YLA opened my eyes to the need for radical changes if I want my business to thrive

YLA opened my eyes to the need for radical changes if I want my business to thrive. It taught me the importance of customer relationships and redirected my focus towards empowering farmers.

I am Emma, the proud owner of Barasam Agrovet in Machakos County. Named after my son, Baraka, our agrovet serves as a one-stop shop for farmers, offering a wide range of farm inputs, seeds, fertilizers, animal feeds, and even machinery and equipment. But my journey didn’t begin here.

In the early days, I found myself in a different profession altogether. I was a primary school teacher, albeit not a particularly exceptional one, I must admit with a laugh. The rigors of lesson planning and classroom organization were not where my true passion lay. Thankfully, my husband had a different vision for us - establishing our own business. Eager to contribute, I gladly took on the responsibility of running the day-to-day operations. What started as a humble cereals shop soon blossomed into a thriving hub for all farmers’ needs.

In the face of challenges and setbacks, I have learned the true meaning of resilience. The changing landscape of the agribusiness sector demanded that I adapt, evolve, and embrace a growth mindset. YLA provided me with the necessary tools, knowledge, and inspiration to navigate this ever-changing terrain. Through modules like ‘Budgeting and Managing Finances,’ I gained a deeper understanding of financial strategies and the importance of reinvesting in my business’s growth. The program’s emphasis on networking and community-building connected me with like-minded entrepreneurs, fostering an environment of collaboration and shared experiences.

But amidst the newfound knowledge and personal growth, one constant remains: my husband. His unwavering support and encouragement have been instrumental in my journey. From the inception of our business to joining the YLA program, he has been my rock, my confidant, and my study partner. Together, we have weathered storms and celebrated successes, creating a powerful bond rooted in our shared entrepreneurial spirit.

Looking ahead, my vision extends beyond the confines of my agrovet. I am driven to expand my business, not only in terms of physical space but also in impact. By investing in farmer trainings and knowledge transfer programs, I aim to empower individuals with the tools and skills they need to thrive in the agricultural sector. Furthermore, I am passionate about contributing to the economic growth of my community, creating employment opportunities, and supporting local initiatives.

Yara Leadership Academy has given me the confidence, inspiration, and practical skills to take bold strides toward achieving these goals. It has reinvigorated my entrepreneurial spirit and instilled in me a deep sense of responsibility to make a positive difference in the lives of those I serve. With every decision I make, I strive to honor the trust and loyalty of my customers while promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

As I reflect on my journey, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities YLA has provided and the transformation it has sparked within me.

With newfound knowledge and the unwavering support of my husband, I am determined to expand my business and uplift my community.