By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Evans Sackitey is a hard working entrepreneur living in Prampram, Ghana. At 33 years old, he has gained experience, graduating from the Tema Technical Institute in 2004 and also earning a City and Guilds Certificate in Block Laying and Concreting. He notes that since then he has been working as a mason on building projects on a contract basis.
Evans is used to long days, as he usually wakes up at 5 am to catch the first bus to his work site. Depending on the location, he often lodges on site for the rest of the week to reduce his overall transportation costs.
He is also currently working to start a cement sale business as an additional income stream for himself. He shares, ‘My dream is to start a cement shop business and later block molding. The latter would require heavier investment so that is for the long-term. A man I once worked for gifted to me his unused container. I intend to refurbish this for my cement shop business. This would help augment my income and make me a business owner. Currently, I need to weld, screed and roof the container and get it ready for this business. When given a loan, I would use it for these preparatory works. The source of income that will be used to repay the loan will come from my masonry work.’
So far Evans has acquired five Zidisha funded loans, his first being in December of 2013 for $50. He enthusiastically shares, ‘I would use the loan to start the preparatory works needed for my planned cement shop. Currently, I need to weld, screed and roof my cement shop container and get it ready for business. I would use this loan to pay for welding costs. There are a few rusts and cracks that need to be fixed on the body of the container to make it more secure. I have spoken to a Welder located in my neighborhood and he has assured that he can do this job perfectly.’
A month later, in January of 2014, he continued to jump in headfirst with getting his side business off the ground. This required a second Zidisha funded loan of $429 which he used to purchase wood, nails, and plywood roofing sheet to cover his container for the cement business.
By 2015, Evans was prepared to ask lenders for a third loan. This time around he requested $480 and shares, ‘I am very grateful to you lenders for all your help in refurbishing my new container. Although I have not started business with it yet, but I have made an important preparation for this business. I feel more confident and reassured that this business would take off and be a good investment in the future.’
With the funds, he was ready to purchase a plot of land for the business, which he predicted would cost around GHc 5,000. He would start by paying a deposit and would continue to pay installments on the property going forward. Because he already had a salaried job with a construction company, he felt confident about being able to manage the payments going forward. He is also able to work on the weekends as a mason, which brings in additional income as well.
The following year, Evans returned to lenders for a loan of $1,226 in April of 2016. With this loan, he hoped to complete the payment of his land. In addition, he wanted to use the remainder of the loan to register his land at the Ghana lands commission.
Most recently, in July 2017, Evans was able to secure another Zidisha funded loan of $2,051 to purchase a concrete mixing machine. Before, he had been renting a machine and he knew that purchasing a machine of his own would really cut down on costs in the long run.
Partnering with Zidisha has been a life changing experience for Evans and has continued to bring happiness and fulfillment to his life as he says, ‘My time with Zidisha and lender’s have been the most happiest time ever in my life.’
Recently, Evans shared this message with his lenders, ‘Hello lender’s, My construction business is moving from one stage to another. Many thanks to you for making me an entrepreneur and a good influence to others who are now following my footsteps. Thank you. I believe with your support I will go greater heights and also give back to society by employing the jobless.’
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