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Cicilia: Savvy Businesswoman of Nairobi’s City Park Market

Cicilia working

Cicilia Njoki knows the importance of location for a thriving business. And she’s an expert at picking a good one. 

For nearly 30 years, she’s operated a green groceries business in two stalls of the City Park Market in the Parklands area of Nairobi, Kenya. It’s close to the United Nations office in Nairobi, so Cicilia’s customers include expatriates working at the U.N as well as Kenyan businesspeople working and living in Parklands. They prefer her business because they know they can get a variety of fresh produce at good prices—and there’s plenty of parking.  

Together with her husband’s income as a plant operator in Nairobi’s industrial area, Cicilia's business has enabled them to provide education from primary school through university for their three grown children. Now, she’s a grandmother to two grandkids. She’s also an active member at her church where she’s the chairperson of the Women’s Guild. But there was more she could do to steward her business and her skills... 

Cicilia Njoki Market

An Entrepreneurial Mindset

Using the savings from her business, Cicilia purchased several plots of land in the capital city and in the neighboring Kiambu county, an equally thriving business and residential area. Once again, Cicilia’s skills of choosing promising locations paid off. One of her plots in Nairobi is located in Lucky Summer estate, an area experiencing an increased demand for residential rental houses. As an astute businesswoman, Cicilia started to construct rental units to meet this demand and diversify her revenue streams. 

But she had a problem. She didn’t have enough funds on hand to complete the project. Cicilia was stuck. While she was figuring out what to do next, her minister at Chodom Church introduced her to Adjacent Possible Finance, our local partner in Kenya who is piloting FinAccess with Partners Worldwide. 

Securing the Funds to Succeed 

This introduction was a turning point for Cicilia. Using the title deed for a different property as security, she secured a Ksh 800,000 loan (around $5300 USD) which she used to continue the rental unit project. She later took a top-up loan of Ksh 280,000 (around $1900 USD) which she used to finish a single one-bedroom unit. 

Now she earns Ksh 14,000 (about $93 USD) from the one-bedroom unit. It’s enough to pay for the utilities like water, waste, and electricity. To prepare the entire property for occupation, she needs more financial support. Her plan is to continue repaying her loan up to the end of this year and then approach APF for another loan of 1 million Ksh (about $6700 USD) in February next year to finish four more units. With four more occupied units, Cicilia is confident that she will be able to repay her new loan from the rental income she will get. 

It takes a network of global partners like you to make this happen! Because of your support, we can work with our partners to increase their lending capacity so they can serve more people like Cicilia. Thank you for supporting entrepreneurs to use their God-given skills in the marketplace.