By Betsy Ramser Jaime
‘My name is Bencharles Waweru Mwangi from Nakuru County. I am the 3rd born in a family of six (4 boys and 2 girls). I went to Nanyuki Boys Primary School in Nanyuki and Giakanja Boys Secondary before joining KIBHT (Kenya Institute of Highways & Building Technology) and doing civil engineering. I am currently in the transport business; I have 2 pickups that I work with on construction sites.’
For his business, Bencharles operates a transport business where he hires out pickups for construction sites. He explains, ‘I hire one pickup at a rate of KSh 150,000 per month. I hire out in construction areas since that’s my area of business and I can closely monitor them. Since the cars are mostly in remote areas, they need spare tires, spare parts, insurance, and even a mechanic.’
Since joining Zidisha in 2016, Bencharles has now raised five Zidisha funded loans. Starting with a loan of $300, he is now able to raise amounts of $1,000 dollars.
Begining with his first loan of $300 back in February of 2016, he shared, ‘Hi lenders, am grateful for this opportunity, the money I’ll get I plan to buy 2 spare wheels worth $200. The remaining amount am planing to buy first aid kit facilities, dettol and the rest I’ll buy pain killers, that will help me in ensuring the cars work without having to stop any day because of mechanical problems which in turn assures me of $ 1000 profit per month after deducting all the expenses.’
With two further loans in 2016, Bencharles was able to purchase a cover tent for his truck so that he would be able to carry goods in the rain without them getting wet. He also bought a landcruiser to be able to transport tourists.
Then, in May 2017, Bencharles successfully raised his largest loan yet, of $,1048, sharing, ‘Thank you for another opportunity. I got a renewal contract with a Marsabit dam construction company that requires the vehicle for 6 months. The area is rocky and I need to put on new wheels worth $400, buy spare parts for $550, and use the remaining $55 to fuel the car to Marsabit town. I am looking forward to the positive feedback.’
Currently, in 2022, he has branched out into livestock farming to diversify his income. So far, it is going well and he’s looking forward to continuing to grow and expand his business.
Would you like to make a difference in the life of a Zidisha entrepreneur like Bencharles? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to see how other inspiring business owners are changing their communities.
Betsy is a Writer and Editor living in Florida with her husband. She has been writing with Zidisha for 5 years and loves sharing the inspiring stories of Zidisha entrepreneurs. You can connect with her on her personal website.