By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Yaa Agyapong Agyeiwaa was born and raised in a small village in eastern Ghana. Once she finished secondary school, she was forced to learn a trade because her parents couldn’t afford to continue her education. However, she used this as an opportunity to open her own business, an internet cafe. Within the business she operates 5 computers, and a photocopy machine. She also sells stationery items as her shop is located near a local school. She notes that students often frequent her shop to purchase books, do research on the computers, and use her photocopying services.
While Yaa is not busy operating her shop or spending time with her 9 year old daughter, she loves watching movies, listening to the news, and watching football. She excitedly shares, ‘This business is helping me take care of myself and my daughter. I am also planning to continue my education at the appropriate time.’ She is also doing her best to save for her daughter’s education as she has already decided that she would like to be a lawyer someday.
For Yaa, Zidisha has been a huge catalyst in allowing her to expand and grow her business. Back in April 2016, she acquired her first Zidisha funded loan of $150 and set out to buy a new generator. Because of the power crisis that Ghana was experiencing, prior to purchasing the generator, business had slowed. She was also aware that some of her competitors had generators of their own and she knew that in order to remain competitive, a generator was a necessary next step.
Shortly thereafter, she requested her second Zidisha funded loan of $318 and set out to expand her business by adding books, pens, mathematical sets, crayons, exercise books, and pen drives to her inventory. She also decided to purchase small snack and food items including: milo, sugar, Nido, biscuits, and toffees. This would allow her to be a one stop shop for many of the students that frequented her business.
For her third loan, she obtained $302 in January 2017 to restock her shop with many of the items that she purchased in her previous loan. A few months later, in May 2017, she requested a $422 loan to purchase textbooks and beginner reading books for the local students to purchase. She enthusiastically shares that, ‘The benefit I will get from this is interest and the opportunity to serve my customers well.’
In May, Yaa was proud to share this update with her lenders, ‘This has really help me to save little by little towards my daughters education and expansion of my business in the near future by selling in wholesale. In fact my family is very proud of me for the changes Zidisha has brought into my life. My little girl is also happy that her mother’s business is growing big eventually. My earnings have increased unlike the previous days. I have been saving little by little towards my child’s education. Thanks to Zidisha.’
Most recently, she obtained her largest loan yet in October 2017. She requested $715 to expand her inventory of both large and small notebooks. She also set out to purchase boxes of blue, black, and red pens, additional mathematical sets, paper for photocopying, and scientific calculators.
On November 6, Yaa shared this message on her discussion page, ‘This is to thank my lenders again for this privilege. In fact with the help of Zidisha I have seen great changes in my life especially concerning my little girls education.’
Would you like to positively impact the life of a Mom and business owner like Yaa? Head on over to our Lend page to read about other incredible entrepreneurs who are building both successful business and thriving families.