By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Bede Tebino was born into a humble family in the city of Nairobi, Kenya. When he was in high school and waiting to attend college, his father passed away. This forced him to start looking for a job immediately. Fortunately, after finding a job, he was able to save the money to attend university, where he earned a degree in Finance. After graduating, he got a good job as a Marketer. Sadly, the company was later forced to downsize, leaving Bede without a job.
Bede explains, ‘It was at this point that I chose to embark on an entrepreneurial journey, carrying out my own business ventures, to date. My current business is a combination of entertainment and essential service provision. I sell movies, both new and classic, which I purchase from distributors for resale to clients. Demand for this was realized on seeing that people undergo a lot of stress in modern society and seek an escape such as watching an appealing movie to relieve their stress. I also charge phones at a fee. With everyone having a smartphone that is always out of charge, I found it essential to provide a secure environment to provide this service. I am also currently running a small cyber cafe, whose demand is growing and prompts me to respond by increasing capacity to satisfy demand. I believe that our increased capacity will give us a platform to have a positive impact on our immediate environment by enlightening the community on basic computer training and the world wide web in general.’
In his business, Bebe’s typical costs include: rent, staff wages, stock purchases electricity bills, and general maintenance. With his profits, he is able to pay his son’s school fees, help friends and relatives, and help support the children in the village so that they can go to school.
Since Bede is surrounded by technology in his daily work, one of his favorite hobbies is appreciating nature. He loves growing plants and he also has animals as well.
Bede shares the difference that his business has made in the community as he explains to lenders, ‘I am happy to report that our cyber cafe has been a welcome idea in our community whereby we are able to teach some basic computing to many whom we realize do not know how to use a desktop computer yet own smartphones. We are opening up a whole new world for such, and bringing services closer for others.’
So far, in his time with Zidisha, Bede has successfully raised 4 Zidisha funded loans. His first loan of $150 was raised in August 2015 and this loan equipped him with the necessary capital to purchase additional stock of movies. With the remainder of the loan, he shared that he would purchase a sign for better visibility and advertising his business.
The following year, in 2016, Bede secured his next loan, this time for $298. This time, he hoped that he would be able to pay for repairs on his 7 seater van. Having multiple streams of income, Bede also used his van to transport goods as well as people. With the loan he was able to pay for the following repairs: shock absorbers, suspension bushes, torsion bar, ball joints, tie rod ends, wheel balancing, wheel alignment, and labor costs.
On Jun 11, 2016 Bebe shared his thanks with his lenders, ‘Hi team. I trust that you are all well. As we continue working to better our lives, I wish to thank you so much for the boost.’
By July of 2016, Bede was ready for another loan to make some changes in his business. With $512 from lenders, his first goal was to have his van inspected by the government authorities. After that, he was prepared to set up an office solutions shop. Knowing that there was only one similar shop in the area, he predicted that this would be a great addition to his entrepreneurial arsenal. He hoped to cater to institutions such as hospitals and schools as well as to students. He planned to provide a higher level of service than the competition by being more efficient and adding lamination, binding, typing, printing, and web browsing.
For his fourth Zidisha funded loan, in 2017, Bede was able to raise, $980 from his loyal lenders. He divided the funds between technical items, including a back up power genset, voltage protection, and also branding and advertising materials.
By April 30, he was excited to share an update with lenders, ‘I apologize for the silence but I have been working on expanding my business recently. After purchase of the photocopier, I witnessed demand for other complimentary services and went for it! I used the profit proceeds from the business and got some financial assistance from my elder brother and managed to start a cyber cafe. I shall send you photos of the set up as it is. We are now able to provide browsing services as well as photo printing services with a new color printer that we also managed to secure during this expansion. We are now up and running with only 3 desktops for the cyber and hope to increase them to 6 within the next 4 months or so as we recover financially. Many thanks as always for your support. I am putting my best efforts towards utilizing the funds in the best way possible to make the most returns for the benefit of my family, employees and society at large.’
As 2018 came to a close, Bede shared an update and holiday greetings with his lenders, ‘I wish to express my utmost and sincere thanks for all you have done for this Zidisha borrower team. I also wish to report positive growth in my business. I am happy to report that I have grown in terms of customer numbers and therefore employed a young lady to assist. In this way, am happy to have grown personally with my family and also grown my community by employing a youth member, helping her improve her life as well. Forward we move, and my promise to you is diligent use of my loans, now and in the future, for the prosperity of self, family and community at large!’
Would you like to impact another entrepreneur and community like Bede has? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to meet our other inspiring Zidisha business owners!