My Dreams are Valid

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Betsy Ramser Jaime

Joseph Kamau is a an entrepreneur and change maker in his community! However, his success has truly been the result of hard work, innovative thinking, and persistence. Starting out, he grew up in a single parent household where his mother struggled to make enough money to send him to school. By secondary school, he was forced to start working as he didn’t have the funds to continue his education.

In his first job, he was employed as a turn boy for a truck of garbage collectors. He shares, ‘I worked there for years and was able to feed my family and I.’ This laid the foundation for him with a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit that he would carry with him.

Currently Joseph is employed as a driver and he has a small shop selling milk and eggs. Giving credit where it’s due, he shares that the business was actually his wife’s idea and that she helps in managing the business. They also have a young son and Joseph believes that one day he will be an engineer! He shares that, ‘ I do work hard to make sure that he will have a better future. When I am at home I like reading novels, and traveling with my family.’

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Within the Zidisha community, Joseph is an impressive entrepreneur with 7 successful loans and a 100% repayment rate! For the past 3 years, he has been able to slowly and surely increase his stock and build his business with the help of Zidisha lenders.

Starting out as a new Zidisha borrower in April 2016, he sought out $100 to increase his overall stock of milk and eggs. Even with small beginnings, he could easily envision what his business could grow to become!

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In August 2016, Joseph was faced with a problem that many entrepreneurs experience. He had a second hand freezer that was costing a lot of money to be repaired over and over. He realized that through all of the repairs, it would be more effective to purchase a new freezer rather than spending more money on repairs. And, with the help of Zidisha lenders, he was able to raise the $200 he needed to make this happen! He thankfully shares, ‘Am very happy to be part of the Zidisha team, my dreams are valid. My business is doing well and I thank you lenders.’

By 2017, Joseph had a new idea for his business. Rather than continuing to purchase his eggs from a third party, he decided to go straight to the farmers. Furthermore, he successfully raised a $371 loan from lenders and this allowed him to restock his egg supply. He also saw this as an opportunity to create employment for a youth in his community as he sought out egg suppliers.

A few months later, in October 2017, Joseph came up with a new and innovative idea for his business. As he is in the milk business, he decided to purchase a vending machine for milk. He predicted that this would make his everyday work easier and this would also give him a competitive advantage over his competitors. By November, he was granted a $510 loan from lenders to help make the vending machine dream a reality.

Joseph excitedly says, ‘Due to high increase of vending machine customers are preferring it. This machine is accurate and hygienic. If you grant me the loan I will be able to introduce the machine in my shop. By installing this machine my sales will go up to 70% from 50% in Selling.

By January 2018, Joseph was truly reaping the rewards of his hard work and partnership with Zidisha. He proudly shared on his discussion page the following message, ‘Since I got my loan from Zidisha I can say my present is so bright. The vending machine which I bought is doing well and the selling increased. I used to sell 50 liters of milk now am selling 120 liters. I can say that my earning is capable of paying back the loan and feeding my family. Thank you all my lenders.’

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Most recently, in January 2019, Joseph approached lenders for his largest loan yet, of $728. He explains, ‘Buildings are being built everywhere without considering sewer line and garbage disposal. I came up with an idea of collecting and disposing where it’s supposed to be. I went door to door and negotiated with the landlords to pay some amount to collect and carry it. We agreed and payment is done once per month and I’m collecting once a week. Since I don’t have my own track/Lorry I’m hiring, I do pay the owner of the truck.’

Fortunately, his lenders were happy to help him continue to grow! By January 31, he had received the loan and was ready to pay for the truck. In addition, he is also able to employ two men to help him collect the bins. Through his time with Zidisha, Joseph has been able to provide for his family, create 2 businesses that are meeting needs in the community, and employing others so that they can also support their own families!

Would you like to empower another entrepreneur like Joseph? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects Page to read about dozens of other change makers like Joseph!


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