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From Maasai market to facebook success

January 28, 2014

Imbuhira Lamba: Owner of Facebook page Willing Buyer, Willing Seller Imbuhira Lamba: Owner of Facebook page Willing Buyer, Willing Seller[/caption] Local markets are known to be crowded, noisy and sometimes mucky. To avoid all this, young generations have founded their markets.  All they need is Internet and a mobile phone, and they sell their products to the world. Welcome to the world of virtual markets.  With the escalating costs of rent, exorbitant goodwill and many business licences, young people are skipping all the bureaucracy to sell their wares online, get paid through M-Pesa, and deliver the goods at the home or office of the buyer. Imbuhira Lamba, a young businesswoman in her mid-20s set up Willing Buyer, Willing Seller page on Facebook, and within weeks, the page had attracted thousands of members and now receives more than 2,000 views per day. “It is basically a market. If you have anything to sell, or you want to buy anything, you post it online and the interested parties will contact you,” says Lamba. She says most young people, fresh from universities have brilliant business ideas but are held back due to lack of capital. With the virtual market, a business owner can now skip the exorbitant costs of setting up business but work from home, and sell their wares online. “It has made it very easy for young people, when you are fresh from college, you don’t have to step a foot into anybody’s office, but work from your bedroom, and sell whatever product you have online,” says Lamba. A beneficiary of virtual markets, Shish Maya, 23, is still in college, and uses her spare time making bangles, and necklaces. “I have been in business for the past one year. I used to go sell my products at Maasai Market but then I realized, there was a lot of competition and sometimes I would spend a whole day and make minimal sales,” says Shish. She set up a Facebook profile, and sells her handmade jewellery. All she does is post pictures of her products and how much each costs. “It also helps because a buyer will also decide if I can custom make a necklace or bangle to their specification.” Shish delivers her products to her clients and is paid upon delivery or via M-Pesa. Wiling Buyer, Wiling Seller founder Imbuhira Lamba says the biggest challenge in hosting a virtual market is trust. “Most Kenyans, especially senior citizens would want to know where your shop is. If you tell them you work from home, they will dismiss you and think you are just another struggling young person,” says Lamba. *Source -The Standard]]>

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