By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Kossonou Yao is from a small town called Manpong, in the Ashanti region of Ghana. He grew up as the eldest of three children and attended Kumaca Senior High School for his high school certificate. Afterwards, he furthered his education at Garden City University where he earned a degree in Business Studies. He currently resides in Kumasi Breman.
Kossonou started a poultry farming business back in 2004 and like most first time entrepreneurs, he experienced a lot of hardship along the way. However, while it was difficult he just kept going and continued to do the work. Today he is in a much better position and through his persistence and the help of Zidisha lenders, he is able to support the needs of his family with his businesses profits. He mentioned that his favorite hobby is learning and discovering new methods about his profession.
There are a few reasons why he chose to enter into the poultry farming market. First, he found that there is a high demand for birds and eggs where he lives. The second reason is simply because this business is his passion and he absolutely loves doing it. Through his business he is able to provide his town with quality birds and eggs and is even able to employ one member of his community to assist him in the business.
The biggest cost within the business is feed for his birds. With his profits he is able to pay his children’s tuition fees as well as to take care of his family. It is also important to him that he is always reinvesting his profits in his business. One big problem that he found was that he didn’t have the necessary capital to buy new equipment and the required medicine to expand and grow his enterprise. Therefore, he was limited as to how many birds he could have.
Fortunately, he discovered Zidisha. In August of 2015, he requested a Zidisha funded loan of $150. He was able to use this money to purchase new equipment such as feeding troughs. He purchased 10 of these feeding troughs as well as multi enzyme medicine. He noted to lenders that, ‘Getting this loan is going to help me a lot to achieve my goals. The ability to obtain this loan will create more benefit to me and family.’
A few months later, in November of 2015, he was ready for his next Zidisha loan of $300. With this loan he was able to take better care of his chickens by purchasing food for them such as maize and fish meal. He mentioned to lenders that food is the number one problem in rearing chicks. Once again, in March 2016, Kossonou found himself needing more capital to feed his chicks. He knew that could count on Zidisha lenders with his next loan of $518 to purchase more poultry feed of maize and fish meal.
In June 2016, Kossonou realized that he was ready to make a big move in his business by purchasing 1,000 day old chicks. This was a big investment and Zidisha lenders were happy to help with a loan of $946. He noted that ‘livestock is a good job. It takes a lot of investment and knowledge in the field.’ With Zidisha lenders, this has created an ideal partnership. Zidisha lenders continue to invest in Kossonou’s business and Kossonou is always learning as much as he can about his industry. Afterwards, he was quick to express his gratitude as he said, ‘Again thank you. Thanks Zidisha team. Thanks all Lenders. God bless you.’
For his most recent loan, Kossonou requested $1,767 in January 2017. He explains his request and says, ‘Thank you my Lenders for the trust you had in me to grant me a fourth loan, I really appreciate the help you have given me. Your help has really improved my poultry business over the last couple of months. I will like to seek for another loan to restock poultry feed since at this time of the year the prices of the poultry feed is quite less as compared to other seasons. To get the most out of your birds, it requires you to feed them well, feeding them well keeps them healthy and boosts egg production. Buying the poultry feeds in bulk at this time is very much affordable and will help increase my income since I will be saving more money in buying feeds for my birds.’
Kossonou smartly realized that with the assistance of Zidisha lenders, he could start buying his feed in bulk, saving him money in the process. He is always appreciative of his lenders as he shares, ‘Thank you Zidisha Team. Thank you Lenders without you it will be impossible for us to achieve what we have now.’
Through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, Kossonou has known that he could count on the consistency of his Zidisha lenders and the support of the Zidisha community. He is now in a good place where he can pay the tuition fees for his children and can support his family. On January 11, 2017 he was pleased to share this message on his discussion page, ‘My Lenders I am filled with happiness. Thank you all. I miss words to express my happiness.’
Would you like to help another entrepreneur pursue their dream of starting a business? Check out our lend page to read more incredible stories of our Zidisha business owners.