By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Moffat Utwere is a Kenyan entrepreneur, an overcomer and also a gifted writer. Here’s his story:
“I am a native Kenyan citizen, born and raised in a third world country, face to face with all the shortcomings of it: Poverty, Poor Infrastructure, Hunger, Political instabilities, Under Development, Diseases, Corruption, Civil Wars just to mention a few. Born to two peasants who were casual labourers by then doing small casual jobs, they struggled to raise me together with two of my siblings and they have been through thick and thin to see us through school. I studied from elementary to tertiary thanks to government funds, NGO sponsorships and well wishers yet still it was not a walk in the park.
My desire is to own and run a stable business, I have a small one that is up and running but as they say the sky is the limit and I am not even at the clouds yet, but nothing comes on a silver plate. I have to work for it, and I am not keen with being employed due to limited opportunities despite having well deserving certificates, also I do not opt for employment due to its “enslaving” nature. A friend of mine categorically testified to me how Zidisha enabled him to grow and realize his goals and objectives and for sure it caught my attention and I said to myself, why not?
I want to eradicate poverty off my shoulders and also save my family along and am quite optimistic Zidisha will be a part of this magnificent transformation. I want to grow bit by bit using this platform building a mutual relationship that at the end will bring up something beautiful, something to go down in the history books.”
While Moffat has overcome and persevered though so much in his life, he’s truly just getting started. Today he runs an Mpesa shop selling a variety of items including: credit, accessories, sweets, and other consumer goods. He is working hard to build up his capital base and maintain a strong foundation as he competes in a competitive market.
Through his partnership with Zidisha, he has been able to purchase consumer goods in bulk, which would not have been a possibility on his own. Items such as cooking oil, rice, and cooking flour tend to sell well because they are staple goods used in almost every household. Even during a financial crisis, these are items that continue to be in demand.
In addition, by also offering to deliver his items directly to his customers, he’s providing an additional service to put him above the competition. As he continues to grow the business, he hopes to employ additional members of his community.
Even though Moffat has only been part of the Zidisha community since early 2019, he’s already making up for lost time with 6 Zidisha funded loans!
Initially, Moffat was able to quickly secure two small $1 loans in March, which he immediately paid off to increase his credit. Shortly thereafter, he was able to raise $16 from lenders in April which allowed him to increase his stock of cooking oil.
Following those first three loans, he raised $26 in April and added new shelving to his shop so that he would be able to hold more goods. In addition, he also purchased additional lighting, hoping to make the shop more appealing to potential customers.
After successfully raising four small loans, Moffat was ready for a larger loan, as he raised, $113 from Zidisha lenders, putting the funds towards fast moving inventory such as, ‘eggs, credit, and sweets.’
Most recently, in May, Moffat was able to raise $341, his largest loan yet! He shares, “Hello lenders, I am hereby applying for this loan to add more stock to my existing one, thanks to the Zidisha platform I was able to begin my small business with a few fast moving goods, as per now after borrowing just 4 times it has drastically expanded my business, from small home supplies now am investing in maize and wheat flour which am personally supplying to my consumers. I have day to day orders from nearby hotels that use these products on a daily basis. This is a sure market who prefer my products because I not only sell to them but also supply to them at a wholesale price which is comparatively cheaper than other retail shops and on rare occasions give them on credit. Then I collect the balances at the end of the day. With a steady supply and a growing market, I can firmly assure the business will grow to an extraordinary length.”
Would you like to impact the life of an entrepreneur like Moffat? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects Page to read about Zidisha entrepreneurs all over the world!