My name is Wairimu Kimani. I am 24 years old. I recently graduated from an undergrad in computer science and I bake cakes as a part-time business, which I sell online using the unlimited internet provided by Poa! Internet.

Before we had Poa!, my parents and I had to buy internet “bundles”.

In Kenya, there are different service providers. If you have a line from, for example, Safaricom, you’ll likely buy your data bundle from them. You pay for the data you are going to use. For example, with Safaricom, you’ll pay Ksh. 250 (EUR 1.86) for a 1GB data bundle. Once the data runs out, however, you’re cut off and forced to buy a new bundle.

So, one day, when I came home from school, my parents surprised me. They didn’t want me to worry about having to pay for bundles, and focus on my education instead. So they got Poa! Internet installed. This was a smart move, because some time later, covid-19 hit. Our classes went from physical to digital, and thanks to Poa!, I didn’t have to spend a fortune on data bundles.

You name it, I bake it

We focus on impact. We serve people who are just starting out, who come from low-income communities.

Lilian Maingi-Kyalo, customer director of Poa!

Once we had unlimited internet, my parents gushed to their friends about it, who quickly followed suit. As my parents’ friends are my friends’ parents, my entire social circle quickly switched from buying expensive bundles to having reliable internet. We were able to cancel our cable as well, as we could just watch the news and stream Netflix online!

During covid-19, with our social lives completely out of the window and our classes online, I decided to start my own business. I started baking. Cakes, cupcakes, wedding cakes – you name it, I bake it. I initially got my orders through my network on WhatsApp, but I quickly created an Instagram and Facebook page to help spread the word. I mostly do my own deliveries, but I also have a guy who does deliveries on my behalf. The additional income really helped me get through covid, allowing me to buy my own things and depend less on my parents.

IMG 5433

"We focus on impact. We serve people who are just starting out, who come from low-income communities, and who do not have the financial ability to procure the services from the larger internet service providers like Safaricom, JTL and Zuku.

Our initial focus was on providing the urban areas with internet. These customers are more middle and upper middle-class. We have not been able to full reach the people in the slums and peri-urban areas. To do so, we are now concentrating on community building, by empowering the schools in these areas so that the children have better access to learning resources. We’re also working with police stations because our teams need to be able to work in security.

In the areas that we are servicing, you will find many small businesses, like hairdressers for example. In order for their salon to stand out from the others, they offer internet connectivity to their clients while they are being serviced, and they will actively advertise this possibility. This happens a lot in areas like Kangari, for example."

Lilian Maingi-Kyalo, customer director of Poa!

Now that I’m graduated, I’m applying for work. I’m hoping to find something in computer sciences, but will continue to bake in the meanwhile. Depending on whether I can find someone to manage my business when I’m off to work, I might even consider keeping it as a side-business!

Wairimu DSC00388

BIO has invested in Poa! and provided them with technical assistance.

Wairimu Kimani has a small online bakery, which she's able to run thanks to the unlimited internet of Poa!.

This is her story.

Poa! Internet

  • Subsidy $ 13,543.00 (2023)
    Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya

  • Debt € 3,000,000.00 (2023)
    Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya

  • Subsidy € 17,264.00 (2022)
    Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya

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