By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Burhan Ebrahimji knows what it means to be an entrepreneur who pivots and tries new things. When he started borrowing from Zidisha he had been in business for 5 years. He began by selling quality clothing items to his customers in Kaloeni, Kenya. Although he only had a small amount of capital when he began, he was able to use what he had to grow slowly and organically. In addition to his shop, he also did computer repairs part-time for the dual purpose of having an additional income stream and as another way to pay off his Zidisha loan. He notes that, ‘I thank God for the success he has given me till now. It is my aim to provide my clients with quality clothing and fairly priced items at my shop.’
Burhan found that his business did well for about 3 years. In year 4, business suffered due to the economy and his location. While he couldn’t control the economy, he did take the initiative to improve his location. He closed his shop and was able to move it to a high traffic area.
Burhan mentioned that his target customers are mostly women and that his biggest selling items are tops, dresses, and handbags. He offers a variety of price points and is able to make a nice profit. According to Burhan, ‘because of Zidisha my family has been able to live a comfortable life & they are very grateful. With the help Of Zidisha & Lenders my son next year is going to school in 2016. I am very grateful & pleased with Zidisha. It is doing a great job for me & my family.’
For Burhan’s first Zidisha loan, he requested $50 in January 2015. He used this loan to purchase items at wholesale that he could then resell in his shop. He also chose to purchase trendy items that were new to the market because he knew these would be products in high demand.
For his second loan, he borrowed $99 from Zidisha lenders in April 2015. With this loan, he knew that the rainy season was coming up so he made sure to stock up on umbrellas which he knew he could buy for $1 and then sell for $4. He purchased other items including: rain coats, shoes, jewelry, and wedding gowns.
A few months later, Burhan secured a third Zidisha loan of $185 to break into the phone accessories market. This side of his business he operates from home and he sells these phone accessory products to both businesses and individuals. His stock includes: batteries, phone covers, bluetooth speakers, glass protectors, back covers, tablet covers, and phone chargers. He is able to advertise via social media and is pleased with the growth that he has seen with this part of the business.
Burhan mentioned how this has impacted his life in a positive way, ‘And also by running my new business it has helped my wife earn a job by her running the boutique and supply business has also changed the life of my family and for this I am also grateful to the entire Zidisha team and lenders.’
By October of 2015, his phone accessories business was prospering and he once again found himself needing to increase his inventory. For this loan, he requested $359 from Zidisha lenders in order to buy larger quantities of each of his products. This stock included many of the same items that he had purchased with previous loans as well as a few new items such as: external hard disks, earpieces, memory cards, car earpiece headsets, playstation controllers, and office desk phones.
Burhan noted that entrepreneurship has really become a family affair as his wife is now running the clothing business while he operates his phone accessories business. It is through the support of Zidisha and Zidisha lenders that they’ve been able to increase their inventory for both businesses.
In June of 2016, he was ready for another loan of $541 to purchase some new high tech products. With this loan, Burhan purchased, smart watches, Samsung power banks, and Samsung wireless chargers. He mentioned that his business is growing quickly and that his customers are requesting these products and he is happy to meet their requests. In May of 2017, Burhan requested his largest and most recent loan of $803 where he once again increased his supply of phone accessories and other technology products.
On Oct 20, 2016, Burhan was pleased to update lenders with this update, ‘Good afternoon Zidisha Team & Lenders. Business is doing great. Thank God. Even my family is fine and my son is going to school. This week I paid for his books & we are on holiday today at home relaxing and tomorrow back to work. Thanks once again.
On May 11, 2017, Burhan provided lenders with an exciting update on his discussion page, ‘Thank You Zidisha Team and Lenders. I have been busy this week. It is great and I have also paid 2nd term fees for my son and also Zidisha has improved the life of my family and me. I am enabled to deliver goods to my customers on time and deliver to their location thanks to Zidisha. This time I have a variety of products to sell which boosts sells. Thanks once again Zidisha & Lenders.’
Later in May, he once again took to his discussion page to share with lenders that business was doing great and that things were moving swiftly. He also shared how excited he was about the new smart watches that he had recently introduced into his business.
It’s evident that 2017 is turning out to be a great year for Burhan in all aspects of his life. His business is doing well, he has been getting new clients, his wife has been successfully running the clothing store, and most importantly, his son is in school and has started KG 1. He is never short on thank you’s to the Zidisha team as he says, ‘Thank you once again Zidisha Team & Lenders.’
Would you like to support a business and family like Burhan’s? Check out our lend page to find other incredible entrepreneurs.