By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Samuel Yeboah arrived in Accra, Ghana with a clear goal, getting into the trading business. With a wife and two children, he hopes to give his children the education and opportunities that he never received because of his poor background. He believes that education and technology are essential in today’s world and that as a father, he wants to give his children the qualifications and skills that they’ll need to thrive in today’s job market.
Through his business, his financial goals are to support his family, provide financially towards his Church, and also contribute to a children’s home in his community.
At first, Samuel found himself struggling in his trading business. During the early stages things were difficult as he wasn’t sure where to start or where to find capital. Fortunately, things turned around for the better with the help of a friend and a recommendation to try Zidisha. He shares, ‘I experienced many difficulties, but, God so good, my prayers were answered when a friend recommended Zidisha. I saw it as an opportunity, as a result, and I believe with the help of Zidisha, I will excel.’
Samuel is in the food and health products business. This is his main job and in his words, ‘I do it full of passion, determination and focus, and by so doing I am able to take very good care of my family. I have a vision: to open one more branch at another community in the near future, so that I can employ 2 or 3 people to work there. I believe this vision is achievable with help and support from the Zidisha loan program. I am very happy with my current loan because it will increase my working capital therefore my profit margin will also increase.’
Since joining Zidisha in 2015, Samuel has successfully raised 10 loans with the help of lenders. Through his initial loan, he raised $100 to increase his stock of rice, corned beef, toothpaste, soap, and local food. By selling these items, he would eliminate the need for his community members to travel to other areas to purchase food and health supplies.
A few months later, in April 2015, his lenders came through with a loan of $169 which allowed him to pay school fees for his son. Samuel gratefully explains, ‘Without Zidisha my son’s fees would have been a problem. I thank God that the loan has come at a right time.’
By August 2015, Samuel was eager to expand his shop. He found that customers would request specific items, but due to a lack of capital, he was forced to limit his available stock. Fortuntely, with the help of a $317 Zidisha funded loan, he was able to expand and increase his stock on hand. Then, a few months later, in November, he raised another loan of $197 from Zidisha lenders to purchase additional rice, soap, milk, potatoes, sugar, and bread.
As 2016 rolled around, Samuel decided that a used car would be a helpful addition to his business in terms of transporting goods for his business. With a loan of $220 from Zidisha, he was able to purchase a secondhand vehicle.
The following year, in 2017, Samuel secured three substantial Zidisha funded loans for $491, $827, and $1,371. The three loans were used to purchase additional food and health related stock for his shop. For example, he purchased: rice, cooking oil, flour, sugar, milk, soap, yams, toiletries, eggs, chicken, fish, sausage, and gizzards. Samuel was very deliberate in choosing stock based on what his customers specifically requested him to carry in his store.
Most recently, in 2018, Samuel was able to raise two Zidisha funded loans. The first loan, in May, was for $394 and the second in June was for $1,541. These loans propelled Samuel to purchase a freezer and start selling frozen food items in addition to what he already sold.
Proud of his continual progress, Samuel shared with his lenders, ‘I have been with Zidisha since 2015 and I will continue to be an honest member as long as Zidisha exists. Since I became a member I have experienced a tremendous change in my finances, my earning has increased so as my savings towards a plot of land I have acquired recently. My last loan was very profitable and increased my daily sales by 4% and profit margin by 3%. It made my earning from the time more and I was able to finish paying before the estimated time. My goal is to put up a two bedroom house for my family. I also pray that Zidisha continues to fund my loans at every point in time so that my dream will come to pass.’
In February 2019, Samuel was proud to give the Zidisha community an update, ‘Many thanks to my Lenders for your support and kindness towards my progress, my family are happy and appreciate your help. For the last 3 months we have also been taking care of a single parent with 5 children in our community and we believe this will continue as long as I am receiving loans from you.’
Would you like to empower another devoted entrepreneur like Samuel? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read about our other incredible business owners!