Importing The World

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By Betsy Ramser Jaime

Abigail Gyamfi describes herself as a “young, dedicated, and determined lady.” Growing up in the central region of Ghana, she was able to successfully finish high school. However, as a new graduate, Abigail found it extremely difficult to find a job, sending in job applications, attending interviews, but not seeing the results in the form of a job.

Finding herself at a crossroads, she says, ‘I challenged myself to create a job for myself. I looked around my society and saw people rely on value and depend on imported items very much because there are not enough industries here to meet their demand. I therefore took it upon myself to learn how to do mini importation due to my knowledge in IT. It wasn’t long for me to get all the skills and tips I needed by researching and reading a lot about it. It is a great opportunity to create employment for my self and later for others.’

As a new business owner, Abigail realized that finances and getting funding to purchase her inventory would be her greatest struggle. Being part of the Zidisha community has allowed her to continue to grow her business and expand her offerings.

Abigail explains, ‘I live in a lovely environment with a lot of students so business here would be very good. I like learning new things and also to improve the lives of the people around me. Thanks to Zidisha for giving such an opportunity to be able to create a job for myself. I believe in Zidisha lenders that they won’t let me down and I promise to work hard to pay my loan.’

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Abigail with a happy customer.

In her business, Abigail has been able to build relationships with her customers, learning their particular wants and needs. Now she can order specific products based on the feedback that she regularly gets from customers. Most of her inventory is composed of tech, jewelry, watches, etc. that are not currently available in Ghana. Through importing, she is able to serve her customers with new and unique items that they might not otherwise have access to.

Since joining Zidisha in January 2016, Abigail has been able to raise 5 Zidisha funded loans to help support her growing business.

As an importer, she started with a $50 loan to purchase an Android tablet that she was able to re-sell for a $20 profit. A few months later, she decided to try her hand at importing and selling women’s bracelets and watching. A $98 loan from Zidisha lenders helped make this happen, allowing her to purchase these items for $2.75 each, and later selling them for $6 each.

By June 2016, she successfully raised $439 from lenders and found herself able to meet a few requests from her clients including: tablets, mens watches, and ladies watches.

The following year, in September 2017, Abigail found herself with $390 to delve into selling a new product, mens shirts. Buying her merchandise directly from the factory would allow her to purchase each shirt for $5 and then resell for $10. Along with purchasing shirts, she was able to use the remainder of the loan to take care of import and clearance fees.

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Most recently, in November 2018, Abigail decided to take advantage of the booming holiday season to add footwear to her current inventory. She was able to pay between $15 to $20 per pair of shoes, with a resale price of $25-30 per pair.

Would you like to make a difference in the life of a budding entrepreneur like Abigail? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects Page to read about other inspiring business owners in the Zidisha community.


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