By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Doris Wanjama is a humble, hardworking, Kenyan. Without the advantages of a higher education, she has had to rely on hard work, perseverance, and a keen eye for business. In addition to being a business owner, Doris is also a wife, mother of two children, a member of the PCEA church, and a lover of Gospel music. With the help and support of her husband, she started small with a little kiosk, and over time she has been able to expand. She shares, ‘most people in my area are very social and hardworking.’
In terms of her business inventory, she sells household goods including: ‘sugar, flour, bread, milk, soda, eggs cooking oil, books, etc.’ Doris has found that she has a strong product selection because these are items that her community members use frequently and on a regular basis.
Since joining Zidisha, Doris notes that her business has grown by over 40%. She now spends about $150 each week to add new inventory to her shop. More importantly, her business has allowed her to pay rent, bills, and school fees for both of her children. Then, she also uses the remaining profits to continually expand her business and purchase household goods. As she continues to grow her business, she dreams of employing more workers. She says, ‘Thank you Zidisha and my lender for this great trust you gave to me and your support since everything is running well BE BLESSED RICHLY.’
Since joining Zidisha, Doris has successfully raised 4 loans ranging from $200-$874. With each loan, Doris has gained confidence and has been able to increase her loan amount. With her initial loan of $200 in May of 2016 she was able to purchase eggs, flour, and sugar, which seemed to be fast selling products.
A few months later, in August of 2016, she doubled her first loan, requesting, $397 to purchase, ‘eggs, bread, soda, flour, ugali flour, oil, soap, salt, rice, pampers, tissue paper, blueband, weetabix, milk, and colgate.’ With each loan, it’s clear that Doris has been able to expand and add a lot of variety to her product mix.
On August 1, 2016, Doris shared this encouraging update on her discussion page, ‘I thank you Zidisha team and my lender for this great chance to significantly expand my business and am earning good return in terms of profit that am able to provide for my family, pay school fees, rent and bills on time. BRAVOOOOH! Zidisha be BLESSED.’
Her following two loans of $595 in November 2016 and $874 in April 2017 were also used to expand and grow her inventory. Some of the new items that she continued to add included: ‘maize, beans, and peas.’ Doris explains, ‘this is to meet the current demand from my customers who have frequently asked me to bring these commodities so that they can buy them as there is available cereals shops and with this demand my profit will have to rise.’
In addition to the inventory items, she also used her April 2017 loan for something bigger, a new fridge! With this loan she used half of the loan ($400) on the fridge and the other half ($400) on food and inventory for her shop. Additionally, she also used $50 towards a business permit paid to the local government.
After requesting this loan she explains, ‘The amount will boost my profit by 44 percent, and enable me to pay my weekly loan as well as catering to my family needs successfully.’
This spring, 2018, Doris continued to update her lenders, ‘Thanks Zidisha team. With the loan I managed to increase the stock of the shop whereby it helped me to increase the flow of the customers thus more returns. This return has also helped me to venture in other investments whereby I have purchased my own plot with partnership with my husband and which I’m intending to finish. This will help in terms of flow of money because all the rooms are rentals. Thanks Zidisha team for the loan, it has helped me to cater for the education of my children through the same business. I’m looking forward to the day when I will become a lender after the continuous growth of the business!’
Through her own success and work ethic, Doris has been able to serve as an inspiration to her children and to also stand apart as a business leader in her community.
Do you feel inspired after reading about Doris? Make sure to head on over to our Lend page to read dozens of similar stories of success.