Simon Muya is among our five recent successful trainees to join the Somo Project Entrepreneurs. He founded Gurudumu, meaning tyres in Swahili. Simon creates furniture from recycled tyres such as chairs, tables, and footrests. He was inspired after he witnessed the 2007/ 2008 election violence, where people burned tyres in protest.  He decided to employ idle youth to make art out of these tires instead of burning them.

He comes from Githurai, a low-income community in Nairobi. He came across Somo’s website and decides to visit our Korogocho Hub. He applied for the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp and he was accepted to join cohort 6 for training. He says he used to be scared to do business. He was clueless on how to go about it. The training has instilled confidence in him. He is ready to be an entrepreneur and he will withstand all the challenge that may come with it.

He was inspired after he witnessed the 2007/2008 election violence, where people burned tires in protest. He decided to employ idle youth to make art out of these tires instead of burning them.

So far, he has been able to sell 3 tables at Kshs. 2000 (USD 20) each. In addition, a tire table with a glass top would sell at Kshs. 5000 (USSD 50), one with fabric at Kshs. 3500(USD 35) and one made of jute rope at Kshs 4,000(USD 40) depending on size. His main challenge was capital for marketing and for setting up a workshop. Currently, Simon makes his furniture from home. He says, “Customers don’t trust you, when you don’t have a physical working place to come see your work and make purchase.”   

Simon plans on opening a fully equipped furniture workshop at Githurai and employ more idle youth. Thanks to the partnership program with the Somo Project. He will be able to get the funding and marketing he needed to kick start his dream journey.