By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Even as a child, Ukachukwu Obi knew the importance of hustling. While he has fortunate to receive a good education, it was expensive, which meant that receiving an education was a heavy burden on his family. He explains, ‘I had to hustle my way up along the line because it was difficult, everyone in the family wanted to go to school and my parents along the line couldn’t carry the burden all by themselves. So my brothers and sisters had to find extra curricular jobs to meet up our school needs and requirements.’
As a result, Ukachukwu started his first venture into the business world by buying and selling small items. In his words, ‘I grew up with such zeal to do small businesses.’ While he didn’t realize it at the time, these skills were laying the foundation for the rest of his life.
Today, in his business, Ukachukwu buys and sells both men’s and women’s clothing. He’s found that this is a great business for him because purchasing clothing is always in demand and people love to use clothing as a way to express themselves. He shares, ‘I chose this business because it’s a trending kind of business that flows year to year depending on the style/trend in vogue at that time.’
Zidisha entrepreneurs come from a wide range of backgrounds and intentions for pursuing Zidisha funded loans. While many borrowers are full-time entrepreneurs, there are others that are looking to go to college, pay their children’s school fees, etc.
Even though he is very new to Zidisha, he has already successfully raised 6 loans so far in 2019 and each loan has been put towards the education, health, and support of his family! And surprisingly enough, his first two loans were for $1. Even the seemingly smallest amounts can really make a difference. For Ukachukwu, these two small $1 loans helped him to purchase small toiletry items for his daughter such as, ‘toothpaste, pampers, a toothbrush, and hair cream.’ Next, he then raised $15 from lenders and used this loan to supply food for his household. He shares that he purchased, ‘chicken turkey, fish, beef, and yams.’
Following this, he also found himself in need of a $24 loan to take his wife to the hospital as she was in serious need of lab work because of some issues she was experiencing.
For his fifth Zidisha funded loan, Ukachukwu successfully raised, $36 and used the funds to purchase new school uniforms for his children as he found that the old ones had become very old and torn.
Most recently, he also raised a $42 loan and put this towards helping a relatives son who is an orphan. He shares this heartfelt message as he say, ‘I really want to help him because he has no guardian in supporting him and provider, I have been his all since the demise of his parents. I will pay back through my business and small work thank you Zidisha.’
In the short time that Ukachukwu has been a part of the Zidisha community, he is already seeing the fruit of these first few loans. By mid January, he took to his discussion page to share this update with his lenders, ‘Zidisha I really appreciate you a lot and the help you have been rendering to the public and also the improvements of the loans to the individuals of the entire public. The last loan I got here was a great thing that happened to me because it brought me good luck. The loan was a great help to me and my family and also I received good luck as well whereby a former associate of mine that owed me called me to pay me back my debt he owed me for a long time now which I was very happy about. I used part of the money to pay back the Zidisha loan I collected on Monday which I appreciate a lot. Thank you very much Zidisha. I appreciate you all.’
Ukachukwu is a great example of how a little goes a long way. As a result of his partnership with Zidisha, he has been able to buy uniforms for his children, pay for a hospital visit for his wife, financially help an orphaned family member, and more.
Would you like to make a big impact in the life of a family like Ukachukwu’s? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects to read dozens of other inspiring stories.