Joreen Kinyua: 24-Year-Old Who Started Honey Business With College Pocket Money Now Making Up To Ksh 400K Per Month
For the longest time, Joreen and her family have been regular consumers of honey.
However, in the long run, they have, at some point, lost money after spending on low quality or adulterated honey.
With frustrations that come with purchasing such products, Joreen identified a gap in the market that needed to be filled.
To start of, she enrolled for a course on beekeeping and how to process honey at the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI).
In 2019, she founded Joreen Honey just after completing her training at KIRDI.
She put Ksh 150,000 into the business, capital that she had saved from her upkeep money while in college.
According to a report on Nation, Joreen makes up to Ksh 400,000 on a good month, and she employs 10 people.
The team helps with aggregation, sourcing, production, packaging, labeling and distribution of the honey.
Joreen sources her raw materials from Baringo, West Pokot, Nanyuki, Laikipia, Meru, Embu and even as far as Tanzania and Uganda where honey production is top notch.
Through her company, Joreen aggregates, produces, and sells organic honey. She also offers training to farmers and individuals interested in beekeeping at Ksh 1,000.
“We test our honey during aggregation to ensure that it is pure. The chemical tested on pure honey retains its brown colour, but if adulterated, the chemical turns orange. We test every honey that we buy to ensure that we sell quality,” she explained.
After the testing, the honey is taken to KIRDI where it is pressed, filtered and refined before being packed and labeled ready for sale.
“The distributor and our sales agents later on take the product to the market and sell to retail stores, mini markets and individuals,” Joreen mentioned.
Interestingly, the business started operations in 2020 just before the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic which increased the demand of honey.
During the pandemic period, many people consumed a concoction made from ginger, garlic and lemon called ‘dawa’, and they would use honey to sweeten it.
“For bulk orders, a kilo costs Ksh 350 with a minimum quantity order of 1 ton, while for retail, 500g costs Ksh 350,” Joreen said.
Her products also sell on her website joreenbrands.com and online platforms such as Jumia, Sendy, Pessafy, Kilimall.
Joreen cited receiving adulterated honey from farmers as one of the major challenges in her business.
“The demand for honey surpasses the supply, so many try to increase capacity by adulteration, there is also the fact that honey is seasonal, besides, aggregation is expensive – logistically, you tend to use a lot of resources to aggregate a small amount of honey, leading to inconsistent pricing and sometimes very small profit margins,” she said.
The entrepreneur has won several awards including the youth of the year awardee in the top 35 under 35 youths in Kenya and the FOYA Global under the manufacturing category.
Joreen has also been nominated in the Zuri awards 2021 under the entrepreneurship and agriculture categories.