In a world where traditional career paths often define success, Maureen Wanyaga stands out as a beacon of entrepreneurial innovation and resilience.
Few years ago, armed with a bachelor’s degree in human resources, Maureen faced a daunting job market. Unfazed by the lack of opportunities, she embarked on a journey that would not only change her life but also empower her community – rabbit farming.
Maureen’s affinity for rabbits traces back to her high school days, where her guardian’s regular servings of rabbit meat sparked her interest
After university, while grappling with unemployment, she started a small business selling lollipops.
After a while and with support from her elder sister, she bought her first motorbike that would help her run her business errands. She used the bike also to commute from home to the Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology where she was studying.
She had also saved at least Sh50,000, an amount that helped her set up the rabbit business.
“I graduated in 2015 and as I was trying to get a footing in after-school life, I started looking for a job. I tarmacked for six months, but did not secure a job,” she said, adding that this is when she started getting serious about rearing rabbits. She began with five bunnies at their Kahawa Sukari residence on the outskirts of Nairobi, and within six months the rabbits had multiplied to 60.
Recognizing their rapid breeding capabilities, she delved into rabbit farming. Starting with just a handful of bunnies, her venture quickly multiplied.
Despite initial setbacks, including losing half of her rabbits to a mongoose attack, Maureen’s determination remained unshaken.
With a keen eye for opportunity and a desire to make a difference, Maureen relocated her rabbit farming business from the bustling city of Nairobi to her rural home in Tetu Constituency.
The move wasn’t merely geographical; it was a strategic decision to reduce operating costs and make her business more sustainable.
However, the real challenge lay in changing societal norms. In Kenya, rabbit meat was not a staple. But Maureen saw beyond tradition; she saw the potential for a nutritious, low-calorie meat source.
With unwavering determination, she started promoting rabbit meat in local markets and eateries. Her persistence paid off as she began selling rabbit meat to small joints in Nyeri town, slowly but steadily creating a demand where there was none.
Maureen’s impact didn’t stop at providing a new protein source for her community. She innovatively utilized every aspect of her rabbit farm, selling rabbit droppings and urine as organic manure.
This not only reduced waste but also provided local farmers with high-quality fertilizers at affordable prices, promoting sustainable agriculture in her region.
Her vision doesn’t end there. Maureen’s ambition is as boundless as the fields surrounding her rabbit farm. She plans to expand her farm from 1,000 to 5,000 rabbits.
Additionally, she aims to attract investors who share her passion for sustainable agriculture, envisioning a future where her venture can support even more aspiring entrepreneurs.