A Journey of a Thousand Miles

By Betsy Ramser Jaime

‘My name’s Dorothy Chepkemoi Maritim, born in the year 1979 to a family of eight children. My parents are retired civil servants. I schooled up to college-level and I am a holder of CPA part 2 section 3. I was employed in a petroleum company, where I resigned 3 years ago to do business full-time.’

When Dorothy is not running her business, she’s busy with her husband, who works as a civil servant, and her two school-age children.

Upon joining Zidisha in 2016, Dorothy had been working on her retail clothing business for 4 years with money that she had saved from her accounting job.

With her first Zidisha funded loan of $150 in February 2016, she shared, ‘I intend to use the money to add more stock i.e. ladies wear into the shop. It will help me get more profit and increase the number of customers in the shop because of the availability of stock. My target in the business is to get a profit of kshs.10,000 per day or more on a very busy day.’

With two subsequent loans later in 2016 for $303 and $474, Dorothy was once again able to increase her stock by purchasing items such as, ‘women’s suits, men’s suits, children’s wear and shoes.’ As her business has continued to grow, she’s required higher volumes of clothing stock to keep up with the demand of her customers.

One huge benefit of receiving Zidisha funded loans is that Dorothy is now able to re-stock her shop with new items on a weekly basis. This has helped her to increase her sales and pivot quickly as she adjusts to what her clients are looking for from week to week.

In the retail clothing business, Dorothy found that November to January tended to be her busiest season, and with a $1,373 loan from Zidisha lenders, Dorothy was prepared to meet the high demand in the months ahead.

The following year, in July 2018, Dorothy successfully raised her largest loan yet of $2,060 sharing, ‘I would add stock to my business, as time goes by I realized that the stock for men and boys suits are not enough. I miss something sizes and colors and also add a variety of shoes which are commonly in demand. Generally, I will add more stock to my shop and if possible change from retail to wholesale as to increase the number of customers thus profitability.’

Reflecting on her time thus far with Zidisha, Dorothy took to her discussion page and wrote, ‘Thanks a lot to Zidisha, it has been a journey of a thousand miles which we began from a single step but you have been awesome lenders. Continue with the same spirit. Stay blessed.’

Would you like to make a difference in the life of an entrepreneur like Dorothy? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read about other Zidisha business owners around the world.

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