42-year-old Elizabeth Naroa from Alupe in Teso South Sub County has come a long way to build her business empire from a humble background.
Through her passion, trust and commitment to her business, the mother of five saw an opportunity and grabbed it and transformed her life from a dairy farmer, to a yoghurt company owner.
She saw the potential of exploiting dairy farming after she realized that the agribusiness lacked marketing outlets for milk which was highly perishable as farmers counted loses due to poor sales.
When she started dairy production, she realized that it was what brought her entrepreneurial spirits alive. In year 2018, driven by the desire to do value addition to her 30 litres of milk produced from her two cows, she started yoghurt processing company on small scale from her dining room.
Naroa wanted to change the life of many dairy farmers around her and she set up a collecting centre at Alupe in efforts to see if she could get a market for their milk.
“I thought of taking advantage of the availability of milk by venturing into yoghurt making. I saw this as an opportunity for me to ensure that I could change my family life as well as provide healthy yoghurt for my family,” Naroa says.
Her business model consisted of market research to have knowledge of her customer, valuing them and selling at an appropriate cost then advertising from door to door, social media and simple word of mouth to make sure the yoghurt reaches everybody.
The journey started with a borrowed freezer from a friend, who agreed to help few months and three employees who were family members. With her little knowledge of the processing, then Naroa decided to do dairy exposes both online and through field visits to other like-minded entrepreneurs in Eldoret town.
She is a budding entrepreneur anchoring her efforts on Creamway Yogurt as her business brand. She then thought of how she could contribute to the community while earning a livelihood.
After her relentless efforts, she caught the eye of Kenya Crop and Dairy Management System (KCDMS) an organization that decided to partner with her in yoghurt processing effort by linking her to financial institutions which came to provide financial aid.
“I want to thank KCDMS. Through them I was able to procure 4 deep freezers, which has greatly helped me to scale up my production,” noted Naroa.
With the help of KCDMS, she went on to register the idea and undergo the necessary processes as required by Kenya National Bureau of Standards (KNBS), the country’s standards and quality body and calibration.
Creamway Enterprise makes vanilla, and strawberry only at the moment with plans to introduce other varieties with different taste and flavours in future.
“The consumers of our yoghurt products have varied tastes and their favourite drives our production line. We have had enormous feedback and this drives our production,” she narrated.
Creamway yoghurt are pocket friendly and range from Sh50 for a 250ml, Sh95 for 500ml and Sh400 for a 2litre bottle. The brand is free from additives and preservative unlike other brands found on the market.
With new partners, she now produces 150-250 litres of milk daily. The organization helped her employees to work in different departments ranging from production, marketing, ICT and branding.
KCDMS has provided her with KEBS mark, processing house, 4 freezers, Alco-gun and lactometer, pasteurizers, coolers, disinfectant tank and sealing machines. They have paid 6-month salary to all employees as a starter.
Elizabeth’s husband who is a pastor within Busia County has been a very resourceful marketing manager due to his wide range market and good public relation skills.
She now appeals to the national and county government to adjust rules on manufacturing and processing to support local industries.
By Absalom Namwalo