By Betsy Ramser Jaime
At 36 years of age, Veronica Phiri found herself starting over, to try something new. Even with a secondary school level education, and a diploma in Business Management, she has found that in today’s world, jobs have been scarce, leading her to give entrepreneurship a shot.
In describing her business, Veronica shares, ‘I run a grocery in our community and I sell a variety of goods, where my source of income comes from. I sell essential home goods, mainly groceries, and cosmetics in the shop. This kind of business is highly profitable all it needs is good capital to stock up the people’s needs.’
In a typical week, Veronica typically makes about 1,500 ZMW in profit and is able to continually use her profit to purchase new stock and to work on home improvements.
While 2020 was a challenging year for many business owners, Veronica is continuing to pivot and work hard, sharing, ‘Currently with the second wave of Covid 19, some businesses may face challenges, I have two grocery shops, the main grocery is the heart of my business, it is doing well and generating good income, the ice cream machine is also generating daily income. I have also started raising and selling chickens and selling clothing to increase my financial base to grow businesses and to be financially sound so I can be servicing my loan in the coming weeks without issues.’
Since joining Zidisha in 2020, Veronica has generated 6 Zidisha funded loans. With her initial loans of $27 and $46, she re-purchased cooking oil and white sugar, which are two of her fastest selling products in her shop.
For her third Zidisha funded loan in August 2020, Veronica purchased an ice cream machine, which turned out to be a great purchase as she wrote, ‘For this new loan I need to buy the ice cream machine at the shop because it is getting hot and ice cream sells very fast during summertime. It is profitable and affordable to handle, it will increase my daily revenue because of customer’s demand for this ice product. My retail business has not been affected actually this is a good time, I am generating good income because most supermarkets are closed due to covid 19.
By October 2020, Veronica found that her ice cream machine was the hit of her store and raised $102 from Zidisha lenders to purchase a second one.
A few months later, in December 2020, Veronica successfully raised $195 to prepare her shop for the Christmas season, writing, ‘This is the festival and disposal income is very much available and many families get excited, hence I want to order and restock Christmas trees, fireworks, and grocery goods to sell during this period until January. Essential goods are needed and demand is very high and sells very fast. I will get stocks and restock all the goods in demand.’
Most recently, in January 2021, Veronica raised $481 and was able to re-stock the shop with hand sanitizer and soaps, face masks, rice, beans, sugar, oil, books, etc.
On December 22, as 2020 came to a close, Veronica wrote on her discussion page and shared her appreciation for the entire Zidisha community as she wrote, ‘Dear lenders with Zidisha loan which I got a few months ago I managed to improve my business and the ice cream machine made a difference in my business. My profits have increased. My children were able to pay their school fees, I have also improved the living standard of the family and we are living a happy family through what Zidisha loans have done. I really appreciate and I want to remain committed with Zidisha and also invite good and trusted friends to benefit from Zidisha loans. Thank you so much and God bless you.’
Would you like to make a difference in the life of an entrepreneur like Veronica? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read about other Zidisha business owners around the world.