By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Morcher Michael says that as a young boy he was always, ‘brilliant and interested in studying’ growing up in Enchiladas in the Western part of Ghana. As he progressed in his studies he decided to further his education at a Teacher Training College. He knew that he was interested in teaching so he studied at the University of Education, Winneba where he graduated as a professional teacher. He is now a mathematics tutor at Dormaa Ahenkro Senior High School.
He also has a lovely wife named Angela and together they have three children. His eldest child is a girl named Alice, and his middle and youngest children are boys named Ransford and Godfred. While he loved his work as a teacher, he found that the salary was not sufficient to meet the needs of his family. Therefore, discovering Zidisha was the perfect opportunity to supplement his teaching income. He was introduced to Zidisha by a fellow teacher. At first, he was afraid that it was a scam because of bad experiences in the past. However, he quickly found that was not the case and has had such a positive experience with Zidisha that now he serves as a strong advocate and Zidisha mentor.
He decided upon a clothing business because he saw a clear hole in the market. His town, Dormaa Ahenkro is a commercial town comprised of a variety of people. There are a plethora of government workers and Morcher found that they had to travel quite far to buy their clothing.
Morcher notes that, “every Tuesday is market day. Farmers and other people near Dormaa Ahenkro troop in to buy and sell. Once the farmers come to sell their foodstuffs, they in turn buy other things of which new shoes and shirts form a major part of the items they buy.” Each week he is able to make a profit of about Ghc300 and is able to use that money towards school fees for his children, for food and clothing for his family, and also to reinvest into his business.
He started with some of his own savings and also utilized a Zidisha funded loan of $19 in August 2016. For Morcher, this first loan was really integral in helping him buy the initial stock that he needed to jumpstart his business. He began with a variety of clothing items such as, shoes and sandals, shirts, and underwear. At this time, he was able to generate a profit of $2 on a shoe, $0.5 on a cup, $0.5 for trousers, and $0.5 for underwear. While making a profit is certainly important, it’s important to him that his items are still affordable for his customers. Regarding Zidisha repayments, he mentioned “One thing I like about Zidisha loan is its repayments. You can reschedule to any minimum amount that you can pay and still increase the next loan amount you want.”
A few months later, he was ready to invest in his business again with a second Zidisha loan of $19 in October 2016. With this loan he was able to buy additional inventory in a similar manner to his first loan. With the profits he hoped to pay his school fees and also have money to reinvest back into the business. While the first two loans were important, it was the third Zidisha loan in November of 2016 for $89 that really created the momentum that the business needed. This third loan was also used for inventory including: shirts, underwear, shoes, and belts.
In late November, Morcher took to his discussion page and gave an ardent thanks to the Zidisha community. He notes, “Thanks to my lenders and the Zidisha team for making it possible in my life because looking for a loan in Africa, especially, is a hell matter because you have to stretch yourself to pay high interest rates. I was impressed with the first loan amount that enabled me to purchase some items into my shop. It made my shop looked attractive and appealing, so I encountered new customers. I cannot describe the profit I made after my first purchase. It was marvelous. I will forever remain with Zidisha and I will forever remain faithful in my loan repayments. I hope that future loans would make me see a very great change in my life.”
From there, the momentum continued during the holiday season as his shop was always busy with customers. In fact, his sales even doubled! As the year came to a close, he updated lenders with this great news, “Thanks to my lenders for progressively improving my life. I think I have a future for my children. My home is now a happy home.”
Morcher’s most recent loan in February 2017 was also his largest yet of $258, however, with a repayment rate of 96% it is clear that he will continue to pay it back in a timely manner. Through this loan he was once again able to increase his volume of stock to meet the demands of his thriving customer base. In March he announced to lenders that through this loan he was able to acquire a second shop. In addition, he was even able to employ two girls to manage his shop who have recently completed high school.
He is excited by the prospect of possibly opening more shops in the future and of being able to employ the youth of his community.
If you would like to help another entrepreneur transform their community, head on over to our loans page to make a difference.