By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Elinam Sekya has a work ethic that has gotten her far in life! Growing up as the youngest of seven children and raised by a single parent, college and a good job were not guarantees. As a child she helped her mother sell clothing and footwear to earn extra money for the family. While it didn’t come easily, Elinam was able to attend and graduate from the University of Ghana and obtained a degree in Psychology and Information Studies.
After completing her university studies and her national service, she was ready to start working. However, unable to obtain a permanent job, she decided to try out entrepreneurship as she shares with the Zidisha community, ‘I am very grateful to you for your support. With your help, I am doing my own business which otherwise would be difficult for me to start. Not being a salary worker, obtaining a loan from the banks is difficult.’
Elinam runs a mobile money business which includes deposits, cash withdrawals, and calling cards. Now, in addition to being a business owner, Elinam is also a wife and mother of two children, a boy and a girl. Her firstborn would like to be a nurse someday when she grows up and her son dreams of becoming a lawyer.
So far, in her two years with Zidisha, Elinam has raised 5 loans, with the help of Zidisha lenders. She used her first two loans in January and May 2017 of $95 and $143 to get started and to then increase her capital. Her business center is conveniently located near a high school which has a population of around 5,000. She explains, ‘Currently I offer mobile money service to just a few of the students. The community also benefit from this service. Parents in the community receive money from their children, through mobile money.’
As business continued to grow, Elinam requested her third Zidisha funded loan in September 2017 for $204. This was used to have additional money on hand in her mobile money business. As people in her city became increasingly interested in mobile transfers of money, Elinam found that she was in the right business at the right time.
By March of 2018, Elinam was ready to make a big change, and hoped that her Zidisha lenders would be ready to help with a $393 loan! She shares, ‘My business has reached a point where I needed to expand into a wholesale of recharge cards alongside the Mobile Money since customers demand for this recharge cards is increasing. Other sales guys has also be informed of this decision to make it was easy for penetration into the market. I therefore humbly appeal to aid me in funding this loan for a good cause. Thank you.’
Most recently, in November 2018, she was ready to expand again with a $399 Zidisha funded loan as she found the demand larger than what she could provide. This loan was used to purchase MTN Call Cards, Vodafone Call Cards, Tigoairtel Call Cards, and Mobile money. Elinam explains the importance of offering these services to her customers as she explains, ‘Clients buy Sim Cards of various network like MTN, Vodafon and Tigo to communicate with loved ones. They also register for Mobile Money account to access Mobile Money services. With the Scratch cards, clients top up their phones to stay connected with family and friends. Am very grateful to you all, stay blessed.’
For Elinam, being a part of the Zidisha community has truly transformed her life as she shares with lenders, ‘Zidisha loans are a savior to me and my family. Having completed university without getting a job after completing national service, it’s through Zidisha loans I’m able to start my own business of selling call cards, mobile money, transfer of credit. I’m able to support my husband pay for the bills, pay the children school fees and put food on the family table. Always grateful and thankful to Team Zidisha and to all lenders for your show of love and care. God richly bless you all.’
Would you like to empower another Zidisha entrepreneur like Elinam? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects Page to learn more!