By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Bismark Owusu was raised in a town in the eastern region of Ghana called Suhum. Born in 1988, he completed secondary school as his highest level of education. After finishing secondary school, he chose to start his own business. Initially, he had planned to start a poultry farm, but due to financial restraints, he put that goal on hold and started rearing snails instead. He continued to rear snails for 5 years before moving on and fulfilling his dream to pursue poultry farming.
He shares, ‘People here are respectful. The main occupation in my town is marketing. I really like learning so I used to do personal studies about agriculture.’
Rearing fowls, when Bismark started, he had 100 chicks and found he had a problem. As a solopreneur, he had too many customers and not enough to offer them. Thus, through his partnership with Zidisha he has been able to raise the necessary funds to expand and grow his business over the past two years. Bismark also shared that he chose to enter the poultry farming business because no one in his community was currently doing this which gave him a significant competitive advantage.
Through Zidisha, Bismark has been able to raise 3 loans so far, starting in June 2016 as he raised $200. At the time, he was ready to expand his poultry farm from 100 to 300 chicks. By tripling his number of chicks, he was aware that he would also need to significantly increase his stock of feed, drugs, equipment, etc. to keep his farm functioning efficiently.
A few months later, he requested his second loan for $399 which allowed him to continue purchasing feeds, vaccines, a trough, a feed box, and other important items. Then, the following year, in June 2017, Bismark successfully raised his next loan of $557. He was able to use part of the loan to continue purchasing additional feeds, vaccines, and equipment. Then, with the remainder of the loan he was able to purchase a wheelchair and clothing for his disabled father to help care for him. At the time, he also shared with his lenders that ‘my fowls are in good shape now due to that I have got many customers.’
Over the summer, Bismark was proud to update and thank his lenders as he wrote on his discussion board, ‘I really appreciate the way you care about me as your brother for lending me this loan to continue my poultry. I will use it to buy feeds, vaccines, equipment which will help my birds from diseases and put them in a good shape. May God bless you all Zidisha lenders. My poultry is ongoing successfully thanks to Zidisha lenders.’
Then, at the end of 2017, on December 20 he excitedly shared, ‘The loan help me to buy 20 bags of feed for my poultry.’
Would you like to impact a family or community like Bismark’s? Make sure to head on over to our Lend page to read about other business owners in Africa and around the world who are using entrepreneurship to change their communities.