By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Anne Muriu has a lot to be proud of! With a thriving business, she’s accomplished a great deal in her life.
However, like everyone, things haven’t been perfect. She shares, ‘There was an instance when my school life was hard. I did not have lots of money. Sometimes, when my friends would go for lunch in a high-end hotel, I would look for a nearby kiosk. Despite that hardship, I was able to finish school without peer pressure. This helped me to see life in a different fashion and to always use the little that I had well.’
She currently operates a business where she trains people in her community to do online jobs. Most of her customers have young children and this allows them to continue working while also raising their kids. She initially started this business after noticing a clear gap in the market and after discovering that there would be few startup costs.
Fortunately for Anne, she has a supportive family that has provided her with the assistance that she needs to get her business up and running. In addition, her family also believes in the importance of acquiring her skills, which has been an encouragement to her in her entrepreneurial journey.
Anne explains, ‘Another reason why I ventured into online training is that, after my sporting extra curriculum activities, I had to fill in the gap of my active sports life. Online work and training was that challenge I needed. I do volunteer, especially in children’s rights activities. I have also learned in my forums that one candle does not go off by lighting another.’
Right now in her business she is focused on training a few people how to write articles and transcribe. And in addition to training others, she is also witnessing growth in herself as she polishes her own skills.
In terms of costs associated with her business, she has the costs of the data management and software that she uses. She is also excited to use a portion of her profits to continue investing in new training courses and resources. She hopes to continue growing and to increase the number of people she is able to train.
Anne shares, ‘In this group, we will certainly be better in life as a skilled workforce. When a group of people come together, life becomes easier. People are able to earn as a group and accommodate each others weakness. There are those who are good with time management, others are a think tank, others in pushing others to work and others in meeting deadlines.’
A few years ago, Anne was first introduced to Zidisha through her mentors, who had already been with Zidisha for many years. Since her introduction to Zidisha in 2015, she has successfully raised 4 loans, beginning with a $50 loan in February 2015. At the time, Anne was in need of a new computer hard drive, a phone charger, and repairs for her cannon camera.
Because Anne runs an online business, these tech gadgets are essential to her business. She shares, ‘I have realized the importance of functional gadgets, they can save time and money. For me, they will make a difference in my online service delivery and income.’
On Oct 18, 2015, Anne shared this inspirational update with Zidisha lenders, ‘Wow! It has been a while. I would like to thank you for assisting me. I was doing an analysis of the impact and its mind blowing. I am one step ahead on computers. I did not waste any time, thanks to you Harriet and Space-thyme and Team Zidisha. In July – September, I was able to take some adults through introduction to computers. There is a big gap in the market of adults who want to learn computers. Many adults are looking for places to belong. They fear going to college with young people. Others look for sponsor related programs. I have been studying a lot as well. I am doing courses at Udemy and PhilanthropyU.’
Two years later, in April 2017, Anne was ready for a second loan, of $67. This would allow her to expand her web presence, paying for hosting and security for her website and also to create a website.
She also came up with the idea to sell handmade products on her website, made by members of her local community. She would promote the products for a small fee, hoping to make between $50 and $150 per month.
By November 2017, she was ready to increase the sales and marketing efforts for her website, with the help of a $101 Zidisha funded loan. Anne explains, ‘Online presence communication is important. The above activities should drive sales from my website for social good.’
Most recently, Anne was able to raise, $108 in April 2019. With these funds, she was able to help with her online training resources. Right now, she has 7 interested customers paying $25 each for her training.
Through her business, Anne has truly tapped into a new market, allowing young parents to make an income for themselves, while also raising their children at home.
Would you like to help an entrepreneur like Anne reach a new market in their communities? Feel free to head on over to our Browse Projects Page to read about our other inspiring Zidisha business owners.