Entrepreneurship of a Compassionate Kind

Paul in his shop

At age 22, Paul Musembi held a diploma certificate in information technology and is currently working as a computer technician at Mugaa secondary school. He clearly possesses great ambition since he also operates a retail shop. The retail shop was a product of his collaboration with his own mother back in 2009 and it serves to provide customers with goods such as foodstuff, clothing and utensils. When the shop was first initiated, he had injected 10000 Kenyan shillings as his contribution to the business. Overtime, the shop started generating substantial profits and although Mr. Musembi’s mother would conduct its day-to-day affairs, he would relieve her after work and during the weekends. With his Zidisha loan, he is looking to expand into offering computer services. Below is an account of his recent financial journeys through the words of our Kenya Client Relationship manager, Traci Yoshiyama:

Hi, my name is Traci Yoshiyama, Zidisha’s Kenya Client Relationship Manager.
When the staff of Mugaa Secondary School heard of my visit to Munanda, many asked, “Have you met Musembi?” Purely by coincidence and the inevitability of living in a small village, who do I meet but the one and only Paul Musembi during my visit with another Zidisha borrower in Munanda,
Without hesitation, Paul graciously welcomed me to his shop called Innocent. When asked why he chose the name Innocent, he simply replied, “Because I like that word.” With a savings of 40,000 KES, Paul started his shop in 2008. At this time it was a small kiosk selling fruit, but with the income from his farm and his first Zidisha loan, Paul was able to rent a space right in the heart of Munanda Trading Center. Not only did Paul have his own shop and sell fruit, he was now able to add another item to his stock, plastic shoes.
Some of Paul’s goods

Paul successfully paid back his first loan and is in the midst of paying back his second. As seeing in the photos I have posted, Paul’s shop has come a long way. Through his second loan he has been able to increase his stock by tenfolds, now selling what Kenyans refer to as mali mali. Paul, having a challenging time explaining what this means in English, finally settled on describing mali mali as items sold at a low cost. These items can be seen sold by many of the street venders in Kenya. Fruits were a thing of the past, for although my photos do not capture the plethora of items sold at Innocent, you can be sure to find what you need; locks, snacks, drinks, clothes, toiletries galore, cleaning supplies, jewelry, and of course, plastic shoes. The Zidisha loan has also enabled Paul to purchase a motorbike, which helps him acquire items needed for his store. This has proven to add efficiency and convenience to Paul’s life, for Munanda is quite remote and getting to Nakuru through public transportation can fill your entire day. Now, Paul can come and go as he pleases. In addition to his booming business and new mode of transportation, Paul was able to buy his own plot of land.

It came as no surprise that Paul has also been a spokesperson for Zidisha, often times introducing Zidisha to entrepreneurs in Munanda. I left Innocent happy to have met the infamous Musembi, a client with strong ambition and a love for Zidisha. He wishes all his lenders well and gives a big thanks for all they have done.

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