By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Gloria Agbadi is a 19 year old college student from Ghana, currently in her second year of studies for Biomedical Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Ghana. Before college, she received her primary and junior level education at St. Mary’s International School and Better Best Academy. Then, she continued to high school at Achimota Senior High School.
When she’s not studying engineering, she has a creative side with a passion for fashion and colors. This led to her side business of jewelry making. She shares that, “Bead making is an indigenous activity in Ghana and beaded accessories are an irreplaceable item in our cultural dressing. Growing up in a country like mine where graduate unemployment is on the rise, I decided to turn my interest in bead making into an employment opportunity for myself and others.”
Through her business, Gloria is able to promote African fashion, especially jewelry and accessories. Over time, she hopes to expand her business worldwide to become a top beaded accessory production company.
So far, Gloria has successfully raised four Zidisha funded loans, which is impressive considering that she has only been a part of the Zidisha community since January 2018. With her first loan of $67 she was able to purchase a variety of beads, bead making tools, and other equipment.
A few short months later, Gloria was able to raise a second loan in March 2018 for $108 and used this loan for additional raw materials. With the remainder of the loan she started advertising to widen her market. With the additional materials, she predicted that she would be able to produce up to 150% of what she had currently been producing at the time.
On May 9, Gloria proudly shared an update on her discussion page, “I am very grateful for your support through my endeavour. I have been able to establish my business on social media with the previous loan offered. By this, I have expanded my customer base by 200% and increased profit by 300%. Production has also increased by 300%. God richly bless you for your contribution to this achievement! I am very surprised at the numbers that are willing to help support my business and dream..thanks for being a part of it.”
While the personal benefit is important to Gloria, she also sees her budding business as a way to contribute and hopefully employ her fellow community members as she explains, “This loan will help me create a job opportunity for myself and my community to help towards alleviating unemployment in my community. I hope to employ another to join in the production process creating employment opportunities in the end.”
With the help of her first two Zidisha funded loans, Gloria was able to gain additional publicity and also worked to expand her social media presence. For her, mobile is a big part of her business as she says, “Most of my customers make purchases on social platforms and my mobile phone is the main tool for interacting… However I have lost touch with most customers since my phone has developed a fault… I need this loan to buy a new phone to interact with customers.” This problem led to her third Zidisha loan in June 2018 where she raised, $145.
Most recently, in August 2018, she successfully raised $138 from Zidisha lenders to purchase additional equipment including: drilling, cutting, and filling machines. She also felt that these additional tools would allow her to better customize her products for her customers as many of them love custom products.
If you would like to follow Gloria or see more of her work, she has a Facebook page for her business called, “Des-Afric.” Or, if you’d like to support another student entrepreneur like Gloria, head on over to our Lend Page to read more about our other inspiring business owners.