Starting From Scratch

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By Betsy Ramser Jaime

Hildah Kapolyo is a business owner living in Livingstone, Zambia. She has experience with multiple businesses and has worked selling phones, smoked fish, eggs and chicken. Initially, she was able to cover her own start up costs by using the money that she was given by the government after her many years of working for them.

Hildah found herself making small and steady progress as she gained additional customers. However, her lack of funds to expand always seemed to hold her back from growing as much as she would have liked to.

Thankfully, due to the help of Zidisha, she has been able to raise 5 Zidisha funded loans in the short span of 3 months, just starting with Zidisha in October, 2019.

As Hildah began her journey with Zidisha she shared, ‘Thanks very much I used the money to order my feed and it has really helped me because I remained with some days to start selling my chickens and I was short of money to buy the feed, just after buying I even started selling some chickens plus my smoked fish. I’m sure this program will help me with my business and looking forward to help others to do the same.’

Hildah 1

Hildah with her Family

Getting started, for Hildah, her main goal was to be able to expand her production capacity. She hoped to eventually supply eggs to shops, hospitals, restaurants, and even colleges. In addition, she also had the idea to sell throughout the local community in order to better serve people who might not have time travel to the local marketplace.

Starting with Zidisha in October, she successfully raised two loans, for $13 and $15. With these loans she hoped to put the money towards plastic packaging for her smoked fish. She also saw a need for a higher quality machine that she could use when making chicken sausages. Trying a smaller machine in the past, she was now ready to upgrade to a small commercial version that would better suit her current needs.

Hildah 3

As November rolled around, Hildah had an impressive month, raising a total of three loans, for $30, $57, and $104. Her first project was a smoke house and chicken house as she experienced a surge of customers and felt unable to meet the current demand for her products.

With her second November loan, she continued to increase her stock of fish. She also hoped to begin exporting her smoked fish. Then, with her third November loan she set out to buy additional chicks and fish products. She explains, ‘I’m sure it will also add man power because I will need more helpers in preparing the fish and also when the chickens are ready for sale will need people to help in dressing them.’

Hildah 2

Phones and Items Hildah has for sale

In addition to selling chicken, fish, and eggs, she also wants her Zidisha family to know that she is also continuing to sell phones and other goods. She is able to purchase items from the UK that are hard to find in Zambia and then re-sells them locally in her community.

Would you like to help support the dreams of a budding entrepreneur like Hildah? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read about other inspiring business owners throughout the Zidisha community.

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