Richard Paulo Kashinjei is among the 24 outstanding entrepreneurs shortlisted for the 4th Citi Micro-entrepreneurship Awards(CMA) in Tanzania.
Business: Leather Shoemaking
Location: Kishiri A, Mwanza
Richard is a physically challenged man, but this has not stopped him from being an outstanding maker of leather products such as shoes, belts and wallets. Sido provided skills to Richard and other disabled people. Sido also provided them with a sewing machine to start the business. He would buy used leather bags from flea markets and make new items. When customers began buying in bulk, he started buying new leather for production. The success comes from having affordable goods and offering personalized services. His motivation to start a business originated from someone who informed him about Sido as a provider of free technical skills to those with disabilities. The loan from Sido enabled them to scale from 100 units to 500 units. His main customers are from showrooms and Masaais.
Vision: Having a bigger, better place for production, Having better production machinery and offering more employment opportunities.
Challenges: Competition from imported goods, competitors having better equipment. Expense in transport since he needs support in travelling.
Impact: He supports his family and has built a living place. Being a good influence to the disabled community that they can also make it in life.
Richard is ready to teach his skill set to other disabled people and the youth free of charge.
Opinion: Richard prefers to earn a living rather than receiving handouts. He also appreciates positive advice and suggestions from people. The idea of starting the business was after one of his customers suggested it to him while he was a shoe shiner.