By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Nicholas Nyongesa might have grown up in an environment that did not consider education important, but that didn’t deter him in the slightest! As he opened his mind to the power of education, he flourished, and even received a government scholarship to University. He shares that, ‘After my university education the entrepreneurial spirit within me arose and I started a data collection business where I could walk in the targeted places to interview the respondents on behalf of my clients undertaking research.’
Like many entrepreneurs, he’s also discovered the power of diversifying and maintaining multiple income streams as he also supplies stationery and food stuffs to nearby schools. In the future, he hopes that he can continue to grow and explore other markets. In addition to running his business, Nicholas also enjoys spending time with his young son who has dreams of becoming a pilot someday. As a lifelong learner, Nicholas also loves reading entrepreneurial books in his spare time.
Nicholas began working with Zidisha lenders back in July 2017 and has since successfully raised 7 loans. Starting small, his first $34 loan enabled him to purchase a bag to carry his stationary and data collection materials. This allowed him to transport and deliver lots of materials at the same time.
The following month, in August 2017, he raised his second loan, this one for $51. Like many of his fellow borrowers, purchasing items in small quantities was limiting his ability to grow. With this loan he started purchasing printing papers in bulk. This specific batch of papers was used to print field questionnaires for a client that he was working with. He shares, ‘From this engagement, my business will be able to earn an extra profit due to efficiency as opposed to previous encounters where I was purchasing in small quantities.’
An important way that Zidisha lenders often help borrowers is through loans helping them to bring tools and services in house. For example, prior to working with Zidisha, many borrowers must outsource things like printing, because they don’t have their own printers. This was exactly the case with Nicholas. Fortunately, through his next loan, of $108, he was able to purchase his own printer for his business. Previously, outsourcing printing services had been a major cost for him and with this change he predicted that his profit margin would double!
On September 17, 2017, Nicholas proudly shared with Zidisha lenders, ‘thanks to my Zidisha lenders for making my dream a reality, your loan has made my business more efficient and customers more satisfied which has in turn doubled my profit margin due to clients trust. I look forward for your continued support. Once again thank you.’
Shortly thereafter, in November, 2017, Nicholas requested his next loan of $247, as he shares, ‘The last loan helped me to make more profit and as a result hired a new staff who requires a laptop as a tool for his work. The laptop will cost USD $370. This will enable my employee work efficiently and thus boost my business performance with expected returns doubling. Once the income increases the business will expand more with new other staff being employed with the aim of reducing the unemployment rate in the neighborhood. I therefore request my lenders to kindly help not only to achieve my business goal but also offer quality services to my clients in an efficient way and also offer employment to the youths.’
As Nicholas continued to grow with his business, he was faced with new and bigger problems. By February 2018, this was true as he had outgrown his office space. Not having enough room for his employee and clients, he found himself scrambling and getting creative by meeting with clients in hotels or rented boardrooms. Of course, he knew that this wouldn’t serve well as a long-term solution. Fortunately, with the help of a $485 Zidisha loan, he was able to solve this problem and procure additional office space.
With office space secured, the next step was purchasing office furniture for the space. Through a $846 loan from Zidisha lenders, Nicholas was able to purchase new tables and chairs. He further explains, ‘The furniture will give value to my business so that the bargaining power and confidence to the client is achieved. This will also increase the business profit by 40% from the current profit. With the new furniture also my working efficiency and effectiveness is expected to be enhanced as a result of a better working environment.’
Most recently, Nicholas raised his largest loan yet, $1,291 to purchase a motorcycle. As he often needs to travel from location to location for data collection work, he found himself spending a lot of money on transportation services which were eating away at his profits. Having a vehicle of his own would solve this problem.
On October 18, 2018, Nicholas shared this exciting update on his discussion page, ‘I used the loan to purchase office furniture. This has enhanced the business work environment which in turn enhanced work efficiency. There has been also increased income due to confidence in clients when they visit the office location. There has been a 30% increase in income which I have used to employ a new staff to help enhance efficiency further for the increased clients. It is expected that with your continued support I will be able to employ more youths and also help pay school fees for the bright but needy students in my neighborhood.’
For Nicholas, his dream and vision for the future is much larger than just making money. He also dreams of continuing to impact the youth in his community in big ways, as he shares, ‘With your continued support I will be able to grow the business at the same time extend my hand to the less privileged within my area of reach especially to school going children who cannot raise school fees. This is in the spirit that education is the key to success and also opens doors where it seems impossible. I lack words to express my gratitude. Thank you’
Because of lenders like you, Nicholas is seeing his dream materialize right before his eyes! Would you like to help another entrepreneur do the same? Make sure to check out our Browse Projects page to help make this happen!