

by Paul Nyongesa
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In a world where job security and a steady income are often seen as the ultimate goals, Kaberia Bariu made the bold choice to leave his comfortable position at KCB Foundation and dive headfirst into the unpredictable world of entrepreneurship.

His decision, initially met with skepticism from family and friends, has since led to the creation of SetPace Consultancy Limited, now a prominent corporate training consultancy company with over 10 corporate contracts each month, making a profound impact on micro and small enterprises. Here is his inspiring journey.

Kaberia’s journey began with a strong foundation in education.

After completing his bachelor’s degree in actuarial science at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University, he was immediately employed by KCB Foundation.

It was here that he became involved in a program called 2jiajiri, aimed at helping young people become self-employed.

Kaberia was responsible for the business development services aspect of the program, overseeing operations in five counties.

“We were helping young people acquire skills and then use those skills to develop businesses,” Kaberia explains during an Interview with the Business Daily.

During his time at KCB Foundation, as he traveled to different counties and interacted with young entrepreneurs, Kaberia noticed the challenges that small businesses faced.

He supports customers through corporate training, team building, and business advisory services.

Kaberia’s keen observations during his tenure at KCB Foundation planted the seeds for his future venture.

Quitting a high-flying job in the bank to venture into corporate training and team building seemed like a far-fetched dream, but now SetPace Consultancy Limited is a reality, offering services to many big local and international organizations like the United Nations, Transparency International, Vaal, Finsco Africa, Crown Paints, and many others.

In just four years, he has grown SetPace to be NITA accredited and expanded its customer base, staff, and revenue, attracting the attention and winning the confidence of many giant corporates, parastatals, and NGOs to provide training in areas like customer service, sales, leadership, personal finance management, and many other areas.

When asked about the comparison between his former job and his business, he laughed, though shy of disclosing the figures which he just brushed off by saying it’s over 10 times.

Beyond the impact of supporting organizations grow, it’s human capital and the jobs he has created for many people as his company contracts trainers and support teams.

He said his secret for growth in business is offering training that is practical and full of fun, making it easy for learners to connect. Another secret is aggressive marketing and proper research on market gaps and customer needs.

He saw an opportunity to address the gaps and challenges that these entrepreneurs faced and decided to venture into consultancy to make a difference.

SetPace Consultancy Services was born out of this vision

Kaberia and his team provide micro and small businesses with a range of services designed to help them thrive.

Among the offerings are business training, guidance covering topics such as business registration, strategic planning and mentorship initiatives that encompass personalized one-on-one coaching sessions.

Kaberia began SetPace Consultancy with a modest capital of Ksh100,000.

“The cash was for registering the consultancy, buying a laptop, and branding my company,” he recalled. However, he encountered his fair share of challenges along the way. He recalls, “The company was just me and my notebook, no office, no staff.”

Getting highly skilled and certified trainers who are committed and passionate proved challenging. Sometimes, contracts were secured, but finding the skilled people required was a hurdle.

However, they persevered and created an in-house team of consultants, now boasting 11 associate consultants under contract.

Over the span of just four years, Kaberia Bariu has orchestrated the remarkable growth of SetPace Consultancy. Under his leadership, the company achieved NITA accreditation, expanded its customer base, bolstered its workforce, and significantly increased .

This meteoric rise has not gone unnoticed, as SetPace Consultancy has garnered the attention and unwavering confidence of numerous industry giants, esteemed parastatals, and reputable NGOs.

They have chosen SetPace as their trusted partner to deliver top-notch training in essential areas such as customer service, sales strategies, leadership development, personal finance management, and a multitude of other vital disciplines.

Kaberia’s approach is unique. He focuses on helping mama mbogas and village savings groups, many of whom make modest profits but struggle to grow their businesses effectively.

His advice often centers around income generation, such as suggesting that these groups invest a portion of their earnings in assets like chairs, tents, or utensils that they can rent out for events.

Kaberia claims that many of these small businesses are quite profitable but lack proper record-keeping and financial management. Additionally, he recognizes the potential in the informal business sector, where traditional methods of operation often hinder growth.

Looking forward, Kaberia has set ambitious goals for SetPace Consultancy. He envisions supporting thousands of small businesses in their growth journeys by providing affordable and tailor-made business training and advisory services.

His ultimate aim is to contribute to employment growth and bolster the overall economy by nurturing these enterprises.

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