A Proud Member of the Zidisha Community

Leonard N 1

By Betsy Ramser Jaime

Leonard Ngeno was born in Nakuru, Kenya on April 28 1981 in the provincial general hospital. He began his education at Normain pre unit school. After finishing, he then joined Koinange primary school. When he was in grade 5, his parents transferred him to a boarding school in Kitale called North Rift Education Centre. Afterwards, he continued his education at the Rift Valley Technical Training Institute where he studied Pharmaceutical Technology.

Upon graduating, he received his first job working as a research assistant for a retail census company. Then, he later joined a different company, the Centre for Economic and Social Research before deciding that he wanted to pursue self-employment.

As his entrepreneurial journey began, he divided his time between opening a mini pub, and also buying and selling second hand furniture. He explains, ‘I decided to to delve into this business because of the low start up cost and first flow of goods. I started this business by selling liquor with the start up capital fifteen thousand shillings. And I now rack in around a 1000 shillings profit a day. My profit mostly goes into bettering my current pub business and also buying second hand furniture for resale.’

Leonard N 2

So far, Leonard has successfully raised 7 Zidisha funded loans, allowing him to continue to expand his business. It all started with a $7 loan in October 2017 which he used to purchase additional stock for his business. That same month he raised another loan, this time for $16. His intention was to start saving and raising funds to include electrical appliances in his inventory of secondhand merchandise. He shares that his two businesses are quite different as in his pub, product and inventory moves very quickly, and with second hand furniture, it’s a much slower process.

A month later, he raised his third loan, this one for $39. He shared his appreciation for his lenders as he says, ‘This loan will directly be directed into addition of stock to my liquor business. I’d like to thank Zidisha so much since my beer and wines and spirit business is progressive and is a fast moving products business. I’m also a small scale farmer dealing in maize and Irish potatoes planting. Since this is a part time indulgence I’ve been able to invest in grading an planting of potatoes with excesses. That is after the profits from the businesses funded by Zidisha. I have been making at least a profit of about kshs 1000 a day. This has broadened my businesses and my other side hustles. My young family has been able to have a good life since your loans are so flexible and is separated in good installment that is easier to settle than other loans available. Thank you Zidisha again for your help it would have been difficult to reach this level without your help.’

As the year came to a close, Leonard raised his next loan of $66. He shared that he hopes to continue to diversify his pub inventory by adding bottled beer to his stock. He also shared how he hopes to use his entrepreneurial skills to help his brothers and sisters as he details to lenders, ‘I have younger brothers and sisters who I intend to help be self reliant. I have been in business for a while now and I intend to help them start their own business. I intend to increase my profits by adding bottled beer. With my current credit limit it can buy me two crates of beer. I expect to improve with Zidisha. As you can read from my profile I have practiced pharmacy and I intent to leave my current business to my brother when the stock is stable and the business is debt free. I intend to venture into the pharmacy business. Thanks Zidisha once more.’

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In less than a year, Leonard and his family were already reaping the benefits of his Zidisha partnership. Through his businesses, he is able to help financially support his sister who is studying Mass Communications at Mt. Kenya University. While his parents pay for her school fees, Leonard is able to help her with the funds for transportation and books. Through his next loan of $82 in February 2018, he was able to purchase 8 new plastic chairs at the price of $10 per chair to accommodate his growing customer base.

He also shares this update, ‘Hello my lenders, I would first and foremost like to thank Zidisha for their continued funding for my projects. I would like to thank Zidisha because without their help I would be struggling. By funding my business I have been able to make a profit that has helped me be able to help my siblings. It has also helped me to invest other profits in farming. I am now preparing seed nurseries to plant a variety of vegetables.’

Most recently, in May 2018, he funded a loan for $223. As the pub side of his business continued to prosper, he set his sights on improving his guest rooms that he rented out as the mattresses were worn out. With 8 guest rooms available, he predicted that by purchasing new mattresses and blankets, he would be able to receive $3.50 per room per day.

So far, Leonard has successfully shown his ability to pivot and diversity his business efforts. He says, ‘I’m a proud member of the Zidisha family, I have read of many Zidisha success stories and I’m proud to be part of the story. I hope to grow to the level of self actualization with the help of Zidisha and lenders at large.’ Through this partnership, he has also been able to help his family and is hoping to create a legacy and build businesses that his brothers and sisters can continue to operate throughout the community.

 
If you would like to be part of a story like Leonard’s, head on over to our Lend Page to read about other men and women who are excelling with Zidisha!

Small But Significant Steps

Emmanuel W 11

By Betsy Ramser Jaime

“To reach where I am hasn’t been easy but I thank God,” shares Emmanuel Wandiga. As a child, Emmanuel struggled to comprehend why he didn’t have new clothes or shoes like many of his classmates. Even money for lunch was not a given, growing up. The lack of school fees also made it difficult for him to consistently stick with his studies. However, even with all of these factors stacked against him, he was able to grab opportunity as soon as it presented itself. He explains, “I saw an opportunity from a friend of mine who was willing to teach me the trait of Disk Jockey(DJ). That was my breakthrough into the entertainment industry. The difficult part of entertainment is people tend to go for well built brands or established names hence not giving people like us a chance. I live, I eat and dream music.”

As a DJ and event organizer, Emmanuel believes that he is in an industry that is yet to be fully tapped. His philosophy is that a big part of success comes down to creativity and innovation. He continues, “It is a field I have always desired to be in, I can simply say it’s where my passion lies. I can honestly state that the little profit that comes my way is divided into two. One is usually reinvestment and secondly my basic up keeps. I would love for my business to stand on its two own feet in that I get to help others that are either in my position or worse, by creating employment.”

Emmanuel W 12

Emmanuel has done a great job of slowly building momentum with small but well-used Zidisha funded loans. His first four loans were all under $10 starting in December 2016. With his first $5 loan he purchased RCA cables which he explains are used to connect the players and the mixers. His next $5 loan in January 2017 was put towards a new battery for his phone. Since he doesn’t have an office and is always moving around, he considers his phone to be his office. Before this loan, his battery charge was unpredictable which made it difficult for him to reach his clients and vice versa. A new battery has allowed him to keep in contact with clients at all times. Shortly thereafter, he shared that his next loan of $5 would go to purchasing a power bank.

By September 2017, Emmanuel was ready for another loan as he began to plan for the future sharing, “It’s high time I start looking at the future rather than just taking it a day at a time. I really want to buy an external hard disk cable since it is better being prepared. As we know failing to plan is planning to fail. I had gone for an event two months back without a cable, I had to go back home get it and then return to the event hence being late. It wasn’t exciting at all. So to avoid such issues I’d rather have two. One that will be permanently in the bag and the other which will be flexible.”

A month later, Emmanuel was able to secure a $19 loan from lenders which he wisely used to purchase a high quality power cable. After having to borrow or rent them in the past, he knew that having his own would be a smart business investment.

In October, Emmanuel humbly shared, “Looking Back from where I started I couldn’t help but just assuming that everything is okay. Hence the project that I started. Every month I have made sure I visit either a home or a family that is in need of a helping hand. I usually spend a day with them and try to provide some basic items that I might have extra. Expanding my business will really make me do more.”

As 2017 came to a close, Emmanuel raised $45 and shared with lenders, ‘“I am so grateful to the Zidisha family as a whole. I am not where I started that is more than evident and for that I am sincerely grateful. I have come a long way. Truly as it is also evident the music industry is changing. I have to keep up with the industry. Keeping up with it means being hooked and addicted to music every second of the day. For my next loan, I am planning to purchase an mp3 player, Memory Card, Memory Card Reader and Earphones that will amount to at least $50. The main aim for the items is so as to have various mixes of competent deejays all over the world. With so doing I get to learn and keep myself abreast with current music and flow of different crowds, hence maintaining my position and even become a better dj. I am grateful once again for your continued support.”

Emmanuel explained that the extension cable has truly impacted his business as he can now charge his laptop, power his machines, and charge his phone all at the same time. He continues, “I can humbly say the extra cash that used to go to the expense of hiring one is now an addition to my profit. I even got the chance to adopt a child and pay for her school fees. All thanks to the help of Zidisha. We even have a group that is mainly meant for charity cause business has been looking up for me despite the political instability that we have undergone the past four months. Thanks again.”

With his next two loans, he successfully raised, ‘$69 and $83. The first loan was put towards a laptop backpack to help him easily transport his computer and equipment. Then, the $83 loan went towards the purchase of an external hard drive with 2 terabytes. This would allow him to store large quantities of music in a single place.

On May 24, 2018, Emmanuel recently shared with his lenders, “I am the happiest dj right about now. I just got to purchase myself a 2 terabyte external hard disk. I can now download and save a lot of music. I am so grateful to Zidisha and the lenders. I urge you to listen to some of my mixes at mixcloud. My username is Gazza Dj. Thanks again and be blessed.”

For many entrepreneurs, like Emmanuel, the Zidisha and borrower relationship is much deeper than a financial transaction. It’s also about personal transformation and growth as a person. As Zidisha borrowers grow their businesses they also grow as human beings, and as a result of that growth they are able to give more to their families and communities.

Emmanuel embodies this so well as he writes, “I write to Zidisha family and the lenders at large as a very happy man. I can’t finds words to quantify my gratitude. I have to say I have grown in ways I couldn’t have imagined and it is quite a joy since you have played a key part in my growth as a person, as a Dj and also as a brand that I make creating on a day to day basis. I have been so overjoyed that I even started going from one child to another just to offer my services and also have been contributing to their school pocket money. That tends to show how far and much I have grown from the first day I started being part of this awesome family. I am so grateful to the lenders and Zidisha as a platform. I am moving forward. The steps might be small but they do have a significance.”

Emmanuel W 13

Would you like to help other entrepreneurs like Emmanuel make significant changes in their communities? Head on over to our Lend page to read other stories of business owners like Emmanuel.

Planting Seeds and Watching Them Grow

Rio 11

By Betsy Ramser Jaime

As the eldest of three children, Rio Dahlil grew up with one brother and one sister in a rural village in Indonesia. Education was important in his family as both of his parents are retired teachers. He shares, ‘My childhood is not really difficult. I passed primary, secondary and tertiary school without financial difficulty. Even though my parents income was not big, we were still considered economically fortunate in our society.’

In his hometown, many people are rubber tree tappers and the economy is lacking development. Rio continues that, ‘Finding a good job and earning a good salary are difficult even though somebody might have high education level.’

While Rio is currently working for a chemical company outside his home province, he has a big dream of returning to his village to become an entrepreneur in order to help develop the local economy.

Slowly and surely, he and his brother are working hard to make this dream happen as they together manage around 17 acres of land. He shares that they plan to integrate farming and livestock and already have a few goats.

For now, Rio has a great balance as he is able to continue his job as a Chemical Production Operator earning a salary of around $446 USD per month, while also growing his business on the side. He is even able to save 50% of his salary!

Rio explains his progress and plans as he shares, ‘We have also planted some fruits and jabon trees, a kind of fast growing tree. I am interested in cultivating this tree since it grows straightly, and rapidly and can be harvested in a sustainable way since a new bud can grow after the main body of the tree being cut down. Currently, we are focusing on increasing our forage production. We plan to utilize the space left between jabon trees by planting indigofera and mott grass. Then we will continue it to space between palm oil tree plantation. My parents have six hectares of palm oil tree plantation. The land is less productive since many palm oil trees are fruitless. I plan to diversify the vegetation within it with indigofera, mott grass and setaria grass. Palm oil trees are planted with a space of 9 m. It means there is still plenty space for forage.’

So far, Rio has successfully raised four loans with Zidisha. In 2017, his first two loans of $77 and $277 were combined to purchase one hectare of land. With this land, he would be able to plant 100 seeds comprised of cemedak seeds, soursoup seeds, and avocado seeds.

Later in 2017, Rio raised his next loan of $515 to be put towards wire fencing for his land. He explains, ‘The periphery of the land is about 320 m. The price of the wire fence is 11.54 USD/20 m. The price of white jabon seed is around 0.38 USD. I plan to grow the seeds with a space of 5 m, so I can grow around 240 seeds in a total area of 6000 square meter (60 m x 100 m).’

As Rio continued to build momentum, he used his most recent loan of $860 in November 2017 to purchase a vast array of seedlings. Then, the remainder of the loan was put towards buying goats, building his shelter, and transportation costs. The seedlings included: jabon, indigofera, and mangrove. He also shares that one goat is priced around 90 USD. A few months later, in February, Rio was proud to share that the goat shelter was completed!

Rio 3

On May 17, Rio shared this exciting update with some great photos, ‘Hi lenders, these are the latest updates of my project. Planting of indigofera seedlings have been started We will continue on increasing our forage production for several months to come. We will fill the space between the jabon trees with forage and then continue it to an palm oil tree plantation. A total area of 6.6 hectares (around 16 acres) will be planted.’

So far, Rio has made incredible progress towards his dream. With the growth of each seedling, he is able to see his vision come to fruition right before his eyes.

If you want to play a role in helping motivated entrepreneurs reach their goals and grow their businesses, head on over to our Lend page to read story after story of our Zidisha business owners who are both growing businesses and building flourishing communities around the world.

 

 

“I Hope This Loan Will Change My Life….”

Lucky 5

By Betsy Ramser Jaime

Lucky Nguna is living a life that is reflective of his name, Lucky. However, that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t had his share of challenges along the way. He worked his way up to high school, but like many students in Kenya, when we could no longer pay the school fees, he was forced to withdraw. Fortunately, leaving school was not going to disempower Lucky from pursuing a great life. Shortly after, he moved to Mombasa, and secured a job as a cleaner in a cybercafe. In this position, he was able to work hard and train in computers. His hard work and dedication evidently paid off as one of his clients gave him a used photocopier machine and one computer. This generous gift was what allowed Lucky to start his own business.

He shares, “First, I operated in a small bureau, in my bureau I did photocopy and typesetting but the competition was high due to many and well equipped bureaus around. The profit that I got from the shop was very low, couldn’t cater for my life expenses. That’s why I was seeking a loan to upgrade my bureau with more computers and stationery.”

Lucky 8

And through that pain point of needing additional capital to pivot and upgrade, he found Zidisha. With his first two Zidisha funded loans of $50 and $93, he was able to purchase an Epson printer to print high quality pictures.

A few months later, in November 2015 and May 2016, Lucky combined his next two loans of $179  and $361 to purchase a computer. Then, the remainder of the loan was used to pay his son’s school fees for both terms. Optimistic about his potential and the generosity of his lenders he say, ‘I hope this loan will change my life..’

Lucky 7

In May 2016, Lucky shared with lenders, ‘Dear lenders, thank you very much for your support in my life. I also thank God for giving you this clean heart for helping people worldwide. The other loan I have completed it was for my Son’s school fees and to buy a new computer for my bureau, I managed to pay for my Son’s fee but I didn’t manage to buy the said computer because my Daughter was sick and I used the money for my Daughter’s treatment. Am very sorry for this but I hope to make it you fund me with this loan. God bless, regards.’

On July 11, 2016, Lucky professed his gratitude as he shared, ‘Dear Lenders, I thank you very much for your support towards my loans, the loan I received I bought a bicycle for my Son and I will buy a computer as I said when I was applying for the loan. You can have a look at the picture I took of my son with the bicycle.’

Lucky 6

In 2016, Lucky made the decision to diversify his business ventures as he pursued an additional business, sugarcane juice. He is able to crush 50 pieces of sugarcane in one day. Lucky explains, ‘One pc of sugarcane is sold at kshs. 35 at our nearby market (Kongowea). 50pcs = Kshs. 1,750/= and when I sell the juice I get Kshs. 5,000/=.’

Lucky purchased his sugarcane juice machine on credit and requested a $538 loan from Zidisha lenders to finish paying for the machine. He shares, ‘I have seen a potential opportunity in this business because it is giving me weekly profit of Kshs. 3,000/= (USD 29 ) after selling 100pcs of sugarcane. My dear lenders please assist me to make my dream true.’

Fortunately for Lucky, his lenders continued to pull through for him as he successfully raised his next loan in March 2017 for $796, using this loan to purchase an electricity driven machine. This would make his work easier and would allow him to make more money. With this loan he also employed a young boy to help him in his business.

Lucky 4

Most recently in February 2018, Lucky raised $525 from lenders as he explains the need for this loan, ‘Am requesting for a loan to buy another Sugarcane crusher machine. The machines costs Kshs. 50,000/= that is equivalent to USD 497 for the current rate, the machine is made in Thailand / China and it is good. I got another place though it is open place same like the other place I operate this business, at old place I do crush 70 pcs a day because the business is doing good in this hot climate, and I hope a new place I can crush like 40 to 50 pcs a day, that can give me a good profit. I hope after opening this small business can help me take care and educate my kids and also 3 orphans of my late brother who died in 2016. The kids are in high school and I am the one who pays for their school fees. So I hope extending this business can help me manage to educate those children.’

It’s hard to imagine the feelings, emotions, and pride that must come up for Lucky, being able to support his family and furthermore, to support his brothers children in pursuing a high school education. The same education that two decades before was taken away from him, because of a lack of funds. Lucky’s life has certainly come full circle and whether it’s pure luck, his name, hard work, or a combination of all three, I think Lucky would agree that these loans have indeed changed his life as he dreamed they would.

Would you like to be a part of a story like Lucky’s? Head on over to our Lend page and find out how you can contribute to a loan that will change someone’s life!

 

Laying a Solid Foundation

Wahyu 5

By Betsy Ramser Jaime

Wahyu Setiawan is an entrepreneur in the field of brick making for building materials. He has now maintained his business for 4 years. He learned the skill of brick making from his father and eventually was able to open his own brick factory.

He shares that, ‘since graduating from school I worked in an automotive company as an administrative staff, but I prefer to work outdoors so I have been learning how to produce bricks from my parents. My business initially experienced many obstacles such as failed production because of the inadequate composition of brick-making materials to the weather factor, but I have learned from those experiences and give me the spirit to try to correct the mistakes that happened and got better. Besides that I also want to earn my own income as an entrepreneur and as the head of the family should be able to meet the needs of my family because now I’m married.’

The area and land around his home is surrounded by hills which provides the perfect ingredients for brick making. In addition, there is currently a high demand for bricks in his city as new infrastructures and buildings are constructed. An additional advantage is that his business even allows him to play an important role in protecting the environment as his business is able to use the waste from other factories such as ash from plywood factory waste as raw materials in making the bricks.

One of the most significant ways that Zidisha entrepreneurs are able to help their own community members is by employing them to work in their businesses. And in fact, this is exactly what Wahyu is able to do. He notes that this is helpful because this way his community members are able to work locally rather than traveling long distances to bigger cities to find work.

Wahyu shares, ‘Until now I have 4 employees to help make bricks, on average I can produce 1500 – 2000 pcs of bricks per day and after going through the combustion process sold at a price of IDR 500 per piece, in 1 month I can sell 25000 – 35000 pcs of brick with a net profit of around IDR 7.500.000 per month, I am grateful because of this effort can meet the needs of the family, pay the salaries of employees and pay the Zidisha installment on time. With more demand for bricks it will require me to work harder to meet market demand and to provide more jobs. My full time employees work from Monday to Saturday each week and are off on weekends so they can take time out to rest and get together with their families. I want to create a comfortable working environment so they can work well.’

With his first 5 Zidisha funded loans between November and December 2017, he was able to buy basic brick making ingredients such as, ‘soil, sand, and firewood to burn the bricks.’ These loans allowed him to meet the ever increasing demand as new buildings went up in his city.

He then successfully raised 4 more loans beginning with a $58 loan in February 2018 through a $321 loan in April 2018. Each of these loans were similar in purpose as he continued to purchase more raw materials including: land, sand, and ash, with the remainder of the loan being used for daily operating expenses. During this time, he was also able to use a portion of his Zidisha funded loan to employ one other worker to keep up with the increasing demand. He was even able to re-pay his April loan faster than expected because of the influx of unexpected orders!

It’s clear that Zidisha and lenders have truly impacted the lives of Wahyu, his family, and community as he says, ‘An infinite thank you to Zidisha and the lenders who have funded my loan. I will use this loan as best I can on my brick business so that it grows well and can pay Zidisha’s installments on time. Thank you for your trust, your help is increasingly motivating me to continue to work better for the happiness of my family and our employees. God bless you all.’

Then, less than a month later, on May 1, 2018, Wahyu shared another update and also detailed part of the brick making process as he explained, ‘Greetings Zidisha and lenders, to continue my previous business update, the brick that has been cooked after the burning process is not a hot temperature anymore so it is ready to be dismantled and sent to each consumers. Bricks that are not ripe perfectly (blackish color) or that are still raw will be re-burned in the next combustion process so that it can mature normally again (reddish color), in this way then no bricks are thrown away.’

Would you like to help a hardworking entrepreneur like Wahyu? Make sure to head on over to our Lend page to read dozens of stories about similar business owners and the big changes that they are creating in their communities all over the world.

The Solo Poultry Farmer

Owusu Bismark 5

By Betsy Ramser Jaime

Bismark Owusu was raised in a town in the eastern region of Ghana called Suhum. Born in 1988, he completed secondary school as his highest level of education. After finishing secondary school, he chose to start his own business. Initially, he had planned to start a poultry farm, but due to financial restraints, he put that goal on hold and started rearing snails instead. He continued to rear snails for 5 years before moving on and fulfilling his dream to pursue poultry farming.

He shares, ‘People here are respectful. The main occupation in my town is marketing. I really like learning so I used to do personal studies about agriculture.’

Rearing fowls, when Bismark started, he had 100 chicks and found he had a problem. As a solopreneur, he had too many customers and not enough to offer them. Thus, through his partnership with Zidisha he has been able to raise the necessary funds to expand and grow his business over the past two years. Bismark also shared that he chose to enter the poultry farming business because no one in his community was currently doing this which gave him a significant competitive advantage.

Owusu Bismark 3

Through Zidisha, Bismark has been able to raise 3 loans so far, starting in June 2016 as he raised $200. At the time, he was ready to expand his poultry farm from 100 to 300 chicks. By tripling his number of chicks, he was aware that he would also need to significantly increase his stock of feed, drugs, equipment, etc. to keep his farm functioning efficiently.

A few months later, he requested his second loan for $399 which allowed him to continue purchasing feeds, vaccines, a trough, a feed box, and other important items. Then, the following year, in June 2017, Bismark successfully raised his next loan of $557. He was able to use part of the loan to continue purchasing additional feeds, vaccines, and equipment. Then, with the remainder of the loan he was able to purchase a wheelchair and clothing for his disabled father to help care for him. At the time, he also shared with his lenders that ‘my fowls are in good shape now due to that I have got many customers.’

Over the summer, Bismark was proud to update and thank his lenders as he wrote on his discussion board, ‘I really appreciate the way you care about me as your brother for lending me this loan to continue my poultry. I will use it to buy feeds, vaccines, equipment which will help my birds from diseases and put them in a good shape. May God bless you all Zidisha lenders. My poultry is ongoing successfully thanks to Zidisha lenders.’

Then, at the end of 2017, on December 20 he excitedly shared, ‘The loan help me to buy 20 bags of feed for my poultry.’

Would you like to impact a family or community like Bismark’s? Make sure to head on over to our Lend page to read about other business owners in Africa  and around the world who are using entrepreneurship to change their communities.

 

Playing the Long Game

Elizabeth Raya 3

By Betsy Ramser Jaime

As the youngest child of Joseph Raya and Rachael Umazi, Elizabeth Raya started her education at Mazeras Primary School in Kenya. Afterwards, she moved on to continue her education at Mazeras Polytechnic where she studied dressmaking and tailoring. Once she graduated, she began her working life as a machine operator in a textile company in her hometown of Mazeras, where she continued working from 2003-2009. During that time, she conceived of her current business which is selling fish.

Elizabeth saw a clear hole in the market with this business opportunity as she shares, ‘Many people here at Mazeras are working in companies so they have no time to fry fish for themselves so when they come out from their job they just pass buy buying fried fish and go home for lunch or supper.’ In addition, she saw this as a business that would do well because of the high population. With this business, she is able to make a nice profit that allows her to support her family and pay school fees for her children, as her children would like to be doctors when they grow up! Even as a busy entrepreneur and mother, she still loves to ride her bicycle when she gets the chance.

One of the amazing aspects of Zidisha is that some entrepreneurs choose to raise funds to not only grow their existing businesses but to also pivot or to try starting a second or third business as well. As our world continues to change, many people find that relying on one single income stream can be both stressful and often unrealistic. This way, if one income stream is either seasonal or has a poor month or period, you are not completely reliant on one source of income to pay your bills or feed your family.

And this is exactly where Elizabeth’s story continues. In addition to operating her business selling fish, she also envisioned building a house that could serve as a rental property creating a steady stream of income. While she knew that there would be a significant amount of upfront costs and work, she had a vision that the long-term benefits would outweigh the initial costs.

So far, she has raised seven Zidisha funded loans to assist her in the building of her rental property. These loans range from $22 to $1,523 and span from October 2016 through April 2018. With her first three loans, all under $65, she was able to start the building process by purchasing building sand, building stones, building chips, cement, and iron sheets.

By the summer of 2017, she was making steady progress with the house and raised her next two loans used to purchase 30 pieces of iron sheets, timbers for roofing, additional cement and building stones, nails, and money to set aside for labor costs. Shortly thereafter, in August, with a Zidisha funded loan of $1,120, she was ready to purchase doors, windows, and more cement.

Then, on August 27, she excitedly shared, ‘Tenants are asking for rooms meaning that immediately after the house is finished I will get tenants.’ Then, a few months later, in November she also commented that, ‘My business is doing quite well.’

In March 2018, Elizabeth was proud to share this update with her lenders, ‘Dear lenders, l purchased windows and doors for my rental house. I now want to fix them and do the finishing for my rental house. I expect to get 60$ per month. I also used part of the loan to my business and I used the increment to pay school fees for my children. My family is now happy to see the house is almost complete and they are not missing school because of school fees. I say thank you to all lenders and the entire Zidisha team.’

Elizabeth Raya 1

Most recently, In April 2018, she secured her largest loan yet, $1,523 to purchase additional building materials, build a pit latrine, connect water to the house, and connect electricity to the house.

Often in life, people are looking for a shortcut, or the fastest path to success. Unfortunately, it’s often the long game that is the most fruitful. While it’s been a long journey for Elizabeth maintaining a business and her building project with her rental property, it appears that all of the work and dedication will soon be paying off for her.

Elizabeth Raya 2

Would you like to make a difference in the life of an entrepreneur like Elizabeth? Make sure to head on over to our Lend page to read about the rest of our inspiring borrowers!