From homelessness to making KSh 700, 000 in a month; Meet The 24-year old CEO of Display and Reach Communication- a marketing outdoor advertising company
Ruth Jelimo went from an unsuccessful job seeker to earning 200-700K per month as an entrepreneur. The road definitely wasn’t easy but she managed to conquer adversity and make it.
In 2003 while joining form two, her family life changed drastically when her father came home one day and chased them away.
Now her mother who was a farmer had no farm. They had no source of income or any way to pay for education. So, Ruth was forced to take up all sorts of odd jobs in order to make ends meet and put herself through school.
She went on to graduate from Kenya Methodist University in 2010 which is when she begun looking for a job. It took a while and at some point she gave up and went to her father.
“I went home for the first time in years, hoping to reason with my father so that he would at least give me a small piece of land to plant maize and keep cattle,” she says in an interview conducted by Standard.
He refused to even meet with her and that is when she knew she needed to switch strategies in order to earn money to help her family.
“By then, I was a marketer for an entertainment event and conference facility,” she recalls. “The little money I obtained I used it for my upkeep and for my family including my mother whom I paid rent for. She lived in a single room.”
As she was sheltering from the rain one morning at Nairobi County offices, Ruth took a tour of city hall because she was interested in finding out about advertising in the city. She ended up learning the procedure required before one starts advertising in the city.
She needed Sh28, 000 to start her business and since she did not have enough capital she took a loan of Sh42, 000 from her cousin.
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Owning a firm
In May 2012, the then 24-year old started her own company Display and Reach Communication, a creative source company that engages in marketing promotions, outdoor advertising, branding and event management, using the borrowed funds.
It took about 2 months to land her first client. “My first work was an advertising and branding job with the NGO Faida Kenya operating in Daadab refugee camp,” she recalls. “I branded t-shirts, caps, banners and vehicles donated to the organisation by UNHCR for a project.”
From this first job she earned a profit of Sh400, 000 and she never looked back. Now her business gives her a monthly income between Sh200, 000 and Sh700, 000.
“I reinvested the profit in buying more space for advertisements. This opened the floodgate for other business opportunities,” she says.
Faida Kenya remains one of her customers and the lists of her clients include: KFC, Samsung, Mojos Club, Pago Airways and Best Western Hotel.
She plans on expanding her business in East Africa and creating jobs for her fellow youth.
“I have received over 100 job applications from youth and I hope that with favourable business and expansion of my company I might provide employment to them.”