Mohamed Jaffer, a billionaire businessman behind Grain Bulk Handlers Limited in Embakasi, Nairobi County, vowed to donate Ksh100 million to help President William Ruto launch a new Hustler Fund product wholly funded by corporates.
Speaking during the commissioning of his company, he argued that the move was key to empowering small-scale entrepreneurs across the country.
“I would like to ask the President to establish a Hustler Fund funded by corporates. They will get some of the profits on a bond of 5 years or 10 years interest-free.
“Just imagine how many people we can bring to the middle class. No country can progress without the middle class,” he stated.
At the event, Ruto commended the business magnate for his ingenuity that saw him build an empire valued at Ksh36 billion from a paltry Ksh20,000.
The Head of State thus vowed to protect the businessman and other small-scale traders who he indicated emboldened the spirit of zeal and determination, boosting his bottom-up model.
"Many Kenyans have built from small businesses like Jaffer started with Ksh20,000. If you organise a demonstration, then that business goes up in flames, you will have destroyed their lives," Ruto noted, subtly directing a jab at former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja, who was in attendance, also invited Mohamed Jaffer to deepen investments in the city which he argued was key to spurring development and creating employment opportunities.
"So if you have expertise in green handling just like mzee Jaffer, we welcome you to Nairobi... I am very happy with the remarks that Jaffer joined the industry with Ksh20,000." Sakaja indicated.
How Grain Bulk Handlers Limited Started
Starting the company was not an easy task. The billionaire noted that after investing the initial funds, his company grew to levels requiring him to set up critical infrastructure allowing cargo to be ferried from the Port of Mombasa to his facility in Embakasi.
Over the years, the billionaire pumped Ksh36 billion into setting up the facility specialising in port grain handling operations.
"We spent Ksh36 billion (USD 270 million) to achieve this because we had to put lots of funds into Mombasa, including paying for the railway lines.
"We started in 2021 until today we have done over 4 million tonnes. The advantage of this facility is that customers can now collect the cargo next door. Previously they used to send lorries to Mombasa," Jaffer stated.