Fueling His Future

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By Betsy Ramser Jaime

‘I am Hermann Kofi Aho Aduvi from the Volta region of Ghana. I am twenty five years of age, born into an average Ghanaian family of seven. Of five children I am the first born after which follows two girls and two boys. Both of my parents are older citizens who are self employed working hard to cater for the family.’

Born into a family of entrepreneurs, Hermann knows the importance of hard work and responsibility. He also manages to balance his job as a rigger with his entrepreneurial endeavors.

He shares, ‘As a first child of the family I hold a share of the need and responsibilities of the family. I am currently employed as sales personnel in STARTIMES Company and part time worker in PEG Solar as a distributor in a humble spirit of good working ethics. I am enlightened in my duties as an older sibling and committed to the welfare of my family with total diligence.’

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As a member of the Zidisha community since 2017, Hermann has raised 11 Zidisha funded loans over the past couple of years. During this time, his loans have ranged from $118 to $1,509.

With his very first loan in October 2017, Hermann set out to purchase decoders to re-sell. In his sales work, he is able to distribute these decoders all over the country. With each de-coder costing $30, he would be able make a $5 commission on each one. He discovered that the more decoders he could purchase at a time, the larger the discount he would receive.

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The “de-coders” Hermann sells.

As 2018 rolled around, Hermann found himself in need of assistance as he shared, ‘I work with StarTimes Decoders as a sales Rep. Our work is to distribute decoders to all parts of the country. Commission is based on the amount sold. I am using a van to go run for sales but the gear box has a problem. I kindly need support to fix or buy new home use gear box to fix. Over the past 2 months my sales have been down because I was not able to do the rounds so I make less income. With the replacement of the gear box I strongly believe sales will improve.’

Fortunately, with the help of a $226 Zidisha funded loan, Hermann was able to repair his gear box, and keep moving forward. In fact, afterwards, he updated lenders on his discussion page and shared, ‘The gear box I got was very good. I was able to make many trips for sales. Thanks so much lenders. The vehicle is back on the road now.’

With Hermann’s following 9 Zidisha funded loans, his biggest need was funds to fuel his van for distribution to wholesalers and retailers. He explained, ‘Due to the current increment in fuel price in my country, I would like to ask for support to enable me to fuel my van to aid me in my distribution to wholesalers and retailers. I distribute PEG (Solar product) to agents. I go round the distributing point every single day so that Agents can always have the product available for their customers. In every round I spend about $45.00 every day times 25 days in a month. So I kindly need a loan to aid me for this task.’

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Hermann busy at work.

On August 7, 2018, Hermann took to his Zidisha discussion page and shared, ‘Thank you all very much for your support. It was very good because I always have fuel for my job and don’t need to think about my fuel. The Zidisha money was designated for the fuel/gas and their did not pose any pressure on me during the period. God bless you all.’

For Hermann, the assistance from the Zidisha community has been instrumental in giving him the freedom to educate himself and his siblings, in his own words,  ‘One treat to my salary is fuel/gasoline expense and this loan is going to help me put into judicious use my salary so that I can pursue my education. Thank you all lenders for your genuine support. You are helping me to grow my business. AYEKOO, which literally means “well done.”

Would you like to positively impact the life of an entrepreneur like Hermann? Make sure to head on over to the Browse Projects page to see what exciting projects our Zidisha business owners are taking on.

 

 

 

 

A Startup Success

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By Betsy Ramser Jaime

Born and raised in central Kenya, Nancy Munyua received an education at the government secretarial college. Today she operates her own cyber cafe and also sells items such as, ‘ice cream, sodas, stationaries, and printing items.’

She shares, ‘I started the business in the section 58 shopping centre with my own savings. The unique thing with my business is that I offer good internet services to my clients as well as professional work due to the experience I have.’

For most brick and mortar business owners, location is essential and Nancy has certainly found this to be true herself. Locating her business near local schools has been a savvy business move as students are ideal customers for the services and products that she offers. 

 

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In terms of her business expenses, her typical costs include: salary for her employee, shop rent, electricity and water, and insurance.’

As her children have watched her run her business, she’s found that they too hope to go into business for their careers as well. Between a busy family life and business, Nancy enjoys relaxing by reading Christian literature and creating flower arrangements.

As a member of the Zidisha community since January 2018, Nancy has successfully raised 6 Zidisha funded loans thus far. Starting with a $98 loan from lenders, Nancy was able to increase her stock of ice cream, stationary, and sodas.

A few months later, with a second loan of $98, Nancy was able to once again increase her stock as she expressed, ‘This stock shall increase my sales as I shall buy in bulk and resale in retail price.’ In addition, this loan also put Nancy in a position to be able to hire her first employee in her shop, creating employment for a single member of her community.

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For many entrepreneurs like Nancy, being able to create employment for her fellow community members is one of the greatest rewards of having a business.

Once again, in August, 2008, Nancy was able to raise a third loan, this time for $108, allowing her to make some positive changes to her cyber cafe including stationary stock, photocopy papers, pens, maintenance, and a banner to promote her business.

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As Nancy continued to operate her business, she discovered that adding a photo studio would be a great compliment to the cyber cafe services that she already offered. Fortunately with the help of a $157 Zidisha funded loan, she was in a great position to purchase lighting and camera equipment, photo frames and photo paper, and renovations and fittings.

As an entrepreneur, it’s always important to find needs in the market and to pivot when necessary, which is exactly what Nancy has been able to do.

In 2019, Nancy found herself raising 3 Zidisha funded loans for $172, $400, and $400. These three loans were instrumental in making progress on the photo studio side of her business, as she purchased new equipment, a new photocopy machine and continued her renovations.

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New Stock to Sell!

 

On Dec 10, 2019, Nancy took to her discussion page to share an update with lenders as she wrote, ‘Dear Zidisha lenders, Thanks for the loan, I have been able to expand my business from my last loan, I was able to buy a new copier as well as add additional stock for my business. With the new loan application I intend to expand my business further to have an office this will enable me to serve my customer better, 50 % of the loan amount will buy furniture and the rest I shall use to expand and add new stock for my cyber business.’

Would you like to help business owners like Nancy create employment opportunities in their communities? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects Page to read about other incredible Zidisha entrepreneurs around the world.

Bringing People Back, No Matter the Competition

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By Betsy Ramser Jaime

‘I believe that life smiles on everybody but attitude and discipline differentiate us from one another. The little smile, the thank you, the neat work and the edge to render an immediate solution to a client’s problem will always bring people back to you no matter the competition, shares entrepreneur, Daniel Kpodovia.’

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As an entrepreneur, Daniel runs a business where he does data processing and offers business services. His mission is to be a one stop shop for all of the data needs in his surrounding communities.

More specifically, his services include: data research and analysis for students, typesetting, printing, photocopying, and selling used laptops.

While Daniel could see himself making little by little progress, he knew that he would need additional financial resources to increase his productivity and to keep up with the demands of his customers.

Fortunately, as a member of the Zidisha community since 2014, he’s been able to increase his productivity and supply for his customers. He shares, ‘Zidisha has been of tremendous help from a low beginning of one used desktop. With these equipments and materials in place, my work output and income will increase tremendously from the current one and it will help me pay back the loan at the given time. This business is profitable and it has been the source of my income though I work in other fields of life.’

Daniel was able to raise his first Zidisha funded loan in October 2014, for $100. He explained, ‘I tend to lose a lot of money from clients when I fail to meet deadlines due to non availability of printing materials. I have to purchase more materials in bulk and in advance to increase productivity as well as remain in the competition to win clients.’

The materials that he decided to purchase included: printing papers, toners and cartridges.

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The following year, 2015 was a big year for Daniel as he successfully raised 3 loans from Zidisha lenders and purchased a used photocopier. Daniel found that this additional copier would be a great complement to the services that he already offered. The 3 loans amounted to, $208, $379, and $402.

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After purchasing his new copier, Daniel was excited to share an update with his lenders on his discussion page as he said, ‘It has been great having you as Lenders. You have been so supportive and my business has seen a great leap. The photocopier is doing tremendous work, likewise the comb binder and the paper cutter I was able to buy from the loan.’

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Most recently, Daniel has utilized two loans in May 2018 for $1,766 and in January 2020 for $1,626  to purchase more laptops and computers to re-sell in his shop. He proudly shares, ‘Though I started small, by the help of Zidisha, I have taken giant steps into typesetting, graphic designing, data processing and now sales of laptops within four years. I can now make wedding cards, birthday cards, gift cards, invitation cards and presentation files, calendars, envelopes and flyers. etc. This loan will also help me venture more into data analysis and research for final year students at reasonable fees. Students need laptops for their research whilst others also cannot do the research, so need the help of an analyst and data processors.’

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Would you like to help an entrepreneur like Daniel expand his or her business? Make sure to head on over to the Browse Projects page to read other inspiring stories of Zidisha business owners all over the world.