Co-working space where businesses are nurtured

Renting an office space in Nakuru Town can be costly, especially for startups.

The managing Director of Nakuru Box C-work Space, George Wayne Murungi speaks on December 7, 2020 about the new enterprise that rent out space to startups at their office at D and D House in Nakuru Town. FRANCIS MUREITHI | NATION

IN SUMMARY

  • Renting an office space in Nakuru Town can be costly, especially for startups.
  • Nakuru Box, a new co-working space is giving freelancers, entrepreneurs and budding startups, a conducive environment and at affordable rates to conduct their businesses.

Renting an office space in Nakuru Town can be costly, especially for startups.

This is discouraging to many young entrepreneurs, who may have their dreams aborted as they lack enough capital to rent premises.

Serah Wanjiru, a counselling psychologist, was looking for office space to set up her office at the Central Business District. One of her biggest headache was to get an affordable space to launch her dream company, The Divine Touch Counselling Consultancy.

After visiting many upcoming buildings in the town, she could not get space that could fit her business and budget.

However, just as she was about to give up she walked into the imposing D and D House situated at the intersection of West Road and Oginga Odinga Road. Here her worries were put to rest thanks to a new concept by a youthful entrepreneur who has founded a company that is changing the office renting space landscape in the cosmopolitan town.

“Nakuru Box offered me unbelievable offers and I could not wait to set up my office. I’m optimising the space holistically,” says Ms Wanjiru.

Nakuru Box, a new co-working space is giving freelancers, entrepreneurs and budding startups, a conducive environment and at affordable rates to conduct their businesses.

“At Nakuru Box, we have no lease agreement. With only Sh300 per day, you can rent an office space that guarantees you a fully furnished office and have access to all the amenities such as high-speed Internet, a kitchen to make a cup of coffee, and a boardroom to hold your meeting and a training room,” says George Wayne Murungi, the founder and managing director.

“We cater for everything and here your business is very secure and you need not worry about landlord, power bills, and other overhead costs, a receptionist or a secretary.”

He continued: “Our mission is to improve and nurture entrepreneurs. We want to make an impact on entrepreneurship sector in Nakuru and ensure startups are run more professionally.”

A mentorship programme, he adds, has opened a new revenue stream for the company. They charge Sh2,500 daily for the programme.

The enterprise also has furnished private offices, and training rooms that offer incubation programmes for young technical savvy entrepreneurs.

His interest in setting up the Nakuru Box began when he attended the Tony Elumelu Foundation summit in Nigeria which empowers young African entrepreneurs.

“After I attended one of the entrepreneurship summits in Nigeria by Tony Elumelu Foundation in 2018, I learnt a lot and I decided to start Nakuru Box,” says the alumni of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and Moi University where he studied Computer Science and Informatics respectively.

To set up his business, he used a seed capital of about Sh5 million from personal savings and resource mobilisation from close friends partners and suppliers.

“I combined efforts with Ms Leah Mbogo whom I met in Nigeria and Mr David Wachira and we opened Nakuru Box in 2019,” says the 28-year-old father of one boy.

The company has invested in conference equipment and office furniture. He has five employees including an accountant, a secretary cum receptionist.

“We have monthly packages for private offices which we charge Sh15,000 per month, dedicated desk goes for Sh10,000 per month, virtual space Sh5,000 per month and flexible desk for Sh8,000 per month,” he says, adding that the premises also boast a modern kitchen.

Nakuru Box also offers printing services and a boardroom for its clients.

It also offers a three-month mentorship programme called Msingi Master Class which covers technology skills such as mobile application development, website design, data science and graphics design.

Startups wishing to set up a website they are charged Sh30,000 while students studying website design pay Sh25,000, entrepreneurship class is charged Sh1,000 and digital marketing costs Sh20,000.

Mr Murungi plans to open more branches in Eldoret and Nairobi next year.

He says the main challenges entrepreneurs face include poor finance management, pricing their products, selling, marketing, customer relations, management of net profit as well as saving and investment of the profits.

Some of Nakuru Box clients include KPMG, and Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA), and Little Hands Bakers. The daily clients are between 30 and 40.

The firm has also lined up a number of plans.

“We plan to launch an incubation programme and incubate at least 25 information technology-oriented startups and mentor them to create more jobs in Nakuru County,” he said.

Source: Business Daily

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