Damaris Chebet: Egerton University Student who turned Sh20,000 helb loan into a thriving honey business empire

by admin

In Kenya, where university education often comes with financial challenges, many students rely on the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to fund their studies.

However, for some students like Damaris Chebet, a fourth-year IT student at Egerton University, the HELB loan has become more than just a means to pay tuition fees – it’s a stepping stone to entrepreneurial success.

Damaris’s entrepreneurial journey began with a sh 20,000 HELB loan, which she used to start a honey-supplying venture in 2022.

This decision was driven by her passion for entrepreneurship, particularly in the agribusiness sector. Despite initial setbacks, including a failed attempt due to a lack of clear strategy and branding, Damaris remained undeterred.

She quickly learned from her mistakes and relaunched her business under the brand name ‘Asali by Chebet.’

The relaunch proved to be a turning point for Damaris. Armed with valuable lessons from her previous endeavor and a renewed sense of determination, her business began to flourish.

Within a year, Asali by Chebet had grown exponentially, expanding its reach beyond Kenya’s borders to countries as far away as the UK and Germany.

Despite juggling the demands of her studies with the responsibilities of running a business, she has managed to strike a balance.

Dividing her week between business operations and academic pursuits, Damaris handles deliveries and manages her business from Monday to Friday, reserving weekends for rest, study, and other activities.

One key factor contributing to Damaris’s success is her utilization of her IT skills. As a computer science student, she has leveraged her knowledge to build a website and an app for her brand, enhancing its visibility and accessibility to customers.

Additionally, her membership in the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) has provided her with invaluable networking opportunities and entrepreneurial training, further fueling her business growth.

Asali by Chebet has carved out a niche in the market, catering to a diverse clientele that includes spa and salon clients, hotels, and corporates.

By sourcing honey from local bee farmers, Damaris not only supports the local economy but also ensures the authenticity and quality of her products.

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