Simon's Shoe Shop

During the summer Christian Marcussen, a student of African Studies at Copenhagen University, has been an intern at Ebony Capital Enterprise, a MYC4 partner in Nakuru, Kenya. Christian is writing his thesis on the psychological impact of microcredit, and during his internship he is developing a tool to measure the social impact of microloans. Christian has visited MYC4 borrower Simon Njuguna Magu.


A traveller wandering the streets of Nakuru five years ago might have encountered Simon Njuguna Magu carrying a few pairs of shoes and trying to sell them to passers-by. Now Simon owns a stall in an outdoor market and has increased his sales by many hundred per cent. I visited him one Thursday in August at his shop in the centre of Nakuru city in Kenya.

Simon is a humble man, but although he is just 24 years old he speaks with the authority of a much older man when he welcomes me into his small shoe-shop. He lives with his wife and their one-year-old daughter not far from the shop. He moved to the city from the countryside some years ago to try and make it as a retailer. The shoes that Simon sells are second-hand shoes imported from abroad. They are shipped to Mombasa, from where a middleman buys them and sells them to retailers in Nairobi. Every once in a while Simon travels the two-and-a-half hours to Nairobi to buy shoes to restock his shop. Simon specialises in good-quality leather shoes, and his reputation in the business seems to be attracting a lot of customers. To increase his stock Simon took out a loan with Ebony Capital Enterprise, a MYC4 partner in Kenya. The loan also gave Simon enough money to buy a small piece of land in a semi-rural area on the outskirts of Nakuru, where he hopes to build a house for his family.

Simon takes his role as a father and husband very seriously. He wants to provide the best possible future for his young daughter, and therefore has big plans to expand his business in the future. So far Simon has gone from selling a few pairs of shoes he had bought using the 9,000 Kenyan shillings (around EUR 85) he had saved to owning his own shop and a small piece of land.

 

Visit Simon's profile on MYC4 here.