13 Sep Meet Sintamei Nkaitole of Asali Honey//Winner of the 2017 Sinapis Business Plan Competition
Congratulations on winning the most sought after Sinapis award. The Business Plan Competition is a tough competition. How does it feel to win?
Thank you! It’s very exciting to win such a competition, especially when competing with contestants who have been in business longer than Asali. It’s quite an honour and a great motivator to excel and keep on pushing the limits for Asali.
How do you plan to use the money?
I plan to invest the Ksh 1 million ($10,000) in the company in four key areas: machinery, harvesting, plant building and marketing.
Tell us a little about your company and what your vision for the business is in the next 5 years?
Asali intends to be the leading organic commercial honey producer in the world, known for its premium organic honey products and its impact on the communities it employs and contracts.
In the next 5 years Asali will have 2,200hives and 500 Women partners who will help us in the export of our honey to the UAE.
How did the Sinapis program influence your business?
The Sinapis program was just a Godsend! It revolutionized not only my mind as a director, but my depth of understanding in business. The operations, financials and client interactions have been the most applicable topics to my business. Additionally, the materials and notes are a wide reference and guideline with step by step directions for scaling my business.
What does being a Kingdom Business entrepreneur mean to you?
Being a Kingdom Business entrepreneur means that I am led by the Holy Spirit in managing my business and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to my scope of impact. Be it employees, stakeholders or suppliers, every single manner and action of the business should reflect and submit to Jesus Christ.
You did the Sinapis Program while starting a business and also being enrolled in University. Can you tell us what that was like and how that prepared you? What’s the secret to making the most of those opportunities?
Focus and prayer. I never allowed any distraction to take away vital time from my business or my pursuit for education. I keep on motivating myself by watching documentaries of successful entrepreneurs, setting goals and going for them. I developed a mind that has no impossibilities, that has cultivated a strong self-belief. Prayer has been such an anchor for me. Every challenge that has come my way, I have prayed through and conquered. I believe, unless you allow yourself to fail, failure does not exist.
What tips would you give to the entrepreneurs hoping to win in the next competition? What would you advise them to consider when it comes to pitching and presenting their business plan to investors?
Pitching and presentation skills are important. Work with your trainers at Sinapis closely to develop the skills, then refine and practice. I remember I did a pitch at 1am via phone to my trainers. It was timed and I went through the presentation twice. Practice! And implement the advice you are given if it fits with your vision for your business.
What’s your favorite entrepreneurship/business quote?
I don’t have any business quote, but I have a verse that has been more than helpful. “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” Matthew 19:26 NKJV