By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Georgina Ansere was born in 1979 and lives in Techimantia, Ghana. She shares that she is tall in stature. As a child, her education was halted at the primary level. Fortunately, she continued to believe in herself and says, ‘Even though I was not academically good, I did not allow that to serve as an obstacle in my life because I knew there were other opportunities that would come on one day. So immediately a friend recommended Zidisha to me, I told myself this is an opportune time for me.”
Georgina explains it beautifully as she shares, ‘The name of my business is Georgina’s cocoa seedlings farm. This is located 1km from Techimantia along Techiman to Kumasi road. The main aim of establishing this cocoa project was to nurture seedlings for local farmers in my catchement area. The proceeds from the sales, I believe will cushion me and lesson my financial burden. Cocoa is a tropical crop and usually grows well in climate with high humidity and rainfall. Cocoa is a major cash crop cultivated in my area. I started this project after the death of my husband. He was the principal bread winner of the entire household. I started with only 2,000 and subsequently, have increased to 30,000. In fact, the outcome had been very encouraging and surprising because, I at times, cannot supply all the farmers. Some of the farmers even place orders in advance before they are supplied. Truly speaking, the nursery project has been of great significance because it has lessoned my financial predicaments. I want to increase the production of the cocoa seedlings from 30,000 to about 40,000 yearly. However, this vision cannot be achieved without access to good source of funding such as Zidisha.’
She is able to nurse about 30,000 cocoa seedlings yearly and wants to increase her production by buying more cocoa seeds and employing more workers so that she can sell more seedlings.
So far, Georgina has successfully obtained 5 Zidisha funded loans, beginning in July 2016, with a $136 loan. With this first loan she was able to purchase more cocoa pods (seeds) and also hire some workers to help her prepare the nursery beds.
A few months later, in October, she requested a second loan, for the same amount, $136, and this time used the loan to buy fertilizer. She explains, ‘The application of fertilizer would help me a lot as my seedlings become good. This will definitely raise my income. Thank you.’
By the end of 2016, Georgina was almost able to double her loan amount by requesting $254 in December to purchase more organic fertilizer. In April 2017, Georgina found herself ready for another loan, this time, for $505. Her drive and persistence is so admirable as she shares, ‘my inability to pursue formal education to the high level cannot prevent me from achieving my desired goal.’ With this loan, Georgina was prepared to hire more workers to assist with the more strenuous manual labor work. She details her plan below:
Details of my plans are: cost of laborers for preparation of nursery beds=$100, cocoa pod (seeds)=$150, polythene bag for seedlings=$50, liquid solid fertilizer=$50, pesticide to be applied=$20, water for watering the seedlings=$30.
Most recently in October 2017, she requested her largest loan yet, of $829. She begins, ‘I would like to use this opportunity to express my appreciation to all my lenders for giving financial support whenever I call them. I will forever, be grateful to all my lenders and also, pledge to remain faithful to my lenders when it comes to repayment of my loan. My nursery project is a lucrative business and the returns are also great. I will therefore, use this loan to expand my nursery project in preparation towards the major crop season. My lenders, as I did indicate in my last loan, in addition to my nursery project, I will use part of the loan to purchase a building plot to start putting up my building to house my family. With your kind assistance, I am certain that my dream will come through. The specific activities to be carried out include:
Preparation of nursery beds=$150
Cost of nursery seeds=$100
Polythen bags for nursing seedlings=$100
Cost of liquid & solid fertilizer=$100
Cost of water=$100
Cost of one building plot=$300
Two months after receiving this loan, Georgina excitedly shared with lenders, ‘May the Almighty God continue to shower his blessing upon lenders and all the Zidisha team for the good work done. You have made the life of me and my family very successful. My business is doing well. Thank you.’
In addition, on April 28, 2018, she provided this incredible update on her discussion page, ‘Hello Zidisha team, I am happy to inform you that my nursery project has improved tremendously. The rains have set in and very soon, I will start selling of my seedlings. This will fetch me more profit to pay back my loan. As I also indicated in my last loan proposal, I have used part of my profit to purchase a land (plot) for my building. Thank you lenders for helping to achieve my dream.’
Georgina has such a beautiful story of strength and resilience. After the tragic death of her husband, she is able to stay strong and provide both emotionally and financially for her family. If you would like to play a role in changing the life of a family like Georgina’s, head on over to our Lend Page to read about our other inspirational entrepreneurs.