By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Joscah Nyarangi Nyaata is a 30 years old, mother of two kids, Sheldon & Velma. Growing up in Kisii town in Kenya, she completed primary school and moved on to secondary school, but was not able to finish as she couldn’t make it to the campus, and her parents could not afford to send her to a private campus.
Undeterred, she moved to Nairobi and secured a job. However, once her position was terminated, she was back to searching for a new job. During this time she also got married and a year later they had their first child, a baby boy.
She shares, ‘With my young son I was forced to start a small business together with my husband. We were selling onions, potatoes, and kales on the road side. We saved money and luckily we managed to open up a shop where life became a bit fair. In the process of struggling to make ends meet, I was also blessed with a baby girl in the year 2014. This is the year I discovered that I needed a lot of income for my newborn baby.’
It was during this time that Joscah’s life changed in a big way as she came up with the idea for her new business and also started working with Zidisha.
In January 2014, Joscah developed the idea to start an M-pesa and photocopy business. She decided upon this particular venture as M-Pesa is currently the fasting growing business in her home country of Kenya. This has become increasingly important in recent years as young people in particular need to transfer money from place to place without physically traveling to the place where they are sending the money.
Through her business, Joscah is not only able to empower her own dream, but also those of her children. With part of her profits going towards her children’s education, she is encouraging them to dream big.
Joscah started her journey with Zidisha in December 2017 with a $59 loan from lenders. Because she is in the M-Pesa business, it’s important that she always has at least a small amount of cash on hand when her customers need to send and receive money. Then, with the remaining funds from this loan, she also purchased a new copy machine.
By the end of February, Joscah could already see the impact that Zidisha was playing in her life as she shared on her discussion page, ‘I am very much happy to be in the Zidisha family, I know through this group I can achieve more. May God bless you all for we can achieve our dreams.’
A few months later, in February, March, and May 2018, she secured three additional loans of $71, $71, and $107 to save up for a secondhand laptop computer. This new addition to her business would allow her to type client documents and process online services such as kra prints and passport applications.
By July 2018, Joscah was ready for her next loan, requesting $161 from lenders to purchase printing papers to then resell. She foresaw this as a great opportunity, recognizing that no other business in her area was selling printing papers wholesale.
Most recently, in August and September 2018, she successfully raised two additional loans for $201 and $201 with which she was able to add more cash to her business and also purchased large quantities of printing papers to sell to the local schools. She explains, ‘This will help the school to continue learning smoothly as well as help me to earn a living.’
This fall, Joscah was proud to share the impact that Zidisha has had on her business and entire family as she shared, ‘Due to Zidisha family loan, my life has completely took a different move. Am able to run my business without much struggle since am being boosted. I bought printing papers that am now supplying to two private schools. This is as a result of the Zidisha family giving me a loan to start the supply. My life is completely in a different level. I can now afford to pay my kids school fees at least. May God bless the Zidisha family. AMEN’
With our Zidisha entrepreneurs, the change that happens is much more than just a financial transaction. When our lenders choose to support a borrower, they are also providing confidence and validation. This is evident with Joscah as she shares, ‘Hello my good lenders, thank you so much for making me what I am today. You have made me feel blessed. Thank you once more for granting me a loan. May God bless you and give you more. Feeling very happy.’
Would you like to help make a difference in the life of a business owner like Joscah? Don’t forget to check out our Browse Projects page to read about our other amazing entrepreneurs.