Kenyan Woman Splashing Millions in Canada After Banks' Rejections

  • A plane ticket to Canada from Kenya was envisioned as the ultimate game-changer for entrepreneur Jackee Kasandy who had hopes of launching her own business in a foreign country. 

    Despite relocating to Canada at the age of 23 years, Kasandy aspired to place kiondo bags and scarves on the global map. 

    Her dreams were, however, derailed after she faced numerous roadblocks from Canadian lending institutions in a bid to get funding. 

    According to the entrepreneur, she could not access a loan without collateral. 

    A collage of kiondo bags sold by Jackee Kasandy

    A collage of kiondo bags sold by Jackee Kasandy

    Jackee Kasandy

    “You might have a really good idea, but if it can’t get funded it goes nowhere,” she told The Toronto Star. 

    For a business person who did not own property, it proved to be difficult to access any type of funding. 

    Digging down deep in her pockets, Kasandy used up all her savings to launch her business. 

    “I used my savings, my credit card, my Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), all of that stuff to start the business,” she stated. 

    “I don’t have any family here. It’s not like I can go to my uncle and my auntie, my mom, and borrow some money. I’m an immigrant,” she added. 

    Kasandy stated that the banking system did not value someone’s ideas but it was based on one’s financial status.

    As years passed by, Kasandy reinvented herself and launched Black Entrepreneurs and Businesses of Canada (BEBC). In addition, through her shops, clients get to buy kiondos at a maximum price of Ksh18,330 ($150). 

    Years later, Kasandy launched a contest with a Ksh3.1 million prize for Black entrepreneurs with big ideas and small bank balances.

    She noted that the inspiration was driven by her past whereby she struggled to get funding. 

    “Rather than requiring entrants to have full business plans with their pitches, the Black Pitch Contest calls on people who self-identify as Black to submit a short video outlining their ideas,” read part of the publication. 

    The competition has since attracted close to 150 entries from across the world with entrepreneurs filing in their applications for the lucrative opportunity. 

    Entrepreneur Jackee Kasandy posing for a photo

    Entrepreneur Jackee Kasandy posing for a photo

    Jackee Kasandy

Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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