Sharing the Love

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By Betsy Ramser Jaime

Samuel Yeboah arrived in Accra, Ghana with a clear goal, getting into the trading business. With a wife and two children, he hopes to give his children the education and opportunities that he never received because of his poor background. He believes that education and technology are essential in today’s world and that as a father, he wants to give his children the qualifications and skills that they’ll need to thrive in today’s job market.

Through his business, his financial goals are to support his family, provide financially towards his Church, and also contribute to a children’s home in his community.

At first, Samuel found himself struggling in his trading business. During the early stages things were difficult as he wasn’t sure where to start or where to find capital. Fortunately, things turned around for the better with the help of a friend and a recommendation to try Zidisha. He shares, ‘I experienced many difficulties, but, God so good, my prayers were answered when a friend recommended Zidisha. I saw it as an opportunity, as a result, and I believe with the help of Zidisha, I will excel.’

Samuel is in the food and health products business. This is his main job and in his words, ‘I do it full of passion, determination and focus, and by so doing I am able to take very good care of my family. I have a vision: to open one more branch at another community in the near future, so that I can employ 2 or 3 people to work there. I believe this vision is achievable with help and support from the Zidisha loan program. I am very happy with my current loan because it will increase my working capital therefore my profit margin will also increase.’

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Since joining Zidisha in 2015, Samuel has successfully raised 10 loans with the help of lenders. Through his initial loan, he raised $100 to increase his stock of rice, corned beef, toothpaste, soap, and local food. By selling these items, he would eliminate the need for his community members to travel to other areas to purchase food and health supplies.

A few months later, in April 2015, his lenders came through with a loan of $169 which allowed him to pay school fees for his son. Samuel gratefully explains, ‘Without Zidisha my son’s fees would have been a problem. I thank God that the loan has come at a right time.’

By August 2015, Samuel was eager to expand his shop. He found that customers would request specific items, but due to a lack of capital, he was forced to limit his available stock. Fortuntely, with the help of a $317 Zidisha funded loan, he was able to expand and increase his stock on hand. Then, a few months later, in November, he raised another loan of $197 from Zidisha lenders to purchase additional rice, soap, milk, potatoes, sugar, and bread.

As 2016 rolled around, Samuel decided that a used car would be a helpful addition to his business in terms of transporting goods for his business. With a loan of $220 from Zidisha, he was able to purchase a secondhand vehicle.

The following year, in 2017, Samuel secured three substantial Zidisha funded loans for $491, $827, and $1,371. The three loans were used to purchase additional food and health related stock for his shop. For example, he purchased: rice, cooking oil, flour, sugar, milk, soap, yams, toiletries, eggs, chicken, fish, sausage, and gizzards. Samuel was very deliberate in choosing stock based on what his customers specifically requested him to carry in his store.

Most recently, in 2018, Samuel was able to raise two Zidisha funded loans. The first loan, in May, was for $394 and the second in June was for $1,541. These loans propelled Samuel to purchase a freezer and start selling frozen food items in addition to what he already sold.

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Proud of his continual progress, Samuel shared with his lenders, ‘I have been with Zidisha since 2015 and I will continue to be an honest member as long as Zidisha exists. Since I became a member I have experienced a tremendous change in my finances, my earning has increased so as my savings towards a plot of land I have acquired recently. My last loan was very profitable and increased my daily sales by 4% and profit margin by 3%. It made my earning from the time more and I was able to finish paying before the estimated time. My goal is to put up a two bedroom house for my family. I also pray that Zidisha continues to fund my loans at every point in time so that my dream will come to pass.’

In February 2019, Samuel was proud to give the Zidisha community an update, ‘Many thanks to my Lenders for your support and kindness towards my progress, my family are happy and appreciate your help. For the last 3 months we have also been taking care of a single parent with 5 children in our community and we believe this will continue as long as I am receiving loans from you.’

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Would you like to empower another devoted entrepreneur like Samuel? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read about our other incredible business owners!


Living The Dream

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By Betsy Ramser Jaime

Isaac Gyapong is an avid learner. Born and raised in Ghana, he was fortunate to receive an education all the way through the high school level, even earning a scholarship for his high school studies. Upon graduation, he attended the University of Cape Coast where he studied Geography and Sociology. This earned him a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences.

Growing up, he was the youngest child in a family of all sons. He shares that his favorite game is football and he always enjoys reading when he has some free time. His hometown of Tanoboase is known as a farming community and the most common crops are tomatoes, maize, cashews, and mango’s.

Right now, Isaac has multiple sources of income as he is currently employed as a teacher with the Ghana Education Service, and has a supermarket business where he sells all kinds of goods to his community members. Because of this income he is able to help support both his family and also help out the community as well. Through his generosity, he has helped abandoned children by supporting them to receive daily meals and helping them register for health insurance. He shares, ‘It is my hope to establish an Orphanage house in the future to help children who don’t have caretakers in my community.’

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He’s also planning for the future as his latest venture is taking him back to his Tanoboase roots, in farming. He’s begun planting both cashews and mangos and is excited to reap the benefits in the next few years!

Since 2016, Zidisha has played a major role in Isaac’s life in pursuing his education. With 6 successful Zidisha funded loans, he has completed his education all the way through the Master’s level and is now on his way to a PhD.

In 2016, Isaac raised 2 Zidisha funded loans, in May and in September for $200 and $384. For Isaac, these loans allowed him to pay his university tuition fees which set him on the path towards being certified to teach.

By 2017, Isaac was ready to start his Master’s of Philosophy studies at the University of Cape coast! Combined with his own savings, Isaac raised 2 Zidisha funded loans to pay his tuition for the year and purchase school books. The first loan was for $592 in February and the second was later that year in October where he raised, $1,179. For Isaac, these loans and education will really make a difference in his future job prospects as he shares, ‘If I finish this program I will acquire a higher degree which will help me to get a higher rank in the workplace in the future.’

On October 17, Isaac couldn’t wait to update his lenders as he shared, ‘God richly bless all my Lenders for such a wonderful contribution towards my education. Due to your great support it has left me with only one semester for me to acquire my professional Certificate in Education. I will soon become a professional teacher. Thank you and God bless you all once again.’

As Isaac continued his Master’s studies in 2018, his Zidisha supporters were there to help him with funding. A $1,735 loan in May 2018 allowed him to continue his studies as he worked hard to complete his thesis.

Upon receiving his loan in May, Isaac expressed his gratitude and appreciation for each of his Zidisha supporters. He said, ‘Dear Lender’s in fact you have done an amazing thing in my life. I will never forget this in life. Zidisha is a great community indeed. Only words cannot express my sincere thanks to my lenders, I wish I could send a video of how happy I am and the kind of prayers I am saying upon all your lives. May the Almighty God reward you all for such a wonderful support you have done in my life. The loan has really improved my life.’

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Most recently, in January 2019, Isaac shared his new dream and vision with lenders, ‘Dear Lenders, I really appreciate your support during my previous loan. I have now been awarded with a Master of Philosophy Degree (MPhil) at the University of Education Winneba, Ghana. My aim is to become a lecturer one day at University but the requirement to become a lecturer is a Doctorate Degree (PhD). I therefore want your full support financially to help me push forward to acquire my PhD degree to accomplish my dream. I will use this loan to pay my fees ($2000) and buy all the necessary materials that will help me in this Program. I will be very grateful if you could support me in this course. Thank you all.’ With a loan of $2,763 from lenders, Isaac is well on his way to his doctorate degree.

Would you like to be a change maker in the life of another Zidisha entrepreneur or student? Don’t forget to make your way over to our Browse Projects page to read about our inspiring entrepreneurs!

My Dreams are Valid

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Betsy Ramser Jaime

Joseph Kamau is a an entrepreneur and change maker in his community! However, his success has truly been the result of hard work, innovative thinking, and persistence. Starting out, he grew up in a single parent household where his mother struggled to make enough money to send him to school. By secondary school, he was forced to start working as he didn’t have the funds to continue his education.

In his first job, he was employed as a turn boy for a truck of garbage collectors. He shares, ‘I worked there for years and was able to feed my family and I.’ This laid the foundation for him with a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit that he would carry with him.

Currently Joseph is employed as a driver and he has a small shop selling milk and eggs. Giving credit where it’s due, he shares that the business was actually his wife’s idea and that she helps in managing the business. They also have a young son and Joseph believes that one day he will be an engineer! He shares that, ‘ I do work hard to make sure that he will have a better future. When I am at home I like reading novels, and traveling with my family.’

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Within the Zidisha community, Joseph is an impressive entrepreneur with 7 successful loans and a 100% repayment rate! For the past 3 years, he has been able to slowly and surely increase his stock and build his business with the help of Zidisha lenders.

Starting out as a new Zidisha borrower in April 2016, he sought out $100 to increase his overall stock of milk and eggs. Even with small beginnings, he could easily envision what his business could grow to become!

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In August 2016, Joseph was faced with a problem that many entrepreneurs experience. He had a second hand freezer that was costing a lot of money to be repaired over and over. He realized that through all of the repairs, it would be more effective to purchase a new freezer rather than spending more money on repairs. And, with the help of Zidisha lenders, he was able to raise the $200 he needed to make this happen! He thankfully shares, ‘Am very happy to be part of the Zidisha team, my dreams are valid. My business is doing well and I thank you lenders.’

By 2017, Joseph had a new idea for his business. Rather than continuing to purchase his eggs from a third party, he decided to go straight to the farmers. Furthermore, he successfully raised a $371 loan from lenders and this allowed him to restock his egg supply. He also saw this as an opportunity to create employment for a youth in his community as he sought out egg suppliers.

A few months later, in October 2017, Joseph came up with a new and innovative idea for his business. As he is in the milk business, he decided to purchase a vending machine for milk. He predicted that this would make his everyday work easier and this would also give him a competitive advantage over his competitors. By November, he was granted a $510 loan from lenders to help make the vending machine dream a reality.

Joseph excitedly says, ‘Due to high increase of vending machine customers are preferring it. This machine is accurate and hygienic. If you grant me the loan I will be able to introduce the machine in my shop. By installing this machine my sales will go up to 70% from 50% in Selling.

By January 2018, Joseph was truly reaping the rewards of his hard work and partnership with Zidisha. He proudly shared on his discussion page the following message, ‘Since I got my loan from Zidisha I can say my present is so bright. The vending machine which I bought is doing well and the selling increased. I used to sell 50 liters of milk now am selling 120 liters. I can say that my earning is capable of paying back the loan and feeding my family. Thank you all my lenders.’

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Most recently, in January 2019, Joseph approached lenders for his largest loan yet, of $728. He explains, ‘Buildings are being built everywhere without considering sewer line and garbage disposal. I came up with an idea of collecting and disposing where it’s supposed to be. I went door to door and negotiated with the landlords to pay some amount to collect and carry it. We agreed and payment is done once per month and I’m collecting once a week. Since I don’t have my own track/Lorry I’m hiring, I do pay the owner of the truck.’

Fortunately, his lenders were happy to help him continue to grow! By January 31, he had received the loan and was ready to pay for the truck. In addition, he is also able to employ two men to help him collect the bins. Through his time with Zidisha, Joseph has been able to provide for his family, create 2 businesses that are meeting needs in the community, and employing others so that they can also support their own families!

Would you like to empower another entrepreneur like Joseph? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects Page to read about dozens of other change makers like Joseph!


Born to Hustle

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By Betsy Ramser Jaime

Even as a child, Ukachukwu Obi knew the importance of hustling. While he has fortunate to receive a good education, it was expensive, which meant that receiving an education was a heavy burden on his family. He explains, ‘I had to hustle my way up along the line because it was difficult, everyone in the family wanted to go to school and my parents along the line couldn’t carry the burden all by themselves. So my brothers and sisters had to find extra curricular jobs to meet up our school needs and requirements.’

As a result, Ukachukwu started his first venture into the business world by buying and selling small items. In his words, ‘I grew up with such zeal to do small businesses.’ While he didn’t realize it at the time, these skills were laying the foundation for the rest of his life.

Today, in his business, Ukachukwu buys and sells both men’s and women’s clothing. He’s found that this is a great business for him because purchasing clothing is always in demand and people love to use clothing as a way to express themselves. He shares, ‘I chose this business because it’s a trending kind of business that flows year to year depending on the style/trend in vogue at that time.’

Zidisha entrepreneurs come from a wide range of backgrounds and intentions for pursuing Zidisha funded loans. While many borrowers are full-time entrepreneurs, there are others that are looking to go to college, pay their children’s school fees, etc.

Even though he is very new to Zidisha, he has already successfully raised 6 loans so far in 2019 and each loan has been put towards the education, health, and support of his family! And surprisingly enough, his first two loans were for $1. Even the seemingly smallest amounts can really make a difference. For Ukachukwu, these two small $1 loans helped him to purchase small toiletry items for his daughter such as, ‘toothpaste, pampers, a toothbrush, and hair cream.’ Next, he then raised $15 from lenders and used this loan to supply food for his household. He shares that he purchased, ‘chicken turkey, fish, beef, and yams.’

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Following this, he also found himself in need of a $24 loan to take his wife to the hospital as she was in serious need of lab work because of some issues she was experiencing.

For his fifth Zidisha funded loan, Ukachukwu successfully raised, $36 and used the funds to purchase new school uniforms for his children as he found that the old ones had become very old and torn.

Most recently, he also raised a $42 loan and put this towards helping a relatives son who is an orphan. He shares this heartfelt message as he say, ‘I really want to help him because he has no guardian in supporting him and provider, I have been his all since the demise of his parents. I will pay back through my business and small work thank you Zidisha.’

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In the short time that Ukachukwu has been a part of the Zidisha community, he is already seeing the fruit of these first few loans. By mid January, he took to his discussion page to share this update with his lenders, ‘Zidisha I really appreciate you a lot and the help you have been rendering to the public and also the improvements of the loans to the individuals of the entire public. The last loan I got here was a great thing that happened to me because it brought me good luck. The loan was a great help to me and my family and also I received good luck as well whereby a former associate of mine that owed me called me to pay me back my debt he owed me for a long time now which I was very happy about. I used part of the money to pay back the Zidisha loan I collected on Monday which I appreciate a lot. Thank you very much Zidisha. I appreciate you all.’

Ukachukwu is a great example of how a little goes a long way. As a result of his partnership with Zidisha, he has been able to buy uniforms for his children, pay for a hospital visit for his wife, financially help an orphaned family member, and more.

Would you like to make a big impact in the life of a family like Ukachukwu’s? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects to read dozens of other inspiring stories.

Venturing Into New Industries

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By Betsy Ramser Jaime

By day, James Wambugu is a Kenyan IT professional, but on weekends and evenings, he’s a busy entrepreneur with a love for the farming industry. In his day job, he works as an IT officer with a logistics company. At the same time, he is also exploring businesses in both indigenous chicken rearing and transportation.

He shares that, ‘I was brought up in a rural setting, where indigenous chicken was reared as a hobby as opposed to a commercial venture. I am venturing in the transport industry which has a lot of potential and at the same time rearing indigenous chicken at my rural home.’

To maintain his transportation business, he currently operates two motorbikes as taxi’s  purchased through loans from Zidisha lenders! He receives $7 USD everyday from his 2 riders. The remaining profits are put towards fuel, maintenance, and wages. In the future, he hopes to add a third motorbike to his business, which he predicts would boost his daily profit to $11 USD a day.

James explains, ‘My dream is to have 10 Motorbikes that will give me 30 USD per day, then make them 20 motorbikes, and eventually buy a mini-bus for passenger transportation.’

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Since joining Zidisha in 2014, James has successfully raised 4 Zidisha funded loans and maintains a 97% repayment rate, which is exceptionally high.

With his initial loan of $150, James purchased the raw materials to build a perimeter fence around his compound for his chickens. These materials included: ‘chain link wire, fencing posts, nails, and labor.’ This loan made a positive impact in two ways. First, this allowed him to reduce the cost of purchasing feed as he only needed to buy supplementary commercial feeds. Second, this fenced in his chickens, preventing them from disrupting his neighbors.

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Later in 2014, James was able to raise his second Zidisha funded loan. This second one, in November, was for $297. Most importantly, James was able to significantly expand his number of chickens, buying 50 additional day old chicks. The remainder of the loan was put towards expanding his chicken coop to allow for the new additions as well as towards four months worth of commercial feeds.

By May 2015, James was excited to update his Zidisha lenders regarding his progress, ‘Dear Lenders. Thank you so much for your faith in me. Your loans have been put into good use, and am happy to tell you that my flock is now expanding. I have attached a photo of part of my flock for you to see how your loan has helped me. I expect this flock to start laying eggs in August or September.’

The following year, in November 2016, James found himself ready for a third Zidisha loan. This time he was ready to turn his attention to the transportation business. With $70 of his own savings, he requested $394 from Zidisha lenders to help purchase his bike.

He shares his confidence as he says, ‘I am guaranteed that this is a workable business, since am already doing it and reaping the benefits.’

The following year, in 2017, he raised his largest loan yet of $691 from lenders. As James began to see the success of his transportation business, he felt that it was worth investing in a second motorbike. With this fourth loan, he purchased a second motorbike and shared his appreciation with lenders as he commented, ‘Thank you lenders for your faith in me. You have funded this loan in 30 minutes. It says a lot about the trust you have in my willingness and ability to repay. I will not let you down. ‘

On Dec 26, 2018, James was proud to update his lenders on his discussion page as he shared, ‘Dear Lenders, Thank you so much for the trust you showed in me by lending me your money. I was able to buy a new motorbike and its now operational. My income increased from 3 USD to 7 USD per day. God bless you all. Looking forward to your continued support.’

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With a day job, two Zidisha funded businesses, and a wife and two daughters, James has a full life. Plus, when he has free time he loves watching football with friends. In fact, he is a self-described, ‘diehard fan of Arsenal FC.’

Would you like to impact a business owner like James? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to learn more!

Forward We Move

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By Betsy Ramser Jaime

Bede Tebino was born into a humble family in the city of Nairobi, Kenya. When he was in high school and waiting to attend college, his father passed away. This forced him to start looking for a job immediately. Fortunately, after finding a job, he was able to save the money to attend university, where he earned a degree in Finance. After graduating, he got a good job as a Marketer. Sadly, the company was later forced to downsize, leaving Bede without a job.

Bede explains, ‘It was at this point that I chose to embark on an entrepreneurial journey, carrying out my own business ventures, to date. My current business is a combination of entertainment and essential service provision. I sell movies, both new and classic, which I purchase from distributors for resale to clients. Demand for this was realized on seeing that people undergo a lot of stress in modern society and seek an escape such as watching an appealing movie to relieve their stress. I also charge phones at a fee. With everyone having a smartphone that is always out of charge, I found it essential to provide a secure environment to provide this service. I am also currently running a small cyber cafe, whose demand is growing and prompts me to respond by increasing capacity to satisfy demand. I believe that our increased capacity will give us a platform to have a positive impact on our immediate environment by enlightening the community on basic computer training and the world wide web in general.’

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In his business, Bebe’s typical costs include: rent, staff wages, stock purchases electricity bills, and general maintenance. With his profits, he is able to pay his son’s school fees, help friends and relatives, and help support the children in the village so that they can go to school.

Since Bede is surrounded by technology in his daily work, one of his favorite hobbies is appreciating nature. He loves growing plants and he also has animals as well.

Bede shares the difference that his business has made in the community as he explains to lenders, ‘I am happy to report that our cyber cafe has been a welcome idea in our community whereby we are able to teach some basic computing to many whom we realize do not know how to use a desktop computer yet own smartphones. We are opening up a whole new world for such, and bringing services closer for others.’

So far, in his time with Zidisha, Bede has successfully raised 4 Zidisha funded loans. His first loan of $150 was raised in August 2015 and this loan equipped him with the necessary capital to purchase additional stock of movies. With the remainder of the loan, he shared that he would purchase a sign for better visibility and advertising his business.

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The following year, in 2016, Bede secured his next loan, this time for $298. This time, he hoped that he would be able to pay for repairs on his 7 seater van. Having multiple streams of income, Bede also used his van to transport goods as well as people. With the loan he was able to pay for the following repairs: shock absorbers, suspension bushes, torsion bar, ball joints, tie rod ends, wheel balancing, wheel alignment, and labor costs.

On Jun 11, 2016 Bebe shared his thanks with his lenders, ‘Hi team. I trust that you are all well. As we continue working to better our lives, I wish to thank you so much for the boost.’

By July of 2016, Bede was ready for another loan to make some changes in his business. With $512 from lenders, his first goal was to have his van inspected by the government authorities. After that, he was prepared to set up an office solutions shop. Knowing that there was only one similar shop in the area, he predicted that this would be a great addition to his entrepreneurial arsenal. He hoped to cater to institutions such as hospitals and schools as well as to students. He planned to provide a higher level of service than the competition by being more efficient and adding lamination, binding, typing, printing, and web browsing.

For his fourth Zidisha funded loan, in 2017, Bede was able to raise, $980 from his loyal lenders. He divided the funds between technical items, including a back up power genset, voltage protection, and also branding and advertising materials.

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By April 30, he was excited to share an update with lenders, ‘I apologize for the silence but I have been working on expanding my business recently. After purchase of the photocopier, I witnessed demand for other complimentary services and went for it! I used the profit proceeds from the business and got some financial assistance from my elder brother and managed to start a cyber cafe. I shall send you photos of the set up as it is. We are now able to provide browsing services as well as photo printing services with a new color printer that we also managed to secure during this expansion. We are now up and running with only 3 desktops for the cyber and hope to increase them to 6 within the next 4 months or so as we recover financially. Many thanks as always for your support. I am putting my best efforts towards utilizing the funds in the best way possible to make the most returns for the benefit of my family, employees and society at large.’

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As 2018 came to a close, Bede shared an update and holiday greetings with his lenders, ‘I wish to express my utmost and sincere thanks for all you have done for this Zidisha borrower team. I also wish to report positive growth in my business. I am happy to report that I have grown in terms of customer numbers and therefore employed a young lady to assist. In this way, am happy to have grown personally with my family and also grown my community by employing a youth member, helping her improve her life as well. Forward we move, and my promise to you is diligent use of my loans, now and in the future, for the prosperity of self, family and community at large!’

Would you like to impact another entrepreneur and community like Bede has? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to meet our other inspiring Zidisha business owners!

Boosting Her Income and Her Impact

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By Betsy Ramser Jaime

Phibi Mwasi describes herself as a ‘hardworking woman with a sharp focus on raising her kids by providing them with a quality education as well as securing their future.’ Born and raised in Taita county, near the coast of Kenya, she received her college education in Mombasa where she studied Hospitality.

After finishing her studies, she got a job working in a transport firm. She continued to work there until 2010 when she quit to pursue livestock farming. She explains, ‘I decided to quit my formal employment to break the monotony of doing routine work day in and day out.’

When she started with Zidisha, she had been in business for 5 years and had purchased a parcel of land with her savings from her previous employment. She first saw the need when she realized that her neighbors were limited to purchasing processed milk which was both expensive and treated with preserving chemicals. Therefore, by providing fresh milk in her community, she would be offering an important solution.

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At the time, her herd consisted of 4 cows, resulting in a monthly income of $650. In addition, her monthly expenses amounted to $350 leaving her with a profit of $300 a month which she used to support her family.

Since then, with the help of Zidisha lenders, Phibi has secured 5 loans ranging from $100 to $823. These loans have been instrumental in allowing her to build and invest in her business. January 2015 was when Phibi raised her first loan of $100. Her purpose for this loan was to buy a water tank to harvest rainwater. The tank would cost around $400, but fortunately, she had already been saving little by little. The $100 from Zidisha lenders would be just what she needed to help fund her project. Phibi explains the project as she shares, ‘I do my farming activity in an area where we experience two rainy seasons which last for about 3 months each. We experience a dry spell in between the seasons and we rely on rain water for our farming since there is not piped water in our homes. We normally buy water from vendors during the dry spells. This makes our operations very expensive and sometimes the vendors supply contaminated water which make the cows sick hence affecting the milk production.’

One of the challenges of entrepreneurship is that as soon as you solve one problem, another one quickly pops up, as was the case for Phibi. Once she had her water tank in place, she needed to turn her attention to her next problem which was feeding the cows during the dry spells. Even though she grew her own hay, it was on a smaller scale than what she needed to feed her cows. Therefore, for her next loan, she approached lenders requesting $187, which she successfully raised to purchase larger quantities of hay to last through the dry spell.

She says, ‘If given this credit, I will be able to buy 3 tonnes of hay for a total price of USD 200. This will last for three months which is enough to cover the dry spell period. By so doing I will save a lot (economy of scale) and ensure continuous feeding of my cows which are my main source of income. Thank you and please support my course.’

As Phibi saw the success of her dairy business, she decided to venture out and try something new. She began by starting a small vegetable garden and then started keeping chickens on a small scale. By April 2016, she was prepared to scale up both of these exciting projects. First, she requested $364 from lenders and used these funds to double her farming area. Second, she used the remainder of the loan to increase her number of chickens from 50 to 200. She humbly shares, ‘This cash injection will go a long way in improving my cash flow which will definitely mean a better life for my family.’

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On April 11, 2016, Phibi proudly shared this update on her discussion board, ‘Through Zidisha loans, I have been able to expand my farming business. Apart from my dairy cows, I have managed to start a vegetable farming and poultry project and both are doing well. Thank you so much for the much needed support.’

By the end of 2016, Phibi was proud of her massive progress in her business. At the time she had 200 chickens and also raised $545 from lenders to increase that number from 200 to 500! She was excited to see this large increase as she found herself with an ever increasing number of buyers.

Her largest loan yet, of $823 was raised in September 2017. At the time she shared, ‘My farming is going on well and I am glad my customers are equally growing exponentially. Demand for dairy and poultry and produce has gone up in recent times due to high growth of the population in my area. To address this demand, I want to lease more land and put it under cultivation. I have identified one acre of land which is not far from my place and this will cost me around USD 600 for three years. I need to use the remaining balance to prepare the land, buy fertilizer and seeds. I want to continue with my horticulture farming since I am well established in this area and there is a high demand for the same.’

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Following this loan, Phibi expressed her appreciation for her lenders and their support as she shared, ‘Thank you lenders for your unwavering support. You have never let me down and similarly I will return the favor by working hard and repaying as scheduled. This loan will enable me expand my farming activities hence boost my income.’

Would you like to impact an entrepreneur like Phibi? Make sure to check out our Browse Projects page to read other stories of our inspiring Zidisha entrepreneurs.