By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Evans Omari is a twenty-seven year old Kenyan with diplomas in Sales and Marketing, Graphic Design, and Computer Applications. He previously worked as a Marketing Executive for an insurance company and later joined a workshop company as a Marketing Manager. After two years in this position, he was ready to break out to work for himself full-time. While working his previous jobs, he started his business on the side and used his income from his job to help fund his business venture which his wife managed.
In addition to running his business, he is also an elected official for the Embakasi District. He won the position in 2010 and while it has had its ups and downs, he is excited about the work and programs that they are implementing to help the youth in his community with issues such as, ‘drug abuse, the importance of peace, rights, and becoming self-reliant.’
In his business, he offers a variety of computer related services including: computer classes, photography, computer maintenance and mpesa services. He is also continuing to expand his IT and Resource center as well. He chose this particular business both because of his background in computer science, marketing, and design but also because he felt a real need in the community for these services. His typical expenses include: electricity, food, rent, clothing, maintenance, salaries, and stock. With his profit he is also able to re-invest in the business to purchase better computers and offerings. He says, ‘I also believe that a customer will only buy a satisfaction but not a thing.’ Rather than just a service, Evans is offering his customers a great overall experience.
In January of 2015, Evans secured his first Zidisha funded loan of $50. With this initial loan, he purchased two webcams which would allow his customers to connect with their friends and relatives via skype. He predicted that this would also result in an increase of 20%-25% in profit.
Later that same year, Evans was ready for his next Zidisha loan. With $48 from lenders he purchased one CPU. Having a Zidisha loan to fund his business growth also alleviated some of the fear and worry that came from using all of his personal money to fund expansion.
A month later, in September of 2015, he discovered another need in his community, an increase in demand for passport photos. To make this happen, he raised $126 to purchase a Nikon camera. In terms of profit, he found that taking passport photos would require minimal effort on his part, and would still provide a nice return.
As 2015 came to a close, Evans remained full of inspiration and ideas for growing his business. His next move was a $282 Zidisha funded loan to purchase an Epson printer for his photo services. While he already owned one printer, he knew that securing a second would allow him to take one with him while shooting wedding or Church photos, keeping the other printer back at his cyber cafe for customer use.
In March 2016, he was ready to take the next step in his cyber cafe by adding 5 new computers. For this purchase he raised $658 in Zidisha funds. This would benefit his customers by allowing them to access a computer immediately rather than waiting in line for one to become available. He also decided that it would be helpful for his customers if his cafe carried resource materials such as the local paper to stay on top of events and opportunities.
Most recently, Evans raised his largest Zidisha funded loan to date of $1,659 in July 2017. With this loan, he was able to purchase an A3 printer which would be used to print posters, programs, and brochures. In July, Kenya was preparing for their election season and many candidates were coming to Evans to print their posters and materials.
On July 11, 2017, Evans enthusiastically shared on his discussion page, ‘I can proudly stand before anybody and confess that Zidisha has really uplifted my financial status. Currently am earning good profit that enables me to meet all my expenses and pay my loan back. Thank you great lenders and Zidisha team.’
Evans recently shared with lenders, ‘I purchased A3 printer which has really seen me grow financially. Currently am able to print all types of documents for churches, schools, colleges and many events hence making a lot of profit. The increased profit have started plans of opening another branch by buying more computers and also securing the room where I will run the branch. My family is doing well, and my first son just graduated to class one. Many thanks to my lenders and the Zidisha team for trusting me.’
Never afraid to share his gratitude with the Zidisha community and lenders, he continues, ‘I must confess to everybody that the steps I have made financially are because of my lenders and the Zidisha team.They trusted me and agreed to uplift me. Everything is working well. It is through Zidisha that I am determined to achieve what God has planned for me. My business is doing well and am earning good profit that has enabled me add more services in my business hence earning more profit. Am happy that my children are schooling well without any fee problems. Thank you’
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